INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE
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Returning teachers find sKids ideal for setting up business back in NZ
Kris and Samantha Dempster-Rivett took their combined teaching skills overseas in 2005, and spent the next decade in Japan, London, Jeddah and Shanghai. ‘We wanted to have some different experiences, but we always knew we’d return to NZ to raise our family,’ says Kris. ‘sKids has given us the perfect vehicle.’
Legislation means returning to the teaching profession in New Zealand isn’t always easy, so Kris started looking at franchise opportunities. ‘I had done a business degree, but my teaching career was in Information Communications Technology (ICT) and Computing. I talked to a friend who is the principal of a primary school and told him I had thought of starting an after-school ICT club. He had a sKids franchise operating from his school and immediately advised us to investigate it. As he pointed out, starting the kind of club I thought of would be the equivalent of opening a school with all the paperwork, whereas sKids had already done all the hard work. They also had a great reputation and a ready market so, in 2016, we took the plunge with our own sKids franchise and haven’t looked back since.’
sKids (Safe Kids in Daily Supervision) provides before-school, after-school and out-of-school care for children with busy parents, as well as holiday, cooking and intermediate programmes. With around 70 franchisees operating over 170 sites, the franchise has gone from strength to strength as a result of its determination to have a positive impact upon children’s lives. As sKids director Chris Bartels says, ‘Our goal is to have sKids in every school in New Zealand, and while we’re still a long way off that, today the schools are coming to us rather than the other way round.
‘There are very good reasons for that. First, our programmes are excellent, and becoming recognised internationally. Second, increasing regulation and training requirements have made it ever harder to operate after-school care on anything less than a totally professional basis. And third, while sKids franchisees have all that expertise and support behind them, above all they are local people who serve the local community.’
When it came to buying their own business, Kris and Samantha took over a company-run centre near Whangarei. ‘It seemed like a great place to start and it was,’ says Kris. ‘The franchise has been exactly what we hoped and wanted – both enjoyable and professional, with systems that have been tried and tested over time.
‘In addition, we have amazing friendship and support from the other franchisees and the sKids team, all of whom are happy to share their experience. That’s so valuable – ultimately you are responsible for running your own business, but sKids is there to help you, and keep you ahead of the speedbumps caused by things like changing legislation.’
Kris openly admits that although he was a trained teacher he had a great deal to learn about business. ‘I found the administrative side very challenging at first. sKids programmes are approved by the Ministry of Social Development and parents can access Work & Income NZ OSCAR subsidies, so you have to learn those processes. Also, we were new here and the community naturally wants to get to know you before they entrust their children to you. That trust is now building rapidly and we’re doing very well with additional sites and developing programmes still to come.
‘What I really admire about sKids is that they are looking ahead all the time, bringing in people with experience not just in childcare, but in other aspects such as business and marketing. These are essentials if you are going to build a healthy business, and it gives me great confidence in the future.’
‘We love kids and we love what we do,’ says Chris Bartels. ‘If you do too, give us a call. Opportunities start from around $45,000 +gst, and you don’t need teaching experience – just common sense, a bit of drive and a passion for helping kids be the best they can be.’
See this advertorial on page 49 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 27 Issue 01
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advertiser info: franchise business opportunity
|industry leisure & education||investment $34,000 + gst||number in NZ 100+ and globally 100+||FANZ member yes|
|contact Chris Bartels
p 0-9-576 6602 m 021 974 221
|telephone||find out more listing funding info evaluate|
|industry||leisure & education|
|investment from||$34,000 + gst|
|number in NZ||100+|
This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.