Business Profiles

by Just Kidz Educare

last updated 08/12/2019

The Business Of Fun

by Just Kidz Educare

last updated 08/12/2019

Just Kidz franchisees nurture children, build businesses

Max Lao: 'Just Kidz is totally professional in every regard - it's everything I hoped for'

Just Kidz pre-school education centres describe themselves as ‘a fun place to learn’, but they can be fun to own, too – not to mention profitable. ‘If you have a passion for children and early childhood education, Just Kidz is the ideal model,’ says Wei Luo, who owns the Just Kidz centre in Auckland’s Flat Bush. ‘I’ve been in business for nearly two years and the franchise has been totally professional in every regard.’

Wei Luo, who prefers to be called Max, had a communications business in China, ‘But I’ve always preferred people, especially children, to electronics,’ he smiles. ‘I began to look around for opportunities in the childcare sector in China, but after a friend introduced me to Just Kidz, I decided New Zealand was a better option. I could see Just Kidz offered exactly the kind of professional training and support I knew I would need at the beginning of a new business. I’ve not been wrong either – the franchise helped me find an excellent location together with a really excellent manager and several first-class teachers.’

Not just another school

Just Kidz operates pre-schools providing education for babies to six-year-olds. ‘Our aim is to create a fun place for younger children to learn,’ says Vanessa Henry, operations manager for Just Kidz. ‘Our educational programme is based on the Te Whāriki curriculum incorporating the educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia and RIE, which encourages children to be initiators and explorers.

‘We are not just another pre-school,’ Vanessa emphasises. ‘Just Kidz is open from 7am to 6pm every working day of the year; each centre is purpose-built within areas of high demand, often in areas of new development; and high quality facilities and resources are put in place right from the start. We maintain a ratio of teachers to pupils of around one to eight or nine, or one to four for children under two, which allows us to give full weight to treating each child as a unique individual.’

The first Just Kidz was opened by Gavin and Debra Muldoon in 2001 in Dannemora – then a new Auckland suburb. Today there are six centres, four of which are franchised, and the company has plans to expand throughout the Auckland region and all over the country. ‘Warkworth and Pukekohe Just Kidz are now being developed,’ says Vanessa, ‘and other areas in the pipeline mean more opportunities for new franchisees.’

Setting the standards

Just Kidz manages the design and build of every new centre, including all the legislative paperwork, explains Vanessa, whose career in early childhood education spans almost 24 years and 3 continents. ‘Thereafter I build close relationships with each franchisee and ensure they adopt the high standards we set, including systems, industry regulations and the value we put on all our staff.

‘We welcome interest from anyone with a genuine interest in childcare, but a background in education is not essential. From experience, the people who work best in this role are those who can operate a good business and manage a dedicated team of staff. Of course, if any teachers out there fancy a change into a more focused business role, we would love for them to apply.’

Everything I hoped for

A fully set-up Just Kidz licensed for 75 children requires a total investment of around $750,000 including working capital, and will take approximately 6-12 months to break even, Vanessa says. ‘Generally, a centre will recoup the initial investment within five years, so with a renewable 15-year agreement this is a business with considerable profit potential that can provide a very good return for franchisees like Max. If you have a gentle and caring nature, empathy with people and an astute head for business too, please give me a call.’

The last word goes to Max Luo. Having moved countries to get into his ideal business, he has no doubts about the value of his Just Kidz franchise, both personally and financially. After two years, Max confirms, ‘It is everything I hoped for!’ 

See this advertorial on page 47 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 28 Issue 3

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