This episode of the podcast features Lucy Cook, Co-Owner of Amaze Education Group, calls in from Australia as the special first international Child Care Rockstar Radio guest. Lucy talks about how she stays sane in running and growing her business to nine locations, the creative way her team communicates with the families, what her corporate office looks like, and the importance of a rock star team and a strong staff culture to keep you going. Lucy is also an expert in outdoor education, and how to stay connected with your staff and clients as you scale.
Key Takeaways From This Podcast:
Lucy was a Physical Education and Science Teacher, and while working her way up as a decision-maker and school board member, she found a preschool and took on the lease. After spending some time running that school, she realized that children needed a place to run around and spend time in nature vs. sitting idly at a desk.
Lucy speaks about her life and home and how she manages her four boys as a single (and eligible) working and busy mom.
Fun Fact – Lucy has the license to drive a truck or 22 seat bus!
Lucy’s school has grown to four preschool locations and five outdoor locations. Her vision originally was to have great connections with families and grow children in a way that sets them up for success in primary school and their continuing education.
How does one keep the personal touch within a school when scaling up and adding locations? First, it’s important to remain connected to your staff and families and maintain consistency when creating the culture. Staff desires to be validated for their hard work, and families want to interface with the school leaders. Even upon hiring, the staff is aware of the company culture and philosophy.
Lucy expects her Facebook admins to post photos, videos, and social media engagement at least once a week. Even though Lucy has multiple locations, she keeps her social media aligned with one brand. She also uses several different ways to contact her families and potential clients including Child Care CRM, texts, email, and phone calls.
Lucy walks us through the administrative side of Amaze and how they are set up for scaling and growth.
After periods of growth you need a period of stability to make sure all systems are in working order and that the goals and “why” are in focus and streamlined.
Lucy looks back on the year that she lost 17 families at her school, and realizes that she can get through pretty much anything. She also faced a recent challenge head-on in the form of needing to part with a long time employee that had previously been a large part of her journey.
No matter where you live, you can learn from Lucy’s passion and innovation of outdoor education.
A real rockstar to Lucy is someone that thinks bigger than just themselves and is open to changing the status quo to make a real difference in the life of kids.
- “You need a rock star team if you are going to grow.”
- “Parenting is hard work, and I can empathize and relate to all the families we serve.”
- “We are shaping little people’s futures, and I never take that lightly.”
- “I wanted to be personal, and part a family, so Amaze Education was born.”
- “It takes a village to grow a child, and to support a family.”
- “You can never over communicate.”
- “You can always see when a child is learning, you never have to ask.”
- “Surround yourself with amazing people.”
- “Being able to recognize opportunities is a skill, but so is turning things down.”