In addition to being business owners, the majority of our franchisees at Tots Play are also wives and mothers. A search for a role that gave them the balance they wanted between working to help support their families financially and spending quality time with them is commonly what drew them to starting their business in the first place.
These businesses also support families in our franchisee's local communities through the early years of parenthood. The friendly, welcoming, multi-activity classes on offer help parents and carers like you to enjoy special time with your baby or toddler while doing lots to boost their development too.
But have you ever wondered what life as a Tots Play franchisee is really like, and how the juggle between business and baby really happens?
Wonder no more, as Katrina, our franchisee for the Scottish Borders, shares a typical week for her, showing how she runs Tots Play classes around caring for her little one.
The day starts by getting Eva ready for nursery. She goes 9 till 1 on a Monday, giving me the morning to get ready for classes.
Once I've dropped her off, I go back home and practice my lessons, starting with my Baby Development Course. I message all the mummies to remind them what to bring to class, make sure I have the music prepped and also check my list of equipment. Then I do the same for my Discovery Tots and Social Tots classes.
Next, I go to my Tots Play shed (yes, I do have such a thing, I now have so much equipment a shed is required to keep it in!). I organise everything I need for the week and get it packed up into boxes and bags.
If needed, I make some resources. This week, I had to cook some spaghetti and make some jelly. I also go to the supermarket to get anything I need; as it’s food week, I got some fruit and vegetables.
Then, it's a quick lunch and back to nursery to collect Eva.
Sometimes we go and do a couple of errands or appointments but usually we go home, have a play and then get ready for her half hour hip-hop class.
After making dinner, it's time to do the bedtime routine. Daddy normally comes home just before her stories and we say goodnight.
Then I go back to my shed and pack my car up, ready for classes in Hawick on a Tuesday.
Finally, I usually spend a little time doing some admin, emails and marketing before switching off for the night and having some 'me' time.
The day starts by getting Eva ready for nursery. She goes 8 till 4 on a Tuesday while I run my classes in Hawick.
This morning was difficult because I didn't have enough raisins, which then meant we struggled to eat any breakfast to begin with and the world nearly ended. Oh, the joys of motherhood, eh!? It was similar to when we had the wrong cup another morning not long ago, or when the spoon wasn't the right colour. It's difficult being 3 you know, but we managed to get through it, eat breakfast and get to nursery on time.
I enjoyed driving to Hawick in the peace and quiet!
I get to the venue around 8:45 and then take everything out of the car and start setting up. First class is the oldest ones, Social Tots, but I have everything sorted ready for the younger classes too so that it's a quick turnaround between saying goodbye to one class and saying hello to the next. I think my time as a Biology Teacher definitely helped me with this; I would often teach 6 classes, one after the other, and I would need to have all my resources and equipment ready for classes so they could run smoothly.
At the moment, I have 4 classes running in Hawick so it's a long day. The last one finishes at 1:50 and then it's time to pack away, load the car up and drive home.
I get home around 3pm, put the washing machine on, make some more jelly, clean some equipment and then it is time to get Eva from nursery.
Eva's usually quite tired and hungry after a full day so I get dinner made straight away and then it's off for a bath and bed.
Finally, it’s the evening! I spend a little time doing a few messages, emails, planning and marketing then I'll switch off for the night, ready to do it all again tomorrow in Kelso!
The day starts by getting Eva ready for nursery. She goes 8:30 until 4 on a Wednesday as I run my classes in Kelso and I don't need to leave as early as I just live a few miles away.
I get to the venue around 8:40-ish and start setting up, ready to start with Social Tots at 9:35, then Discovery Tots and then finally my Baby Development Course.
Once I pack away and get home it's around 1:50. I then have some lunch and start to sort out all the equipment, putting things in the dish-washer, washing machine or giving them a clean by hand. Then it's off to get Eva from nursery.
Eva always wants to play with something from the week's classes, today it was the Bilibo. This is a great open-ended toy, it's so versatile and you can literally do whatever you like with it. Is it a hat, a seat, can you spin in it, is it a basket?
Then it is time for dinner, bath and bed which then brings me to the evening. I usually put up a post or two about classes this week, send a few emails/messages and do a bit of admin but I usually finish a wee bit earlier tonight as I need a rest!
The day usually starts by getting Eva ready for nursery, she goes from 9 till 1 on a Thursday so I can plan for next week’s classes.
However, today was a little different as she was due her vaccinations. I was dreading it - at 3 they are much more aware of what’s going to happen, so I planned ahead and purchased a cool light-up wand toy, hoping that a bit of distraction might work. It turned out that she was amazing, so brave! She didn’t react to the first one at all and had a bit of a whimper at the second but as soon as she saw the wand and had a cuddle, it was all forgotten about!
We then arrived at nursery a wee bit later than usual but she happily went in telling everyone about her new wand and being super brave so I didn’t feel too bad leaving her. It was very difficult getting an appointment we could make, so grudgingly I took the Thursday morning one but would have preferred to do one when she didn’t have nursery afterwards.
Once I get home, I sort out next week’s lesson plans, kit lists and music. Then I sort a few Social Media posts as it’s now time to advertise the new term and fill classes. Then it's time to go and collect her from nursery. We decide to go and see Granny and Papa on the way home to tell them about her bravery and to get some extra cuddles.Then it's home to get ready for ballet class. Here she is showing me her first position and hands:
I never did ballet when I was younger, I did highland dancing, so I’ve no idea if it’s right or not. The feet look good though! Then it's dinner, bath and bed. Wednesdays, I usually have the night off , just a few Baby Development Course certificates to laminate first...
Friday usually starts with a lie-in, today it was, are you ready for it....... 9:30!! I know you want to kill me now don't you? Eva's always been a good sleeper but she has hypermobile joints which means she tires more easily so needs her sleep. She doesn't take a nap anymore but still, 6:30/7pm till 9:30am is ridiculous - but I'm not complaining .
Once we get up, have breakfast and get ready, we don't have long to have a play before it's time to take Ralph, our dog, to the groomers. He's an American Cocker Spaniel and he needs to get his hair done more than I do! The photo is me trying to get a photo of the 3 of us having a cuddle on the sofa...
After lunch, we go to Eva's gymnastics class which she loves. Then we head back to collect Ralph and off we go again, this time to Eva's swimming lesson.
We need a bit of shopping for dinner, so we pop to get that, then it's home for dinner, bath and bed.
Now that she's in bed, I might do a couple of work things but once Craig, my husband, gets home from work, I think we might have a glass of wine - after all, it is the end of the week!
Daddy is doing a bit of work this morning, so Eva has decided to get her computer out and do a few emails too.
We do some food shopping, visit our favourite coffee shop and then we pop along to the new park.
Wow! It's fab, although it was so busy I'm not sure we got to experience all of it. Eva met lots of her pals from nursery and it was difficult to get her to leave! I think we'll need to head along during the week at some point to try it out when it's quieter!
Then we get home and while Daddy mows the lawn, Eva and I go out on her balance bike and scooter as the weather is so nice.
We then hear that her friend is in the park so we pop along to have some more fun in the sun before dinner.
Once she's in bed, I might do a couple of work things but we usually sit down to watch a film and have a glass of wine.
It hasn't been a very nice day today so we didn't get up to a great deal to be honest. We managed to go back to the park again when it wasn't raining and have a go on things when it wasn't quite as busy.
I spend some time going through Eva's wardrobe and sorting out all the stuff that's now too small for her. She's not even 3 1/2 yet but we're finding some age 3-4 stuff is too short in the legs and arms. Anyone else got a wee mushroom? It seems that every week she's getting taller and taller!
We also pop round to visit Granny and Papa for a bit. Then it is time to get dinner ready, sort out a bath, do some stories and put Eva to bed.
Once she's in bed, I will do a few things so I'm ready for tomorrow morning to finish prepping for this week’s classes. Then I'll watch a wee bit of T.V. before bed. I hope you've enjoyed hearing about my week, it's actually made me realise that I get up to quite a lot! No wonder I'm tired sometimes! "
How Was Your Week?
So, this has hopefully given you a fantastic insight into how well Tots Play works around family life. YOU choose what days to work, when to work, where to work. You are your own boss but with the support of an established brand and experienced team behind you. Can you say the same for your current role?
If you know your current routine needs to change and running your own successful, yet family-friendly, business appeals to you, then, just like Katrina, you can take the first step towards creating this for yourself by requesting a franchise information pack today. Simply click HERE and enter your details for instant access.
You might also like to join the special Facebook group we have set up for people considering a franchise with us, where you can ask questions and get more of a feel for what Tots Play is all about. You can find the group HERE.
So what are you waiting for? Take that first step to your new future today to shape what your weeks could look like just a few months from now.
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