What Our Franchisees Say
Want to know what it's really like to run a Tots Play Business?
Let's hear from some of those who have made the decision to take control of their future by running their own Tots Play Franchise:
Click on the video below to hear some of our franchisees explain why they started their business and what they get from being part of a franchise, then read on as more of our franchisees tell you their story.
Laura, Franchisee for Coventry
"Prior to joining Tots Play I was working full time hours at a pre-school, having retrained in childcare from my previous role as a Pub Manager. When my partner’s job changed it meant I was no longer able to work those hours. Having 4 children and no family in the area, childcare costs would have been unaffordable. I needed to be in control of my work/life balance. To be able to work around my children’s school hours and still be able to bring in an income.
Whilst searching the internet, it didn’t take me long to come across Tots Play. What caught my attention was the variety of activities their classes provided. I would be able to offer my customers great classes and great value, which really appealed to me.
The Tots Play training programme has been fantastic. I was very nervous when starting my business, but the support was there. I had access to online training modules, intensive practical training, one-to-one phone calls and not forgetting the huge amount of support offered by the other Franchisees via our Facebook support group.
Support has been on-going too. Head Office really do go the extra mile for their Franchisees; they want you to feel supported, happy and to see your business thrive.
I feel that I have more control over my family life now and love working for myself. The first year was challenging, but by listening to the advice from more experienced franchisees, I was able to focus on my long-term goals and realise that they’d all been in the same position that I was, and I just needed to keep going!
Running your own business is not the easy option, but everything I do is for myself and my family. I’m not working hard for anyone else other than me! I love working with Babies and Toddlers and I’ve met so many lovely parents. It is a privilege to be a part of those special early years.
Currently I run classes 3 days a week and am looking to increase this soon. My classes start and finish around school hours, so I am always able to be there for drop off and collection. I do most of my admin and lesson prep on the days that I don’t run classes and, on some evenings, when the kids are in bed. This leaves me with the weekends free for family time.
I can recommend Tots Play to anyone who is considering starting a Franchise. The support you receive is above and beyond. A fantastic website, booking system, marketing tools and of course brilliant class content for your customers.
It’s scary, but worth it!
Tracey, Franchisee for Chesterfield
“Prior to starting my own business with Tots Play I was a Primary School Teacher. Teaching was a career I loved but it didn’t suit the changing needs of my family and work-life balance was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.
As a Teacher I have always been ambitious and driven and so I knew that starting my own business might be an ideal alternative. Having never been self-employed before, one of my biggest concerns of starting my own business was being ‘on my own’. I had always had the support network of a school and a team behind me. A franchise seemed a sensible way of starting my own business.
I did consider a few different franchise programmes initially but Tots Play appealed mainly because of the support that came with it and it seemed good value for money considering what was included.
I have received a wealth of support and guidance since joining Tots Play, this far exceeded my expectations when I first purchased the franchise. We have regular phone calls, social media network, annual conference, regional meet ups, plus a comprehensive online training programme that can be accessed at any time.
Running my own business allows me to arrange my schedule around the needs of my family. My daughter starts school this year and will be able to run my business around the school day and still be there to drop her off and pick her up each day, plus be there for her ongoing health needs. Something I thought I would never be able to do. I have chosen to run classes during term time only too so I can enjoy the holidays with her too.
There is a huge amount of job satisfaction from receiving positive comments about your classes and you as class leader after working so hard to build the business up. I love building relationships with the children (just as I did in Teaching) but also the parents/carers too.
I enjoy the flexibility the business can provide and planning my own working week.
If you are thinking of taking on a Tots Play franchise my advice is definitely do it, but give yourself the first year to blossom! Financially too I would strongly recommend you give yourself at least 6 months without feeling the pressure of taking a salary. Start with some capital where possible so that the focus can be taken away from creating an income initially and this will allow you to create a strong foundation for your business to grow from. I also want to say thank you to Helen and the Tots Play team for supporting me with my Tots Play journey and am very excited about what the future holds.”
Lynn, Franchisee for Lichfield and Cannock
“After researching various franchises I was attracted to Tots Play because of the unique structure of the classes, they have so many different elements to help parents really enjoy being with their little one but know they are helping them with development at the same time.
I have always enjoyed planning activities for young children as I love seeing their faces as they explore and discover something new and Tots Play classes ticked all the boxes, plus from a teachers point of view, I loved the idea of offering three types of classes so each age range has lessons specifically planned to suit their development needs.
Most importantly as a Mum I felt they were classes I would have enjoyed attending with my daughter
Life has changed since I’ve started running Tots Play. I love that it’s me who gets to take and collect my daughter from school every day. Before work was becoming a chore, but now I really enjoy my job, every week is different. I enjoy meeting new people and I feel really privileged that I get to watch mums and babies grow in confidence, learn new things and generally have a great time just being together.”
Michelle, Franchisee for Basingstoke
"I was made redundant from my job as a Fleet Manager when I was on maternity with my first son and I was pregnant with my second son. I really didn’t want to have to find a job, put both children in nursery, and then have most of my salary go towards the cost of this childcare. I wanted to be able to see my boys grow up, spend as much time with them as I could and be there for all of their milestones rather than just read about them in a book when I picked them up from nursery.
I saw an advert for the Tots Play Franchise and knew straight away this was what I had been looking for. I loved the ethos of Tots Play, how the business was so family friendly and how well the franchisees were treated. It seemed too good to be true, but I went ahead and signed the contract, and it didn’t disappoint!
I’m so glad I chose a franchise, there is no way I would have been able to have started this sort of business up on my own, and the support from Helen and the other franchisee’s is amazing. They are all so friendly and have really helped with every aspect of starting up my own business.
Any time I have a question or need some advice there is always someone there to help out in our private Facebook group, where we share ideas and support each other through thick and thin. Although it’s my own business and I work alone, I never feel like I’m on my own with my Tots Play Family!
Once I decided that I wanted to start a business, I looked into other franchise’s and none of them stood out as much as Tots Play did. It was the type of class that I wished I had been able to take my children to, it offered so much with the variation of the activities offered. Now having set up my classes I can offer that variation to my customers, and I pride myself on making sure everyone who attends is greeted with a friendly atmosphere and made to feel welcome.
Having never even thought about starting my own business 3 years ago, now I couldn’t imagine my life without Tots Play! I definitely couldn’t imagine having to be an employee of anyone ever again. As well as the independence to control my life, I have also become a lot stronger as a person and more confident, I think this is to do not only with running the classes but knowing I have a great support network behind me in all of the other franchisees and Head Office.
The thing I enjoy most about running my business is the job satisfaction I get from seeing the children and the parents enjoying my classes, the giggles I hear from the babies are priceless. The reviews I receive from the parents are overwhelming and when they leave each week they thank me for a great class and I know I am making a difference to their development. The flexibility this business gives me is also great, I love being able to decide what hours I want to work.
To anyone who is thinking of becoming a franchisee I would say that although it is hard work, especially in the beginning, it is so worth it, and the pros far outweigh the cons. And it doesn’t feel like hard work because everything you are doing is for yourself, not someone else, so it motivates you more. If you are looking for something to fit in around your family life then this business is perfect, and the support you receive from the start mean that you’re not on your own and it’s not like starting a regular business from scratch. I’m so glad I made the decision to start my Tots Play business."