We sat down with July’s Business of the Month, Little Acorns Childcare to find out a little bit more about the business…
What does your business do / offer?
Childcare for 9 months to 5 years. Little Acorns Childcare is an arts based nursery in the heart of Whitley Bay which has strong links to the community. Everyone in our community seems to know Little Acorns in Whitley Bay. We have a strong family feel due to the fact we are 2 sisters that have created a warm and nurturing environment for little ones. We have a strong focus on mindfulness and many people comment on how calm our nursery is.
What made you set up on your own?
We were graded outstanding by Ofsted in October 2018 when we were childminding in Emma’s house. Our waiting list was so long so we decided to expand and have not looked back!
What have you found the biggest challenge to date?
Setting up the nursery!! There are so many checks you need to do in order to work with children, and Ofsted took a number of months to come and meet with us, which was essential before we could officially open. North Tyneside Council were a great help and offered support every step of the way. They certainly made the whole process less frightening!
What do you find most rewarding about running your business?
Emma-I can fit my business around having a daughter. We decided to only open term time so that we had time with our own families. I feel the life/work balance works well. I also absolutely love teaching little ones, it has to be one of the most rewarding jobs ever.
Louise – As Emma has confirmed, it is amazing to do a rewarding job which I can fit around my daughter (she comes to nursery with me, and loves it!). I was previously a solicitor, and I have really enjoyed using my skill set to run the business and staffing side of the nursery. I love that I can use skills from a previous career to offer quality childcare in my local community. It is extremely rewarding.
What makes North Tyneside a good place to run a business?
The council have been incredibly supportive and the Early Years team in particular have been amazing. We have been assigned a link officer (Karen Maughan) who has answered any questions we have had. North Tyneside also has so many businesses which all seem to help each other. We are part of the Whitley Bay Chamber of Commerce and through that have created some strong business links. Our Whitley Bay have also helped promote our nursery and we love being part of the such a wonderful and supportive community.
What one piece of advice would you offer to somebody looking to set out in business?
Write a business plan!! This helped us so much and meant we didn’t over spend setting up. We did a financial forecast for the first 12 months, and kept track of our finances week by week in the beginning. Also, work hard to find the right mix of staff, as they really make the setting welcoming. People are far more important to children than toys or resources!
For more information about Little Acorns Childcare, pop over to their Facebook Page
Want to nominate yourself or others for North Tyneside Business of the Month? Here’s how…
In no more than 280 characters, let us know about the North Tyneside business you would like to nominate as North Tyneside Business of the Month using the hashtag #NTCBiz. Examples of great reasons a business could win are increased turnover, new employee/s, winning a new contract, taking on new premises, community support, running a successful event or delivering excellent customer service.
The winner will receive a 3 hour Marketing Strategy session, their story added to the Business Factory website to raise their profile and encourage others, a pinned Facebook post on Business Factory Facebook page, tweets about the business by Business Factory Twitter account as well as our other social media platforms.
Nominations can be tweeted to The Business Factory using the #NTCBiz, posted on its Facebook page or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org