In Part One of our interview with Rochette Dahler, founder and CEO of the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse franchise system, Ms. Dahler explains her innovative childcare concept on the consumer level, and describes the benefits it provides to parents and children.
Part Two will focus on the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse franchise opportunity, the benefits it provides and what it takes to be awarded a Little Sunshine’s Playhouse franchise.
Rochette Dahler: The Little Sunshine’s Playhouse concept is the innovative, educational childcare solution that many parents have been searching for.
Our Little Sunshine’s Playhouse facilities are enchanting and fun, and our curriculum is fresh and engaging. We have effectively harnessed the latest technology to heighten parental involvement and satisfaction levels, and to ensure the safety and security of our children.
While our most obvious role is to provide high quality childcare to children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age, we see ourselves as primarily being in the relationship business. We value our customers, students, and our staff members, and maintain a home-like atmosphere and family-oriented philosophy in all we do.
Top New Franchises: Who are the customers for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse? Are you catering only to upper income professionals?
Rochette Dahler: Most of our clients are well-educated, upper-income professionals, but we’re also attracting a growing number of middle-income and two-earner families. The common thread between all of our parents is that they value early childhood education and are willing to invest in their children’s early care. Today’s parents are willing to drive farther, invest more, and rally behind a school that they and their child feel connected to.
We understand the sacrifices parents make to provide the best for their children, and the emotion involved in entrusting their child’s care to a childcare provider. We take that trust seriously, so we strive not only to have our operations down to perfection, but also to maintain the home-like environment and personal connections that take educational early care to the next level.
We don’t believe that having a child in preschool means that parents and grandparents must feel disconnected from their child during the day, or that they must miss out on important events and milestones in their children’s lives. For this reason, we have adopted the latest technology to maintain a digital link between parent and child through such innovative programs as LuvNotesTM & Kiddie CamsTM.
Top New Franchises: Before we get into LuvNotesTM & Kiddie CamsTM, tell me about the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse buildings themselves. They are strikingly beautiful, both inside and out. Are you intentionally trying to break away from the sterile and school/institutional feel of most childcare centers?
Rochette Dahler: Absolutely! Parents have fewer children than in past generations, and have their children later in life. Their children are the most important part of their lives, and they want the very best for them. Yet most childcare centers look sterile and institutional at best, with loud primary colors. Our parents remark that they feel good bringing their children to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, because it combines the wonder and fun of a fairytale environment with the warmth and safety of home.
Our building exteriors and interiors are our best marketing, as they clearly set us apart from the competition in every market we’ve entered. But they’re more than that. Little Sunshine’s Playhouse facilities communicate our passion for excellence and innovation, and reflect the respect we have for our students, their parents, our franchise owners and their staff.
We believe that our children deserve the best environment in which to develop, and their parents deserve to feel that they are providing the best. We demand the best from our staff, and believe that they deserve an attractive and efficient work environment. And we believe that the franchise owners who have invested personally and financially in Little Sunshine’s Playhouse deserve to own a business they can be proud to call their own.
In addition to their attractiveness, Little Sunshine’s Playhouse centers are designed to provide an optimal environment for child development, socialization, learning, exercise, health and security. Our professionally-designed facilities feature a theatre stage, a landscaped nature center for healthy, outdoor play, a variety of customized, age-appropriate playground equipment, and many areas for small-group learning and play.
Rochette Dahler: From the beginning, we wanted the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse concept to exceed not only the needs of our children, but of their parents as well. A major problem with traditional childcare is that it leaves parents feeling disconnected from their children during the day. It also leaves them with a sense of loss when they have missed out on important events or accomplishments.
We have kept our parents feeling connected with their Little Sunshine’s Playhouse students with early adoption of the latest technology and tools. In our first centers, ten years ago, we installed full color, secured video cameras in our classrooms and playgrounds. We call them Kiddie CamsTM. Using secured, password-protected accounts, our students’ parents and grandparents can sign on to our real-time, live video stream from their computers, iPads, tablets or smart phones any time of day, from anywhere in the world. They can watch their children as they work and play, and feel confident that they are in a safe, productive and fun environment.
Rochette Dahler: Little Sunshine LuvNotesTM is a new feature we just developed to keep parents engaged and feeling connected with their children and the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse community. LuvNotesTM are an electronic daily communication sent directly to parents via email. Parents receive LuvNotesTM throughout the week that contain instant updates and daily sharing of photos and videos inside the classroom.
So, instead of the teacher reading on a sheet at the end of their child’s day “Suzy had Spanish class today,” our LuvNotesTM provides a link that allows parents to watch a video of Suzy speaking Spanish in that day’s class. LuvNotesTM represent a major evolution in the way parents and teachers will communicate. It makes mom or dad feel like they are still participating in their child’s development, and enables them to congratulate their child on the day’s accomplishments. And what parent wouldn’t be excited to get LuvNotesTM from their child during the day?
While LuvNotesTM & Kiddie CamsTM are benefits that parents love about Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, they are just two examples of our commitment to using the latest technology to enhance the parent-child-teacher relationship. As new technologies and communication media emerge, we will continue to provide new, cutting edge tools to our franchise owners to help them serve their customers and build their businesses.
Rochette Dahler: Little Sunshine’s Playhouse is a magical place that’s designed to make children feel like they’re stepping into the pages of a storybook with every visit.
But the real magic is created by the relationship between parents, teachers, franchise owners and all who have had a hand in developing the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse concept.
It’s a relationship that’s forged from the common goal of providing an uncommon early learning foundation for the children who represent our future.
Helping children be their very best, and rewarding parents for providing the very best, is what Little Sunshine’s Playhouse concept is all about.
And that’s the real magic behind Little Sunshine’s Playhouse.
Read Part Two: The Little Sunshine’s Playhouse Franchise Opportunity [Coming Soon]
Little Sunshine’s Playhouse franchise and contact information [Coming Soon]