Just recently I had the pleasure of interviewing a client that’s a member of my Childcare Boss Mastermind. I love the way she has shifted in her mindset and within two years she opened up her second childcare location. Sometimes it’s all mindset that holds you back from reaching your full potential. During the interview you will read how she deals with all of her self-defeating chatters in her mind, blocks out the sabotage thoughts of what others might think or say and she began living out her childcare dreams.
Don’t allow another day to go by without you living out your childcare dreams!
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So let’s dive into this extraordinary story of LIVING THE DREAM!
Andrea: This is Coach Andrea Dickerson here with IOwnADaycare.com, and I’m really excited. I have Ineeze on the call with me today. On yesterday, I put a post in our group page about interviewing childcare bosses and that I wanted to interview a childcare boss who had to make a mental shift in their business and who wanted to just step up their game and go to the next level. I’m going to ask Ineeze a few questions, and she’s going to answer them, but for the most part, I want her to introduce herself to everybody and just to tell everybody who she is and what it is that she does.
Ineeze: Hi, Everyone. My name is Ineeze. I’m in Philadelphia, and I am the owner of a family daycare as well as a center facility. My family childcare is Star 4 as well as Nationally Accredited. I’ve been in business for a little more than ten years, and I opened my center about two years ago.
Andrea: Perfect. Tell me the name of your facility again?
Ineeze: Children’s Playhouse 1 and 2.
Andrea: I want to hear more about your story. It sounds really good. You have Children’s Playhouse 1 and 2. Why did you choose that name?
Ineeze: Children’s Playhouse, originally because my first facility is in my home, so it’s, like I said, a family daycare. Because the name was so well-known, I didn’t want to change the name when I got a second location, so I wanted to keep it because I’m very well-known in my area. I know that when people saw the name, they would know who I am. I just kept it the same for the second location.
The model for the second one is where children learn through play the green way because my second location is an eco-friendly facility.
Andrea: I love it. That is awesome, learn to play the green way! Do you have staff?
Ineeze: Yes, I have six staff.
Andrea: This is amazing. Let’s talk about your mental shift. I love what you are doing, and I know that it took a different mindset for you to have more than one location. Can you talk to the listeners a little bit about the mental shift you had to make?
Ineeze: Being in the family facility, I knew I always wanted to do more, and I know that the way that I thought about the things I wanted to do, I felt as though being in the family and in the home, it was restricting me. I knew that the type of service that I provided was above average because I was Star 4 and nationally accredited and I’ve kept my quality ratings for four years now.
I always knew that what I had in my head, I couldn’t produce in my home. I knew I had to expand. It wasn’t even an option because I had a wait list of 15 kids. I knew that it was a need in my community, and I knew that what I was serving, offering to parents, was something that they appreciated because I had so many people calling.
I don’t even have a sign at my home location. I have some drawings in the window, but I don’t even have a sign outside. A lot of my clients come from word-of-mouth and also from me being a Star 4 because I’m at the top of the list in my area. I just knew that I had to expand because I knew that I had greater things going for me.
Andrea: Let me help the listeners today with some clarity because Philadelphia may have different standards for what your level means. If you could, tell us the highest level you could get in this tier and then compare it to what tier you’re on right now.
Ineeze: Okay, so it’s called the Keystone Stars Program. It’s an optional program. You don’t have to be in it just yet, but they are going to make it mandatory. You start at zero stars just signing on; you’re just in the program. Then you move up to Level 1, then Level 2, 3, and 4 is the highest. It’s basically just stating that you are offering high-quality care, and you go above and beyond what just a regular daycare facility would do, meaning your staff’s education. You do way more trainings here. In PA, you only have to do six annual trainings a year. When you’re in Stars, you have to do more each Star level you’re on.
I’m a 4, so I have to do 12 annual trainings, but I actually do more than that. I do 18 or 22, so I even still go above what I’m supposed to do as well as my staff; I have them do the same. They go above whatever the standard is we have to do. That’s what it’s basically just showing, that you’re willing to improve your facility, yourself, and your staff, and you really take the business very seriously.
Andrea: I love that.
Ineeze: Yeah, and then accreditation is not just for Pennsylvania; it’s nationwide. You’re nationally accredited. It’s the same thing, just showing that you have high standards for your facility, and you have to complete certain things every year to stay in it. Like I said, being accredited is nationwide, and the Stars Program is just Pennsylvania.
Andrea: WOW! Congratulations on all of that.
Ineeze: Thank you.
Andrea: Going through the accreditation process, it’s not easy, so hats off to you.
Ineeze: Right, thank you.
Andrea: That is awesome.
Ineeze: Thank you.
Andrea: That is amazing, and I’m very proud of what you are accomplishing So I want to know what has drawn you into the childcare industry to say you know what? I’m going to go above and beyond. What draws you to want to make these big boss moves like that?
Ineeze: My degrees are in education, elementary education and early childhood education. I went to school to be a teacher, so I always wanted to have my own daycare, but I figured that I would work for the school district for a couple years, get the background and the experience and everything When I did my practicum, I couldn’t believe how the teachers had to stick to this curriculum that sometimes wasn’t working for a child. They couldn’t bend it a certain way if they had a different type of learner in the classroom.
That right there is what made me make the choice to say that I can’t do this. I have to just go straight into my dream. That’s what I did. I bought my first house, and then that’s what I did. I had the intentions when I was looking for a house to have a place that I could do a daycare in, so that was my mindset from the door, to find a house and make sure that I’m able to do my business in there.
That’s how it started. I just wanted to be able to offer children a service where it can meet them instead of them having to meet me, so coming down onto their level of learning and being able to offer that to my parent, not just a strict curriculum where this is what we’re doing, and if they don’t get it, they don’t get it. That’s what I didn’t like, and that’s why I decided to do my own.
Andrea: You sound just like me.
Ineeze: I know.
Andrea: I was going to teach, as I believed. I think that is so important for the listeners to know, that it is okay to have your own business. A part of the fulfillment of having your own business is that you’re leading it with a vision, and you’re teaching as you lead.
Andrea: You give it 150% of everything you got so that you can see what you want the children to know, what you want the children to display in their schoolwork. You’re doing that in your facility, and that is my heart, to teach as I believe. That is awesome.
Ineeze, did you ever struggle with being a childcare boss within your heart and your mindset? If so, talk about that.
Ineeze: Yes, indeed. My facilities are in the urban area. Like I said, I always had different out-of-the-box ideas in my mind, but I just always pressed on. I was like, the neighborhood isn’t ready for what I want to produce. My parents might not be receptive because they’re low-income. I have some parents that are from the shelter, because there’s a shelter near me. I have single parents, just all of those things. I would play that in my head.
I was afraid tactually set my business up to do what I really desired and had in my heart. I didn’t want to for people to have the wrong perception because I thought that it might have a draw back on my enrollment or just anything like that.
You, know when people are afraid or scared to be a part of something big because it’s like oh, no, she got too much going on over there. I can’t afford that, or I can’t be be a part of it. With those self limiting thoughts I just always suppressed a lot of ideas that I had.
Being in the business for as long as I have been, I learned my mistakes over the time. I’ve corrected them, had to do a lot of revisions on my policies and things like that. I just learned along the way. I do have a group of other providers that we meet every month, second Thursday of the month. We get together, and I’m usually always the youngest one in the group. I would get a lot of stuff from them, but it wasn’t really on the level that I needed. They are helpful because I still am a part of that group. They are helpful, but I just wasn’t being fed on the level that I needed to be fed on with the vision that I had in my head.
I was making small little changes in stuff. Then once I got the center, I promised myself that this is your chance. I waited for this opportunity for so long. I was looking for a building for three years, and stuff just wasn’t going through. I’m like, God, He isn’t bringing me along this journey for no reason. I know He has something great at the end of the line for me, and I’m going to be patient, and I’m going to wait for it.
When He did bless me with it, I said that I’m going to take this opportunity and I’m going to do the things that I said that I always wanted to do. I’m not going to let that pass me up. I always said to Him that you give me that space, you give me that opportunity, I’m going to make it great. I never really had a problem with enrollment at the home except for when we went through that little impasse or whatever and they weren’t providing the funding. Other than that, I never really had a problem with it. Now I’m on a higher level, and I had to fill more seats.
I was scared, so I’m like, maybe I might have to do certain things that I said that I wasn’t going to do just in the beginning.
I knew then that, If I don’t put it in place in the beginning, it’s going to be hard for me to make those changes in the middle after people are adjusted to things or whatever I just prayed on it, prayed on it, prayed on it. Then that’s what I did.
My kids wear uniforms, and that’s something I wanted to do for so long. I presented it to the parents, and they actually received it very well. I went up in my prices, just a lot of things like that. Going to your Andrea Ignites Childcare Tour that you had when you came here to Philly, really fueled that spark that I had. Like I said, I had the ladies that I meet with every month. They’re really good, inspirational, but hearing you talk, like I said, it was like an outside body experience. All the things you were saying was the stuff I wanted to do or was thinking or stuff like that. I was like, people are going to think I’m crazy or who she think she is with these ideas? She’s in the hood, and stuff like that. You don’t even understand, Andrea, you’re like a breath of fresh air. Oh, my God, this is what I needed to hear, just staying connected with you and signing on with the Design Your Life Coaching Program and stuff like that, bring a part of that, and just watching your videos and stuff on YouTube just keeps me inspired.
I make sure I, during the week, at least watch maybe one or two, if I can, but it’s definitely on Sunday. I make sure I sit down. Once I’m done all my house chores and everything, I take time, and I sit down, and I listen to a couple of your recordings that you have while I’m cleaning or I’m getting ready for my workweek. That sets me up. You are just so inspirational and like I said, on that level that I know I can be on or that I am on now. You have helped me a lot, bottom line. That’s the gist of it. I definitely had some battles with myself in my mind, fighting with myself knowing how great I could be.
Andrea: I love that because of the mindset of people will sometimes cause you to shrink back but when walking into that true Childcare Boss status, you first have to step up to yourself and be the boss of yourself then be ok with stepping up to others such as to parents and create ways to teach them that we’re offering something that should be appreciated, something that’s bigger. I’m excited that you overcame those hurdles and those obstacles because those who are listening to us today, I’m pretty sure they go through the same challenges in their mind, wanting to play big but afraid to step out and play big. That is how you truly live out your goals and you really truly live out your dreams when you say you know what? I’m going to trust my dreams, and I’m going to trust my goals, and I’m going to go after it confidently. When you go after it confidently, you are really setting a blaze, setting a trail for someone else to come behind you.
Andrea: One of the things I want to encourage you about is that it’s scary being the first of anything and being the leader of something, but I’m so proud of you. Even if you did it afraid, you stepped out there, and you did it. That is what separates childcare owners from childcare bosses. An owner can go so far but a boss, you’re going to go all the way because you’re believing that I am, destined for greatness! I made myself a childcare boss. NO Permission needed I’m excited. Thank you so much for talking about what programs – you were in the Design Your Life program that was full of video, audio, and workbooks, and things of that nature. I opened up your mind to getting that inspiration and reassurance you needed to play a bigger game, huh?
Ineeze: Yes, and especially with my staff. That’s a struggle sometimes. The tips and things that you gave about being more in touch with your staff and getting them to understand your vision as well so they can understand why you want things done a certain way and to think the way you’re thinking.
Andrea: I love that. Let me ask you something. Do you feel like when you call yourself a childcare boss, that that helps you to keep that momentum going? Do you think when you decided to say, “I’m a childcare boss,” do you believe that had a play in your mental shift?
Ineeze: Yes, definitely, because you put it in the atmosphere. You put it in your mindset. Then you have to – you’re uplifting yourself, and you have to uphold that position, too.
Ineeze: I always thought of myself like that, or as a diva anyway, and everybody always says that. Then just accomplishments that I’ve made at such a young age, and just being the age that I am, and just success that I’ve have – so yes, definitely, because you want to put that in the atmosphere, what you want.
Andrea: I love it. I love it. Do you want to share with our audience how old you are?
Ineeze: I am 35. I’ve had my daycare for ten years.
Andrea: You have accomplished a lot. I always tell people that when you’re a boss, you learn to accomplish in one day what most people won’t do in a week. You have multiple sites; you have a national accreditation; you have the Star Level 4, the highest one you can get; you’re reaching your goals and your dreams. I see you, girl. I see you!
Ineeze: Yes, and you even inspired me to step out and do mentoring with other providers and stuff like that. I’ve always never had a problem helping other providers and things like that. I don’t know if it’s like that anywhere else, but in Philadelphia nobody wants to help each other. When I was first coming out, nobody wanted to help me. I had one person and to this day, she’s still dear to my heart. Nobody wants to help each other. I started mentoring and getting paid for it.
Andrea: That’s awesome.
Ineeze: Yeah, under my belt, so I’ve been meeting a lot of young ladies and being able to help them out and pursue their dreams as well. You helped me want to do that!
Andrea: That’s so important because the only reason why that model never works is because it takes work to be a mentor. It takes work to coach someone. Then you also have to know that everything that’s free is not always good. Life Changing information really does cost!
Ineeze: Invest in it, right.
Andrea: You invest in yourself. That’s when you’re going to get the results you’re looking for. I know what it was like being a community of childcare business owners that didn’t know how to dispense information, didn’t know how to dispense knowledge. I know what that is like, and I know what it’s like to be in my community of childcare business owners. We get together, we talk, but it’s nothing that’s life-changing that’s causing me to say Step 1, do this; Step 2, do this; Step 3, do this. There was nobody set up to help me make that transition. That goes along with a lot of people in the industry where we like, nobody wants to share information. Nobody wants to help because nobody understands that there’s a certain set-up that you need in order to dispense information
Now that we’re blazing a trail, we’re setting a way, and we’re giving people a set-up for how to receive the information. Now it’s out there; now it’s available. Now people can see things from a different perspective, and that’s what changes lives. What changes lives is what you don’t know, you determine in your mind that you’re going to learn. When you determine those things that you’re going to learn, then it causes you to see things from a whole new light. You can get more done, and it causes you to be more effective. Sometimes, our work that others see is changing lives, and we don’t even know it.
Do you want to tell people your name or anything, your website or anything like that where they can just follow back up with you?
Ineeze: My name is Ineeze Gayney, I-n-e-e-z-e G-a-y-n-e-y. You can reach me on Instagram. It’s Childcare Boss and the number one, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea: I love it. If it was one thing that you had to encourage and motivate the listeners to do in connecting with me, what would it be? What would you tell them?
Ineeze: To definitely get with you some type of way, even if they’re not ready to do a mentoring or coaching package, or any of the awesome things that you offer just yet. If they watch your videos on YouTube and stuff like that, they’ll get a sense of what you can do and that you really do know your stuff. It’s a lot of people, like you said, that put stuff out there and don’t really know or they’re just talking. You really do know your stuff, and you really do have a lot of ideas that really work. I’ve tried a number of them, and it really has worked, especially with my enrollment, changing my packages up on how I present them to the parents.
I remember one time, when I went to the Ignite tour, I had four openings or something like that. I filled them in one day doing some of the things you had mentioned, incorporating it into my facility. The stuff that you do say really does work. If they watch your videos or listen to the stuff that you say on your sites and stuff like that, they’ll just be able to get that feel of you. I definitely do recommend that you get some type of connection with Andrea, whatever you can that’s on your level as a start.
Andrea: Thank you so much. Be sure to join us for this ONE DAY EVENT by clicking here