WHY DID YOU SET UP LITTLE LEARNERS?
I had been a primary teacher specialising in early years, but giving birth provided a real impetus to find a more flexible career, and one which fulfilled my commitment to children’s learning and attainment. I identified a gap in the market for an educational, literacy-focused class which promoted early writing skills. I knew children could start school without the motor skills necessary to hold a pencil, and this could make them very overwhelmed and daunted. I created a writing programme which included four cute ‘mark maker’ characters and could be delivered in a fun and relaxed pre-school class with fun and messy activities.
WHAT DO THE SESSIONS INVOLVE?
Our sessions follow the journey of four characters, the ‘mark makers‘. Children focus on one character each week, and messy play, painting, playdough, scribbling, dance and more are used to encourage them to mark make and learn early writing skills through play. Children aged from five months to five years are encouraged to use hands, fingers, feet and toes.
HOW QUICKLY DID THE BUSINESS TAKE OFF?
After nine months of delivering classes across the North East I decided to resign from my teaching post and put all my time into Little Learners. The franchising potential seemed a natural progression, and proved to be a whole new learning curve. I have relished the challenge, with 34 brilliant Little Learners franchisees now across all regions of the UK, running over 100 classes. We are also about to bring Little Learners to Australia after signing a franchisee in Melbourne.
DO YOU ONLY WORK DIRECTLY WITH FAMILIES?
No, we are always looking for more opportunities to work with schools and nurseries. Some of our franchisees already work closely with educational settings offering bespoke sessions, intervention groups, after-school clubs or CPD in our early writing programme. We would love to chat to anyone interested in working with Little Learners in their setting.