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Caroline Jens: The Transformative Force Reshaping Childcare Business Amid Unpredictable Times

Caroline Jens: The Transformative Force Reshaping Childcare Business Amid Unpredictable Times

In the bustling world of childcare, Caroline Jens, industry expert and co-proprietor of Child Care Biz Help, brings a multifaceted range of talents to the table. With proficiency in business growth, leadership, and online marketing, Caroline has dedicated two decades to transforming struggling enterprises into successful endeavors, notably enhancing employee retention and tripling profits.   

As the author of the valuable industry resource, PROFITS, Child Care Success Formula, Caroline has cemented her influence, providing leadership and operational strategies to numerous clients across the country. Furthermore, she has launched five groundbreaking childcare brands, thus providing entrepreneurs with an alternative to costly franchise royalties. Caroline's ingenuity reaches beyond the ordinary, as she hosts exclusive childcare retreats in Florida, earning her recognition as a coveted mentor and consultant.   

Prior to her plunge into the childcare industry, Caroline had a distinguished career in the financial world, spending around twenty years in banking. Her professional trajectory shifted when her spouse joined the military, leading her to work for a businessman with multiple childcare centers, marking the start of her journey in early childhood education.   

During a seven-year tenure, Caroline managed the entrepreneur's schools and financial operations, eventually spotting the opportunity to start her own enterprise. With her husband's support, Child Care Biz Help came into existence seven years ago, enabling Caroline to utilize her expertise in finance and childcare.   

The finance-savvy Caroline Jens was recently asked why she chose to focus on childcare. Reflecting on her choice, Caroline realized that it was deeply connected with her family values. She and her husband highly value family and have spent years mentoring couples and marriages. This made it a natural progression to expand this support to the wider family unit through childcare.   

Caroline understood that while she couldn't personally support every family, she could assist childcare business owners. By aiding them in establishing high-quality childcare centers, she could indirectly contribute to the welfare of numerous families. This aligns with her broader goal of fostering strong relationships and marriages.   

Under Caroline's leadership, Child Care Biz Help offers an extensive range of consulting services for existing childcare centers, including comprehensive reviews of their financial stability, marketing efforts, and leadership development. They also strategize potential expansion pathways, providing clients with a thorough blueprint for their childcare business.   

With its reputation as a 'franchise alternative,' Child Care Biz Help allows clients to collaborate and create their unique childcare brands instead of adopting an existing franchise model. This aspect of the business has particularly gained momentum since the COVID-19 pandemic, as more individuals reevaluate their career paths in light of the ongoing childcare crisis.   

One of the primary initiatives launched when Child Care Biz Help was established was the "Another You" consulting program, aimed at easing the isolation and challenges that childcare center owners often face. This program is an extension of the owners themselves, helping identify their organization's top ten priorities, from improving retention and filling enrollment spots to preparing for expansion or developing an exit strategy.   

Child Care Biz Help, under Caroline's stewardship, serves a diverse clientele, from small schools catering to just 20 children to larger organizations operating over 10 locations throughout Illinois. This wide range of entrepreneurs equips Caroline and her team with the necessary experience to tackle a broad spectrum of challenges within the childcare industry.   

In her first book, "PROFITS; Childcare Success Formula," Caroline provides key insights for entrepreneurs in the childcare industry, extending beyond mere financial metrics. The acronym "PROFITS" represents these vital aspects: passion, recruitment, one vision, finance, innovation, training, and sales and marketing.   

Caroline firmly believes that if these areas are performing well, profitability will naturally ensue. She works closely with her clients, identifying the weakest areas within this "PROFITS" framework, and fortifying them.   

Caroline has been instrumental in staff development, an area she's deeply passionate about, with a firm belief in continual growth. Her efforts are primarily targeted at training at various levels, including directors, assistant directors, and owners, and are tailored to meet the unique needs of individual schools. Currently, she's pivoting from recruitment to retention, an area of focus that has emerged due to the recruitment challenges of the past few years. Caroline's goal is to help her teams understand that concentrating on staff retention can alleviate the need for constant recruitment.    

In addressing challenges of ingrained habits or generational traditions, Caroline utilizes various strategies. One aspect involves providing a fresh perspective and prompting insightful moments. She also offers tools for accountability, emphasizing the importance of having a constant reminder and source of responsibility, which she often embodies. Another approach is the organization of retreats at her residence in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she invites owners and directors for collaborative discussions. This enables them to observe and learn from their peers' mindsets, problem-solving methods, and mission advancement strategies. The exposure to others experiencing similar situations often helps to challenge and change their long-standing practices.   

Discussing the unique advantages of her franchise alternative daycare startup program, Caroline explains how entrepreneurs can save nearly $100,000 per year in infrastructure and royalty fees. With this program, they help entrepreneurs create their own brand, aligning with their philosophy, mission, and unique differentiators. They assist in developing a compelling name and logo and equip the entrepreneurs with all the processes, procedures, handbooks, ads, hiring methods, training, and metrics they need.   

According to Caroline, the main advantage is that the entrepreneur owns everything once the process is done. They only pay for the services provided during the setup process and don't owe any ongoing fees or royalties. In contrast, franchise owners typically spend 7 to 12% in royalties for the life of the business. Caroline encourages owners to own their brands and be successful. If they choose, they can retain her as a consultant for executive strategy, but that is entirely up to them.   

Reflecting on the unpredictable landscape of the childcare industry, Caroline draws upon her experiences in the field. She acknowledges that the economy will always have its fluctuations. Therefore, maintaining solid business practices is vital. For the first time in her recollection, she observes that the government recognizes childcare as a crucial part of the community infrastructure. This recognition is apparent through the various startup and support grants for existing schools, which they're providing across different states. She doesn't anticipate this trend to slow down any time soon. Hence, she views the childcare industry as one that has a high demand and receives substantial financial support.   

When asked about the advice she would give to someone looking to start a childcare business or expand an existing one, Caroline highlighted the importance of passion and having the right team. She cautioned that the childcare industry can be challenging and tiring, often leaving one feeling underappreciated and overworked.   

Therefore, Caroline underscores the importance of ensuring that one's zeal for early childhood education is robust enough to weather these challenges.   

Additionally, Caroline emphasizes the critical role of assembling a skilled and committed team. In her experience, childcare centers that struggle often do so due to a lack of a cohesive team. Conversely, successful schools are typically those that have managed to gather the right individuals, keeping them invigorated, concentrated, and unified. As such, her counsel for prospective and current childcare entrepreneurs is to assess their passion for the industry and invest in building a strong team.   

In a world where the childcare industry is in constant flux, Caroline Jens' commitment to quality, innovation, and support has made her a leading figure in the field. Through her array of services, she continues to provide childcare centers with the resources and strategies they need to thrive. With the ever-growing demand for high-quality childcare, her work proves more important than ever. Whether through her industry resource book, consultancy services, or retreats, Caroline's contribution to the childcare sector is undeniably profound and far-reaching.   

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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