Just In Time Learning Academy Opens Despite Pandemic
Written by Lin Nordmeyer
While most were putting their dreams on hold during the pandemic, Molly White realized hers – owning and operating an early childhood education center. In February of 2021, Molly opened Just in Time Learning Academy (J.I.T.L.A.) in Milford, Del.
“I’m passionate about teaching young children,” said Molly. “I wanted to create an experience for children that’s non-traditional. I recognize that not every child learns the same way.”
Her passion translated into ten years working at another center to learn as much as she could before taking the big step of investing in her own. This tenure, coupled with her business degree, led her to acquire her property at the beginning of March 2020, right as the pandemic took charge of everyone’s plans.
Undaunted, Molly focused on getting the five classrooms ready to serve infants to preschoolers and recruiting staff and families. She conducted numerous virtual tours, started and maintained a Facebook page, and built her team.
“I had a clear vision on how I wanted my center to run,” said Molly. “This vision included smaller class sizes, engaging families, and having a staff who felt valued.”
Molly’s focus on families and staff especially struck Stars Technical Assistant, Nancy Hoffman. “Molly is committed to her staff and families. She offers parents diapers, bottles, formula, wipes, sheets, and food (breakfast, lunch, and snacks). She also offers complimentary continental breakfast to parents every Monday morning.”
Her approach to staff recruitment and retention starts with the hiring process. The application includes the question, “How do you like to be appreciated?” According to Molly, the responses overwhelmingly point to “notice what I’m doing.” Molly more than notices. As an example, each employee’s information sheet includes his or her favorite candy or snack. “My main goal is to keep my staff happy and satisfied,” she adds.
To this end, Molly plans to use her grant from the Delaware Early Education and Child Care Stabilization Fund to give each employee a bonus in addition to buying materials for her classrooms.
Dreams do come true – ask Molly White of Just in Time Learning Academy.
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