Kids gym operator Ninja Nation launches global franchise programme

September 29, 2019

Ninja Nation, the US-based operator of obstacle course gyms, is looking to take the concept global through franchising.

Targeting the family market, Ninja Nation facilities are equipped with a variety of obstacles catering for “ninjas of all ages and skill levels”, with the aim of providing a space to “play, train, and compete”. Each site also organises group fitness classes for adults, such as the HIIT-based H.E.R.O. Fit.

Ninja Nation currently has seven sites across the US with more in its development pipeline.

The company was launched partly on the back of the success of American Ninja Warrior – a hugely popular TV sports entertainment competition – which had increased interest in obstacle courses as an activity.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

According to founder Wayne Cavanaugh, the company has ambitious growth plans.

“When I started the company, I sensed there was a huge unmet need in the marketplace for a safe, fun and entertaining youth fitness alternative to traditional sports,” Cavanaugh said.

“We’ve been blown away by the market demand at our current locations for the highly differentiated sport experience that we have created at Ninja Nation.

“We’re looking forward to taking this the incredible Ninja Nation experience across the world with a talented group of franchisees who share our passion for youth fitness and positive community impact.

“We have the experience, the team and the plans in place to change over a million lives and we can’t wait to continue our growth with the launch of our franchising programme.”

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Ninja Nation’s leadership team is led by Cavanaugh, an entrepreneur who has experience in investing in and growing companies in several industries, including health and wellness.

Cavanaugh is joined by Geoff Britten – a champion and familiar face of the American Ninja Warrior programme, having featured in each of the 11 season of the show – and Lucas Clarke, the vice president of marketing.

“Our goal is to create over one million heroes,” Cavanaugh added. “That’s one million kids and adults pushing their minds and bodies to limits they never thought possible and doing so in our arenas. Play, Train and Compete.”

By Tom Walker

Source: HCM

Kip McGrath Education Centre opens in Crouch Street, Colchester

September 1, 2019

AMID a widely reported school funding crisis and ever-rising classroom sizes, one industry is flourishing.

The UK private tuition business – now worth a whopping £2 billion – is booming.

Those wise to this growth industry include Reenu Gupta, who has just opened a Kip McGrath Education Centre franchise in Crouch Street, Colchester.

Reenu moved to Colchester in 2015 with her family when her eldest daughter earned a place at Colchester County High School for Girls.

“Colchester is a very academic and competitive town and parents are keen to provide extra support for children who are struggling to catch up in a bigger classroom environment,” she said.

“For children struggling to catch up, private tutoring helps in providing that extra support.

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“It helps in improving performance and increasing confidence, which in turn helps them later in critical years like GCSE and A-levels.”

Reenu, a qualified teacher and part-time scientist, found extra tuition outside of school helped her two children to progress.

“I have been teaching my children at home and they both passed the 11 plus with flying colours,” she said.

“With my youngest now in secondary school, I was looking to continue teaching in small groups.

“This is when I started looking at options and found the Kip McGrath education programme to be very suitable.”

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Many parents will hire a private tutor to visit their own home, but Reenu believes working as part of a small group is more beneficial.

There is an added emphasis on supporting children through exam stress and the pressures of the social media age.

“It is less threatening for a student to be given space to process new learning without teacher involvement,” she said.

“They still have the security of constant help.

“In a small group setting students are encouraged to model each other’s positive behaviour and also build their self esteem by being role models for other students.

“Individual attention is still possible in a group of five.

“Students move far more confidently from a small group tutoring setting to a large classroom of say 25 to 30 students than from a one-to-one setting.”

Related: Education Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

She added: “Pressure for me really translates into discipline and a small amount of discipline whether it is sports, education or any other activity, prepares us to face the competitive world.

“Private tuition provides that extra discipline, which is missing in a standard classroom environment due to the teacher to student ratio.”

Parents are increasingly looking to private tutors for support outside of the classroom and this support is arguably more accessible than ever.

An assessment at the centre is free of charge.

The child is graded in reading, English and Maths and their score is entered on a computer system which generates a lesson plan for each individual.

Lessons are provided by a qualified teacher in groups of five, with weekly homework given to each child.

However, it comes at a price and there is a common view that private tutoring grants well-off families an unfair advantage.

“Unfortunately this is negative perception about private tutoring,” said Reenu.

“I believe any bright student irrespective of the teaching environment would do well in life, but sometimes a lot of students need a bit of extra support and that is where the private tuition fills the gap.

“Private tuition also provides an affordable option for parents to provide that little extra their children need, without having to pay for expensive independent schools.”

Each 80 minute session at the centre costs £35.

Reenu believes private tuition is “augmenting” the quality of education on offer in the country.

“It is contributing to the basic function of the government and society as a whole to provide good quality education to children,” she said.

“It fills in the gaps in understanding of certain topics – which is difficult to achieve in a classroom where the teacher is trying to get through the curriculum while handling poor behaviour.”

To book a free assessment and further information, parents can call the centre on 01206 563798.

By Tom Dalby


Watford nursery registration fees funds Special Care Baby Units

August 30, 2019

A new nursery’s open day has donated parents’ registration fees to raise funds for a Special Care Baby Unit. Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery, a new nursery opening in Watford, has donated 50 per cent of registration fees from its open day held on August 16 and 17.

The money has gone towards the charity ‘Raise’, which will fund specialist equipment and room refurbishments for the special care baby units of Watford General, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City hospital.

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Ritika Verma, who manages the new nursery alongside her husband Sachin Verma, has said: “The idea to own a day nursery came to me around three years ago following the birth of my second child and this desire became stronger day-by-day. Finding the Monkey Puzzle franchise, and having the support of their head office team, has been invaluable in our journey.”

“Being able to support the Special Care Baby Unit was an added bonus. Not only does it provide a vital service for our community, but we may also look after children that have directly benefited from the unit, so it’s great to be able to give back to our community.”

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Some purchases will include a kangaroo chair and a modesty screen, for parents to care for low weight or premature babies in private.

The Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries franchise has more than 60 childcare settings nationwide, making us the UK’s largest childcare franchise network and the third largest childcare provider overall.

By Joseph Reaidi

Source: Hillingdon Times

Bucks mum Laura wants kids to get into languages

August 20, 2019

A Buckingham mumpreneur is set to bring language lessons to kids in the area, after setting up a new franchise business that teaches French and Spanish.

Former school teacher, Laura Langley, 37, who lives in Buckingham will open a Kidslingo franchise in September, teaching French and Spanish to children from birth to age 11. Her offering will operate in areas around Buckingham, Bicester, Winslow and Leighton Buzzard.

Kidslingo is a children’s language franchise business that teaches French and Spanish to over 12,000 babies, toddlers and primary school kids through a national network of over 130 franchisees and tutors.

Its innovative approach is based on the science of learning, and uses a clever mix of music, games, Makaton, role-play, drama and storytelling. Kidslingo works with private families, preschools, nurseries and primary schools all over the UK.

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Prior to Kidslingo, Laura worked as a secondary languages teacher at Akeley Wood. She said:

After 14 years in secondary education, I was ready for a fresh challenge. Setting up a Kidslingo franchise seemed the perfect way to combine my love of languages and a passion for teaching.

Not only that, but it means that I can carry on doing what I love, without missing out on precious time with my own children. Learning languages is so important, and I am really excited about being able to inspire the very youngest of learners to love languages, through fun, interactive and memorable lessons.

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She said: “I have encouraged my own children to take an interest in languages, and seeing them both respond so well to learning Spanish from a young age at school really motivated me to pursue this opportunity to teach younger learners.

“If anyone is looking for language lessons that make the grade, please get in touch!”


Source: Bucks Herald

Little Voices making a big difference in Preston and Chorley

August 19, 2019

Founded in 2007 by current CEO Jane Maudsley, Little Voices is all about the holistic when it comes to performing arts. Something of a national phenomenon, the group – started in Jane’s home town of Blackburn – now has over 50 franchises dotted across the entire UK. From Newcastle to Bath, drama and singing lessons with distinction are never too far away.

The award-winning group also includes eight branches in Preston and Chorley alone, offering the North West’s up-and-coming talent access to tuition from the age of four to 18. And that expert teaching not only covers the classical elements of performance arts, but also in invaluable life lessons in team-work and social skills.

“Children who come to Little Voices build fantastic friendships and confidence for later life,” explained Jane. “With the world moving into a technical age of social media, we can’t get away from the fact that we all need good communication skills; here, children are used to walking into a room and making eye contact, shaking people’s hands, and presenting themselves.

“It’s physical, social, and mental,” added Jane, who read Music at the University of Sheffield, trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and now lives in Leyland. “It gets them out – they’re not sat watching TV or on their computer or phone. It’s all about using life-skills learned through drama and singing to pursue dreams in whatever career they choose.”

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And those careers include some real stars. At 22, M+LKPLUS founder Camilla Ainsworth was The Apprentice’s youngest ever finalist last year, while KidzBop member Mia Mcloughlin recently played Amanda Thripp in ‘Matilda The Musical’ in the West End and Cosette in Les Misérables in Dubai. The Little Voices touch is working wonders.

A core tenet of the group’s mantra is small classes. Whilst studying and training for their LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams, children are never taught in groups of more than eight so as to ensure that pupils get the benefits of both individual tuition and the skills which arise from working in a collective setting.

“I absolutely love educating children, and I saw a real need for kids to be taught in small groups in which they can be nurtured but also allowed to build team-skills and confidence,” said Jane of the group’s ethos. “I know we change their lives and make them feel happy and confident. And with funding for drama not what it used to be, we’re there to make a difference to the 9.1m children in the UK.”

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Rachel Bradshaw – the principal of Little Voices venues in Chorley, Leyland, and Preston – works with around 150 children every week on top of her work as a full-time secondary teacher. “I absolutely love it,” she said. “The small classes are a massive bonus: in some organisations they have up to 30 in a class and children just get lost. We really get to know the children and if anyone’s nervous, they soon come out of their shell.

“It’s lovely to get a message to say they’re the lead in the school play or they’ve got a report from school saying they’ve started reading out in class – we help them socially as well,” added Rachel, who lives in Buckshaw Village. “I got a lovely email this week from the parent of a child who was really shy. They were on holiday and her son had gone out and started chatting to them at the holiday club.

“She said he would never had had the confidence to do that before Little Voices. We let them believe in themselves.”

Now enrolling for September, Little Voices has and will always be about the kids. “I’m welling up just speaking about them,” says Jane. “We didn’t franchise to grow a big business, we grew the business to make a big difference.”

By Jack Marshall

Source: LEP

Music therapy business shortlisted for award

August 17, 2019

Kiddleydivey Franchise UK. A Shropshire woman who grew her business while dealing with cancer treatment, has been shortlisted for the Forward Ladies National Awards.

Now in its 10th year the awards and summit, are designed to demonstrate enterprise, talent and innovation from across the region’s thriving business community.

Eve Whitmore launched Kiddleydivey five years ago and says she is thrilled to have been shortlisted.

Her business takes music and movement to care homes and community settings.

“We specialise in those who live with dementia,” she said.

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“Our sessions stimulate mentally, physically and emotionally, bringing joy and a sense of achievement. We mainly work in residential and nursing care settings but also deliver sessions within the community. Through the Shifnal & Albrighton MHA Live at Home Scheme and Age UK’s Diamond Drop In community groups, our sessions provide respite to carers and laughter, stimulus and a feeling of “worth” to participants.

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“We partner with local primary schools to educate the children about the benefits of music for the elderly. We offer school demonstrations and also take the children into care homes to help deliver sessions.”

Eve said that five years ago, family and friends thought she was crazy to start an unproven franchise.

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“I came from a Yellow Pages sales background, nothing musical. I argued someone had to be the first McDonalds franchisee. Determined, I grew 60 new clients within 8 months. After two years the franchise was flying when I was diagnosed unexpectedly with Myeloma. Working during eight months of chemo, I trained two employees to continue Kiddleydivey while I received a stem cell transplant. Within four months I was back at work and 18 months on Kiddleydivey and I not only survived but thrived.”

By Sue Austin

Source: Shropshire Star

Little Voices will open a new franchise at St Andrew’s School, Pangbourne

August 9, 2019

A NATIONAL award-winning performing arts organisation is opening a new franchise in West Berkshire, it has been revealed.

Little Voices will start its drama and theatre workshops at St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne from September and will become the school’s Performing Arts Community Member.

Little Voices operate in four locations in West Surrey and are delighted to be opening another in West Berkshire.

Classes will be run from the school’s Old Hall on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Samantha Obiorah, Little Voices Principal said: “As a former painfully shy child myself, I truly understand and believe in the difference that Little Voices lessons can make to a child.

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“My life truly changed when I was able to find a way to express myself through my performing arts lessons.

“I regularly see children terrified to perform on their own in lessons, yet stand so confidently less than a year later, onstage, performing solo pieces – highlighting just how much they have grown in confidence.

“Every child is unique and we seek to nurture them through our small class sizes, which helps ensure that every child is given individual attention each week.

“Previous experience or special talent in singing or acting is absolutely not necessary, just a desire to learn and have lots of fun doing it!

“You’ll be surprised at what can emerge when a child receives the right kind of support and tuition in a safe environment alongside their friends.”

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Jon Bartlett, Headmaster of St Andrew is excited for the addition to the school.

He said: “We are delighted and extremely excited to have Little Voices here at our School for the wider community to benefit from.

“We feel it is so important that the local community can use our fantastic facilities, as well as our children and really hope that children from all around the area will take up this opportunity to enrol with Little Voices.”

By Alice Knight

Source: Reading Chronicle

Code Ninjas to enter the UK and make coding fun

August 2, 2019

A U.S.-based after-school programme and camp, Code Ninjas, which teaches children how to code by building video games that they enjoy is looking to expanding into the UK.

The self-proclaimed ‘edu-tainment’ company says it is America’s largest and fastest-growing franchise in its field. Headquartered in Texas, it currently has 125 centres in the U.S. with 75 scheduled for opening by the end of August, including expansion into Canada.

Built on the mantra that ‘kids have fun, parents see results’, the company says it is targeting UK entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on the ever-increasing demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

David Graham, a programmer and entrepreneur, who previously established Coder Camps for adults, founded Code Ninjas in 2016 after seeing the need to equip his own two children and other future problem solvers with the knowledge and tools to become coders. Inspiration for the business also struck Graham whilst watching his son’s Taekwondo lesson.

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As the company explains, Code Ninjas likes to do things a little differently. Centres are called Dojos, the teachers are called Code Senseis and students, or Ninjas, progress by working towards coloured wristbands or ‘belts’ based on the colouring system in martial arts.

Students work through the self-paced curriculum, all written by in-house developers, during weekly drop-in visits to its centres. The game-based coding curriculum engages the children and teaches them logic, problem solving, maths and teamwork, all vital skills.

Parents can either drop their children off at the Code Ninjas centre or stay to take advantage of the specially designed facilities including relaxing waiting area, free coffee and Wi-Fi, and workstations.

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‘Badge of honour’

Graham said: “Code Ninjas is all about the experience, that’s what makes us different. You can’t distil what we do down to the curriculum, it’s so much more than that. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s a place to make friends and have a good time. Kids are motivated to learn when they’re enjoying themselves and there’s the opportunity to ‘earn’ their next badge of honour.

“The Dojo is a parent free zone, meaning students can communicate independently with their Sensei and peers. I’ve seen, first hand, how coding education improves lives. Every child should have the opportunity to learn code, and have a great time doing it.”

With the growth of the brand in the U.S. and the need today for computer skills, Code Ninjas is confident that the UK will replicate, if not surpass the U.S. in terms of growth speed and breadth of coverage.

Related: Code Ninjas Franchise

Graham explains: “A Code Ninjas franchise offers investors an opportunity to get ahead of the curve by providing a crucial service that has largely been overlooked in the UK market. 90 per cent of parents have expressed an interest in wanting their kids to learn how to code.

“Our UK franchisees will benefit from the support of a UK-based team whose number one priority will be helping to get centres open, operational and profitable. Our first franchisees will be instrumental in developing and shaping the future of the brand in the UK.”

Prospective franchisees do not need any coding experience as the company’s training and support systems are designed for those with non-technical experience.

Source: Franchise World

Code Ninjas signs first UK franchisees – in record-breaking time

July 22, 2019

It’s time to celebrate for Code Ninjas – America’s number one kids coding franchise has just signed its first UK franchisees. Four entrepreneurs from Greater London will launch the first ever Code Ninjas coding centre on British soil.

After attending a discovery day in May, the four friends instantly recognised the opportunity and wasted no time securing their position as the UK’s first franchisees. The grand opening of Code Ninjas Pinner and Harrow is planned for September 2019.

Word is getting out about the grand opening planned for September, and customer enquiries are already coming through thick and fast. David Graham, founder and CEO, expects it won’t be long before other prospects follow suit, keen to capitalise on the demand.

“We’ve never had a franchisee come on board as quickly – it actually made Code Ninjas history,” he explains. “We’ve had an unbelievable response since announcing the franchise is expanding into the UK – more than 40 serious prospects attended our first UK discovery day. Coding is big business; parents are crying out for a fun, friendly portal for their children to develop this skill. It was a case of right place, right time for our expansion and we’re very excited to have welcomed our first UK franchisees into the fold.”

The franchisees bringing Code Ninjas to the UK are Prasad Prabhakaran, Srinivasa Rao, Sridhar Bhat and Sharath Iyer – friends and associates from Pinner and Harrow. This new business endeavour combines their experience in technology, finance, telecoms, operations and education.

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“As a team, our skills are complementary, and our objectives are the same – we want to build a profitable business that will make an impact in our community,” says former technology executive, Prasad. “Kids coding programmes are in such high-demand across the board. In Pinner and Harrow specifically, there is an abundance of business professionals who understand the importance of technology and the benefit of programmes, like Code Ninjas, for their own children.

“With such demand for kids coding sessions, we expect the franchise to grow quickly. Our long-term goal is to open additional centres in neighbouring communities in the coming years. We’re very proud that we’re the first to bring Code Ninjas to the UK and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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Kids coding is big business, both in the US and the UK, as parents continue to put emphasis on STEM education for their own children. Graham, a father of two, understands the obvious need for Code Ninjas centres in the UK:

“In this day and age, it’s crucial that our children are able to not just use but understand and master the technology that plays a part of their everyday lives. What we offer is a fun, safe place where kids can come and just be kids, whilst learning a valuable skill. That’s why the programme has performed so well. We now have more than 150 Code Ninjas centres across the US and Canada, with almost 100 more openings planned before the end of the year.”

David and his team are confident that the UK will replicate, if not surpass the US in terms of growth speed and breadth of coverage. Studies show that nine out of ten parents want their children to learn how to code, and Code Ninjas aims to provide that service to every community in the UK that will support it. A team of experts at Code Ninjas head office in the US, as well as an in-country team in Britain, will support UK franchisees as they work to get centres open, operational and profitable.

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“Our priority is to support the Prasad and his fellow franchisees with a seamless and successful launch of the very first UK Code Ninjas. Here’s to the first of many launches this side of the pond!”

Source: BQ Live

Reading mum wins award for Woodley-based dance school

July 20, 2019

THE founder of diddi dance, a children’s dance school in Woodley, was recently presented with an award at the company’s annual conference.

Andrea Bickford owns diddi dance Reading and Wokingham, which holds classes in Woodley, Earley and Woosehill, and was given the accolade for being ‘best at running a franchise for 2019’.

Anne-Marie Martin, Founder of the funky pre-school dance class company, said: “This award is to recognize the franchisee who is running their business at the highest standards, as well as implementing their own use of ideas and creativity along brand guidelines.

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“Andrea’s figures and attention to detail are brilliant – well done!”

More than 40 diddi dance franchisees from around the country attended the conference to hear a series of business and motivational speakers and to exchange ideas, information and inspiration with their fellow diddi dance owners.

Andrea said: “I’m really proud of the continued growth of diddi dance since its launch in the area five years ago.

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“I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the last few years and have built up a fantastic little team of teachers who now lead the majority of my classes.

“This has allowed me to focus more on the growth and development of the business.

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“Winning this award really was the icing on the cake to round off a super weekend and it reassures me that all those evenings stuck at my desk, once the children are in bed, are beginning to pay off!”

By Olivia Gantzer

Source: Reading Chronicle