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From Chanie’s Desk

Dear Early Childhood Leaders,

Last month many of you opened your doors to the dozens of children who have been in lockdown or at home for many months, started distance learning or started new extracurricular initiatives.

Congratulations on all the hard work and remember to celebrate your wins!

Every month there is so much that goes on in the Schools of Excellence membership from:

  • Support Calls
  • Collaboration
  • New Ideas
  • Checklists
  • Scripts
  • Resource Guides

There is one thing that always remains the same every month in the membership and that is the community, accountability, and high-level coaching that happens.

While there is a very specific roadmap in the membership called the pyramid of excellence we encourage members to participate and take what they need to build their schools of excellence

Here is a quick recap of what happened in the Schools of Excellence in September and hopefully this can inspire and motivate you to show you what is possible.



“Since joining the DIC I have more confidence in myself to deal with workplace issues”

Clarice JonesDirector

“I’ve seen a huge transformation in my culture since implementing what I’ve learned in the Director’s Inner Circle—teachers are solving their own problems!”


Monthly Leadership Check-Up Form 

To ensure everyone in the community is always taken care of, our team sends monthly leadership check-up forms to see where our members are holding. Chanie reads each of them to ensure that all support calls cover topics that leaders are struggling with in order to give the most up to date support.

These monthly leadership check-in forms allow the member to share their wins and roadblocks so that our team can keep track of personal progress to give each member specialized attention.

Membership Wins

“We had a successful week back during COVID! My staff are prepared and ready to attack this new way of education!”

Alison PhilipsDirector

“New staff are joining the team and are being welcomed by senior staff, people are working together and there is an overall positive energy to the teams.”

Jennifer BulmerOwner


Support Calls

Here are the themes that we discussed on our Monthly Support Calls, available to Members only.

Each month we have an hour-long support call where our members can come ask questions and get support from other members and Chanie.

During this ever-changing time, it is more important than ever to have a support system of leaders who are in the same position as you.

Chanie guides members on how to deal with difficult conversations and situations with staff and how to create a cohesive team that is accountable and responsible. Other members also share what has worked for them in the past.

Common topics we discuss are:

  • Staff accountability and respect.
  • How to organize meetings to be the most efficient
  • How to create a great culture with staff
  • The backlash to schedule changes and how to get staff onboard
  • Streamlining operations for new hires

“Since joining, I have more confidence in myself to deal with workplace issues!”

Clarice JonesIn response to a support call

Guest Mentor This Month:

Our guest mentor this month was Kathe Petchel, a former public school early childhood educator and center owner who is an industry expert on mentoring programs looking to grow or sell. At Hinge Brokers, Kathe provides broker support functions on a range of tasks throughout the transaction process. Kathe mentored our members on how to get financials in order for the short-term and long-term stability of their centers.

Kathe challenged our members to take a good look at the impact COVID-19 has had on their programs.

She covered:

  • Rent forgiveness or renegotiation
  • Renegotiating credit card fees and other vendors
  • PPP loan and forgiveness, documentation
  • Labor costs: unemployment or furlough documentation
  • Recession type cuts made that I can keep
  • Necessary expenses I must add to reopen (sanitation, marketing, handwashing stations etc)
  • Messaging to families and community measures you have added, new policies and procedures
  • Cost to communicate (calls, craft emails and create templates, tour stops, advertising, identify new programs, shool age, before and after school and part-time care- priced strategically)
  • Determining what exactly your program will look like in 30, 60 and -90 days- plan for success- with a group brainstorm and mastermind

Insider Share with member Kerstin Brinson

Ever since Kerstin joined the Schools of Excellence Community, Chanie has been impressed by her thorough, clear, and excellently crafted School Handbooks.
As such, we invited the Handbook Queen to share her magic with our fellow members.

In her Insider Share, Kerstin covered the following topics:

  • Why is a School Handbook necessary and how does it hold staff accountable?
  •  What is a Covid Handbook, what should it include, and do I actually need one?
  • How do I get my staff to actually follow what my Handbook says?
  • Why tone and verbiage should I use to make sure my staff follow the guidelines?
Kerstin shared multiple handbooks from her own center with call attendees. This insider share was a clear display of the priceless collaboration that being a part of the Schools of Excellence community provides.

“Parents love the positive atmosphere at school, I hardly have any parent complaints and they are happy to talk to the lead teachers.”


“I have gained confidence while speaking to parents. I never spoke to parents before my change of the director.”

Arvinder SodhiOwner

“Parents have come back to care for the 1st time since March and they are impressed by the standards we have in place and feel their children are safe.”

Jennifer BulmerOwner

Happy Hour

We spent a night spoiling our Directors and Owners with a virtual Happy Hour. Members introduced themselves to one another, shared an intimate discussion with Chanie, and participated in a virtual Game Show. We had meaningful conversations, we opened up about real relationships, struggles, challenges, and wins.

“The Happy Hour last night was fun, and brought me peace and calmness.”

Kathy G.Director


Monthly Playbook

Each month we release a monthly playbook based on a theme. Each playbook will have:

  • An Action Step
  • A Checklist
  • Educational Content related to the theme
    • Video
    • Step by Step Instructions

September’s playbook was focused on turning inward, making sure we have a healthy foundation for the energy we will need to succeed this year. It was all about  compassion fatigue—what it is, how to heal, and how to navigate this part of our lives.

Since joining the Owners Only HQ there is 100% more collaboration, before there was none and now there is more awareness and understanding about our school calendar.

Arvinder SodhiOwner

Thank you for everything about this program. The tools, strategies and ideas have already made me a better Director!

Amy CollumDirector


One of the Biggest Benefits of Joining our Membership is the Collaboration with Other Leaders!

One of Our Members Shared her Gratitude challenge list

With her motto being “Treat your employees like they make a difference and they will,” this member shared a long and detailed list of ways to show gratitude. Other group members truly appreciated this resource and made good use of it.

Another Member Requested Advice for Showing Gratitude When it is Out of Your Comfort Zone 

Many members responded, empathizing with the awkwardness that some of these types of situation can create. One member suggested a bite the bullet approach, while another chose to join in with the gratefulness so that they would be going through it together!

Another member shared openly about a tough situation 

There was a tough circle of gossip that started with her toxic employees. She reached out to the community to help her navigate and heal from the situation. The comments were full of validation and support. One fellow member’s line really hit home: “Only kindness and positivity can win this.”

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