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Inspiring Conversations with Brittney Washington of Kyddie Karnival 24-hour Learning Academy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittney Washington.

Brittney Washington is the passionate and charismatic owner of Kyddie Karnival 24 Hour Learning Academy located at 12265 Bellefontaine Road in St. Louis, Missouri. Brittney credits her mother for giving her the confidence and motivation to start her own business. Her mother worked in daycare facilities for many years and would always tell herself, “If I can run someone else’s business, I can build my own.” One day she stopped saying it and began taking steps to bring her dream to fruition by stepping out on faith and starting a small home daycare out of her living room. Admiring her mother’s drive and determination, Brittney shadowed her and absorbed as much as she could with the hopes of one day following in her footsteps. Ms. Washington got her opportunity to do so in 2010 when she found herself at a crossroads in her career and was searching for a new start that would provide stability for her family.

In that same year, Brittney found out she was expecting her first child, and the pressure to find a meaningful career path grew even more intense. After many sleepless nights, long talks with her mother, and the growing motivation inside her belly, she knew it was time to break into the family business. Brittney started small, taking over one of her mother’s facilities that had now grown from just the living room to the entire home. After giving birth to her daughter later in that year and understanding the perspective of a parent, she found a greater appreciation for the families that trusted her to nurture their children and she was compelled to give them the very best! To hone in on her craft she decided to go back to school to obtain a degree in early childhood development. She worked tirelessly as a full-time student, single parent, and entrepreneur to create an environment for children that would give them a strong educational foundation while providing a safe and loving environment parents like her, could feel comfortable leaving their children. Over the years, Brittney’s hard work continued to pay off and her genuineness resonated strongly with the needs of her community.

Since her humble beginnings Ms. Washington has outgrown three other facilities and is now thriving in her new 10,000 square foot facility that she has tailored to accommodate children 6wks to 12 years old 24 hours a day. She prides herself on guaranteeing kindergarten readiness and providing a new and challenging curriculum to her children by offering Spanish and French lessons. My business provides good quality child care for parents because it is understood that it takes a village to raise a child and as a parent, it’s important to have the comfort of being able to go to work comfortably knowing that your child is in good hands. The ultimate goal is to build relationships with the clients and partnerships, if there is anything that can be done to help a family in need, my business is dedicated to doing so. Now, we are in the expansion process yet again. We are in the process of opening two state-of-the-art childcare facilities that will provide more opportunities for quality childcare services to working families.

In 2019, Brittney realized the need for help to families in need of many resources in the community that she operated her business in. This realization led to the birth of her 2nd business love. Kyddie Kare’s is a 501c3 non-profit organization that would provide much-needed resources to the community. Whether it’s book bags for children during back-to-school time, winter coats during the cold winter months, or mentorship to growing or established entrepreneurs, Kyddie Kare’s has been dedicated to providing the community with this resource. With the onset of Covid in 2020, Kyddie Kare’s has been dedicated to combating childhood hunger by providing over 56k meals per week to families in the community. During these difficult times, Kyddie Kare’s has been continually active in the community helping families and businesses battle Covid-19. Whether it’s providing a good quality childcare experience for families or just being active in the community, one thing that we can guarantee is that we are dedicated to helping children.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, I wouldn’t say that my journey with entrepreneurship has been a smooth road. It has been a combination of ups and downs, especially for me because I grew up with my business. I was 20 years old when I started my business. I was a single mother to a small child and a college student. I had to learn and adjust to the business world fast because I wanted to be successful. I started out in my home in the beginning, so with the process of transitioning from a very small facility to a much larger facility, I did experience many new challenges. I went from having 1 employee to 4 employees to 20 employees in about a 2-year time period. My clientele increased almost overnight when I expanded to my Spanish Lake facility.

When we moved there, I opened at 100% capacity. The transition was happening so fast it was very overwhelming. I was responsible for so much in such a short period of time, I was making a lot of mistakes but I had to learn how to keep going and get better. A part of me embracing so many new changes was me realizing that I had to increase my knowledge of my industry and just business in general. I have made many mistakes throughout this journey but I do appreciate the mistakes because I feel like experiencing the downs made me grow as a businesswoman and really appreciate my business. I know that there are going to be more obstacles to come my way as I continue to grow but I plan to keep going and keep living in my purpose.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Kyddie Karnival 24-hour Learning Academy?
I am the owner of Kyddie Karnival 24-hour Learning Academy. I provide quality childcare to families who work non-traditional hours. I am also the executive director of Kyddie kares a non-profit organization that provides resources to communities in which we live and work. I operate a nationally accredited child care facility that focuses on the development of the whole child and I also focus on developing and providing alternative resources to those that I impact, whether it’s through children, families or the community. I believe that developing positive relationships with those around you help to develop stronger family and community elements. I am different from a lot of child care facilities because I accommodate a lot of non-traditional working schedules. I love branding my businesses I love to put my logo on everything, especially clothing. I want people to know that my business is a work in progress every day we are working to become the complete package.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Some qualities that I feel are most important to my success would be that I am very compassionate, I love helping people, I am very determined, I am very accountable and one of the most important qualities is patience. I would say that my compassion is important to my success because I really love what I do. I think that my love for children really motivates me to keep going. I love to see them grow and develop into their individual personalities, watching them learn new things really inspires me to keep learning new things so that I can introduce the children and staff to new experiences. I love to help people in any way that I can. If there is something that I could do to make it easier on someone, I will help them achieve that peace. The more that I achieve success the more people that I am able to help others and that gives me a lot of purposes. One thing that I can say about myself when it comes to business is that I am very determined. I pride myself on learning how to turn a NO into a yes. I’ve learned that just because someone tells you no at this time doesn’t mean it’s a no forever. It just means that you have to work a little harder to get it done.

That’s kind of the story of my life. It’s hard at first dealing with rejection but when you really work hard to achieve something and you’re able to reach that goal you definitely appreciate it more. With determination comes patience. You have to be willing to ride it out and realize that greatness takes time. There have been a lot of times in my business that I made mistakes and I had to start over to get it right. Sometimes success comes with trial and error every moment is not going to be a winning or a prosperous moment, however, if you’re able to do the work to turn things around for the better are going to be better in the future because you are stuck it out. One thing that I had to develop was accountability. I was enduring so many trying times in my business that I really had to take a step back and acknowledge whatever role in the situation I held. Once I was able to develop accountability, I was able to see things from more than just my perspective and really change the narrative of how my business was perceived.

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