Tej Preet Kaur, 36, runs Strong Start, a company that helps in early childhood development. She talks about her business and goals.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. My primary work experience is in Community Development, and my expertise is in training people.
I am a mother of two. My first-born was the inspiration behind Strong Start. When she was a few months old, I started training my nanny to help her understand a number of things. First, the reason play is so important for babies; secondly, the best ways to work with my little one so that she feels encouraged and confident when playing and third, how play impacts my baby’s brain development. What I discovered was that when I would explain to my nanny the reasons behind a certain play activity, she would feel empowered and confident to carry out the activity with my child. So we kept going — I continued to with the training and she continued to engage with the materials and apply her new skills. This was the beginning of Strong Start.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
We officially launched our training sessions in June 2015. I had a friend with expertise in early childhood development and she helped me come up with a curriculum. I brought my experience to the table, and the rest is history. Strong Start now offers quality training in early childhood development and household management to nannies and caregivers to ensure that your child receives a strong foundation. We teach them how to stimulate the brain and body of a child through play, and our clientele is made up of parents with young families who are interested in providing a stable, positive and strong home environment for their children.
RUNNING A START-UP
Launching and running Strong Start has been a great experience. I was very determined to find a way to work professionally while having the flexibility to be available to my children. Strong Start enabled me to have the best of both worlds.
Since nannies have the option of bringing children to the training sessions, we always have babies around during my first-born’s early years. She was brought up through Strong Start’s training and playgroups, which allowed me to keep her close while I was working.
While I wouldn’t identify this as a challenge, per se, our greatest efforts go into informing parents about how important early years (from birth to 3 years) are to a child’s trajectory in life. If a child receives a healthy and stimulating environment from birth to three years, he or she will flourish in life.
Parents often believe that it is not necessary to invest in those early years. However, the opposite is true because a child’s brain develops rapidly from birth to three years, making it the most foundational years of their lives. Therefore, having an informed, confident and skilled nanny is the best investment that you can make for your child.
WHERE I AM NOW
Strong Start is in a good place and we are growing! We are located in Westlands and Lavington. Plus, we want to expand this year so that we can hold training sessions and have playgroups throughout Nairobi.
If you have a dream business that you would like to start, just take the first step! When you think about your final product, you may feel overwhelmed by all the work required to get there, but if you tackle the first step, then the next, then the next, you will find yourself gaining momentum quickly! Also aim for quality, not perfection.