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CargoCrew
CargoCrew
10 November 2022

Interview with Early Learning leader Michael Sebbag

The Akidamy School of Early Learning insights on modern centres & staff retention

Akidamy is an Early Learning School based in Perth, WA with a unique model centred around outstanding customer service, transparency & retaining amazing people. We chat to Co-Founder Michael Sebbag about creating an amazing centre experience and the key ingredients for success.

To kick things off, can you introduce yourself and tell us about the education philosophy at the Akidamy? 

I’m Michael and I am the proud Co-Founder of The Akidamy School of Early Learning (which we refer to as our “School” or “Akidamy”), which I co-founded with my wife Natalie and officially opened in 2018 in Perth. Akidamy is a play on words, and is pronounced ‘A-kid-a-me’, and its meaning is based on "the child in myself" as all adults are really just older children.

We can relate to raising young children because we are parents of three little ones ourselves, so we understand what parents are going through! We can share in the joy of parenting and also the challenges. After years of experience in this industry, we believed we could do things differently and better through the concept of providing outstanding customer services and wonderful experiences.

We believe in the importance of being actively involved within our community as a source of connection, awareness, and purpose. We have a social responsibility in the industry to demonstrate a higher standard in early childhood education that influences the local and broader community in a positive and powerful way - this is critical to our success.
Since opening, we have received an outstanding response to our unique offering, which we attribute to our team, school environment and educational philosophy. 

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Whats the most rewarding part of working in the Early Learning sector?

"The most rewarding part, without a doubt, is receiving feedback from parents about how our School is enriching the lives of their children and their family. It is also very rewarding to hear how our School, with its ‘nothing but the child philosophy’ makes their daily lives easier as they don’t have to worry about the small little things.”

 

Michael Sebbag, The Akidamy School of Early Learning
Co-Founder

 

What do you see as the ingredients of success for the Early Learning Centres of the future?

The ingredients for success for School, in our view, are: 

1.    You must create a team who are invested in your company’s vision and culture of doing things better and looking outside the industry for benchmarks (i.e. customer services and technology industries).

 

2.    Providing outstanding customer service, that starts with how you treat and support the team. This sets the standard for them to provide outstanding care to children and parents, which is critically missing in our industry and most workplaces. We believe in ‘nothing but child’ and ‘nothing but the team’ that is critical to our success.


3.    You need to provide the right environment and warmth from the welcoming feeling you get from the moment you enter the School. From the beautiful layout of the foyer areas to the free-flowing indoor and outdoor environment to the beautiful textures and inviting smell of the Akidamy.


4.    Regularly connect with children, parents, and the team. Building relationships ensure a positive and safe environment for all. 


5.    Lastly, I believe it is about giving back to the community, i.e. a chance to offer a place that is a positive and powerful influence for good - for everyone.

 

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Modern Uniform for Success

"Cargo Crew’s range is fresh and innovative, and their team are collaborative professionals that understand the importance of a brand and work environment. 
 
For better or worse, society judges business, amongst other things, on the appearance of their team. A modern and comfortable uniform sets the environment for professionalism and engagement. 
 
In our School, our team are not childminders, they are a team of professionals who educate our future generation. We wanted our uniform to reflect the importance of their role in society as educators of our children."

Michael Sebbag, The Akidamy School of Early Learning Co-Founder.

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Michael's Tips for Staff Retention
  • Communicate your company’s vision and core values regularly to the team – it is critical that you are invested and see the benefit of the outcomes you are trying to create, they will replicate these behaviours throughout their working day.
  • Create an environment that supports the long-term vision of the School in terms of personal growth and professional development.
  • Build rapport with your team and really care about them as people - ask them what they need to succeed in their role, provide the tools to do the job and tell them frequently how much they matter.
  • Build a harmonious culture – create a workplace where positivity takes precedent as this will generate employee satisfaction, making team feel they belong and want to grow in their role.
  • Find out what motivates your team – is not always financial it could be job flexibility or workplace culture. Focus on their feedback.
  • Employ people that fit your culture and values, if they don’t, don’t take them on. 

What industry technology can you not live without? 

Our School works on the assumption that all things should be as paperless as possible so, with respect to business processes and operating practices we work solely in a cloud-based environment. Good internet connection is critical and good IT support. Don’t be scared to invest in technology even if you fail.

Our aim is to create transparency, live and accurate data providing one sense of the truth. This supports our team and allows them to make good decisions, communicate with each other and parents and most importantly focus on the children.

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“We can’t speak highly enough about Cargo Crew’s exceptional service and ability to work with us as a team to recreate our unique brand in our uniforms.”

 

Michael Sebbag, The Akidamy School of Early Learning
Co-Founder 

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