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Reviewing my priorities bought me back to my dream of working with children

12 April 2016

My desire to work with children has brought me full circle, and now I have more control over my family time and working week.

Rebecca Dickinson changed the desk job to work with children as a Childminder and as her own children grew, she decided to take her passion for working with children into a new direction and run her own rewarding and successful Creation Station franchise.

“I had spent the last 10 years working behind  computer desks in a variety of customer service related roles but none of these remotely touched on my passion of working with children.

Before I went to university I had loved working with children; as a dance teacher, swimming teacher and holiday play scheme leader. I’m not sure when my career took such a dramatic and unfulfilled turn, but things changed when my husband got offered a job in Kent and we relocated. .

The ideal time to make a change

With two amazing children, my eldest’ Joseph was about to start school. Now was the ideal time to make a change, to go back to working with children and to find an opportunity to be there for my family.

My Mum had run her own dance school and I had grown up in the privileged position of having a Mum who worked hard and was still able to attend my school plays, assemblies, sports days and to help out on school trips.

I wanted to be there for my family like my wonderful mum had been for me.

I decided to become an Ofsted Registered Childminder, I was finally back working with children!

I loved the work; nurturing and educating the children, building amazing relationships with them and their families, getting creative and inspiring the children with arts and crafts. I was even able to go to all my son’s plays, assemblies and sports days (with a buggy full of children). But the paperwork Ofsted required me to complete and the hoops they expected me to jump through as a Childminder left no time for family life. I was looking after children eleven hours a day and then once I had put my two to bed I would spend most evenings writing reports and planning.

I was constantly exhausted both mentally and physically, my home was looking more and more like a nursery filled with toys my own children had out grown and was covered in labels and posters Ofsted expected me to have displayed.

I had loved being a Childminder, but by the time my daughter started school I knew I needed to make another change. Just what that change was? I wasn’t sure.

Whilst pondering my career future I went to the Child Care Expo in London. Hoping for a ‘pick me up’ and to be re-inspired as a Childminder and I attended a number of workshops on that day. The last workshop I attended was about easy and inspiring arts and crafts for young children and I was inspired! The workshop was run by Sarah Cressall, owner and founder of The Creation Station. Afterwards I spoke to Sarah to thank her for such a great workshop, we got chatting about the classes The Creation Station run and the franchises they award. This struck a chord with me and I spent the train ride home reading everything I could find online about The Creation Station and the pros and cons of buying a franchise. The numerous awards that The Creation Station Ltd and Sarah personally had won were reassuring and reading about the experiences of the other franchise holders sealed it for me. At 9:30 am on the following Monday I was on the phone to The Creative Hub (a.k.a. the head office of The Creation Station Ltd) having a Discovery Chat and booking on to a Discovery Morning.

It needed to be right for me and my family

At this stage it was all about finding out information; what was The Creation Station really like and about, would it suit me and would I be a good fit? I did my research and spoke to my family and then went along to the Discovery Morning with my husband, children, a close family friend and a list of questions. By this stage I was already pretty much sure that The Creation Station was what I had been looking for but the Discovery Morning was a great opportunity to meet some of the existing franchise holders, for my husband to get reassurance about how the figures worked and to see if my children could be inspired by the demonstration class. We left that morning with me convinced, my husband fully on board and to the ringing chorus of my children asking if they can go to The Creation Station every weekend!

I am now 6 months into my Creation Station journey. I attended the comprehensive training in April and launched The Creation Station Kent, Faversham in July. It has been hard work and at times I have wondered if I have done the right thing, but I have now got classes established, Family Fun sessions that are selling out, Create Club running successfully in two schools with interest from other local schools and I have also made great retail links with one of the local Universities.

I have far more support than I ever had as a Childminder

Things are starting to fall into place nicely. The support from The Creative Hub and the other franchise holders has been phenomenal, I am part of an amazingly supportive and creative ‘family’. Owning our own territories means that we are not in competition and rather than being competitors these other franchise holders are my mentors, always full of advice, support, on-line hugs and cheer.

My house is no longer full of Ofsted labels, posters and out grown toys, instead it is full of glitter, paint and paper, this is something we can definitely live with! My children’s own creativity and love of arts and crafts has flourished, my husband is still incredibly supportive and I have come full circle.

I am once again working with children and running my own successful  business but with lots of support . I am constantly stepping outside my comfort zone and with the help of my Creation Station family, I am achieving things I never thought I would even attempt.

I’ve grown in so many ways and feel very excited about my future

I am a successful business women, making links with the community, promoting and marketing myself and my business but most importantly I am also balancing my family life, attending school events and finding quality time for my own children”.

Rebecca Dickinson – Owner of The Creation Station Kent, Faversham

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