Small Business Saturday, Featuring The Goddard School
As moms, choosing the right child care for your kiddos can be one of the most stressful things in parenthood. We want are children to be in a safe, happy environment where they can learn social and academic skills that will set them up for success for the future.
And in Katy, we’re lucky to have so many wonderful options for our kiddos, The Goddard School being one of them. Being in the business of teaching and caring for today’s youth is a big job that owner Shibani Gupta takes very seriously, especially being a mother herself.
The Goddard School offers infant, toddler, preschool, Pre-k, Jr. kinder, and after-school programs. They focus on age-appropriate curriculum in each classroom that allows children to explore and discover. Shibani is proud of her highly trained staff who create fun, unique lessons plans that include STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) as well as 21st century learning skills.
In 1988, entrepreneur Anthony A. Martino established The Goddard School preschool franchise to deliver a high-quality, play-based learning program to families all over the United States. Since then, The Goddard School has grown into an institution that parents and families trust, reaching more than 65,000 students in more than 460 Schools in 36 states.
As more Schools open in neighborhoods across the country, they use the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life.
Shibani is the owner of two Katy Goddard School locations and sat down with us to tell us more about her schools and what makes Goddard special in our community.
If you’re interested in signing your kiddos up, make sure to mention KMN and you’ll get your registration fee completely waived!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
Originally from India, I moved to US in 1992 and have lived on west side of Houston since 1998.
You’re a mama too! How many kids and how old are they?
Yes. One son – 13 years
What did you do before becoming a business owner?
Masters in Computer Science from Arizona State University. I have worked in Corporate America for the past 25 years.
You own two Goddard School locations, when did the doors open to each of them?
Katy II – Ranch Point (next to Shafer Elementary) in 2013
Katy III – Westridge Creek Ln. (next to Jenks Elementary) in 2017
Caring for other’s children is a BIG and important job, what makes your schools unique in your industry?
Our Teachers and Curriculum.
We have the BEST teachers in the world. Our average teacher has been with the school for over 3 years, when the industry average is about 9 months. Our teachers bring the experience and perfect blend of Education & Nurturing.
Goddard Curriculum is based on FUN based LEARNING. Our objective is to make our kids life-long learners. Enrichment activities like Spanish, Music, Science and Gym are included in our weekly curriculum without any extra COST.
How has the Katy community impacted your business?
Katy is a vibrant, friendly and growing community. We love to be part of it.
Tell us about the curriculum and philosophy you follow at The Goddard School?
Learning Through Play – A Fun Learning Experience
School Ready, Career Ready, Life Ready.
School-ready: By going above and beyond any state and local education requirements, Goddard School teachers help students become academically proficient and ready for elementary school. When your child’s first-grade teacher asks a question, your child will be better prepared to answer it;
Career-ready: Learning through experience promotes the development of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical-thinking skills. Companies look for these skills in the workforce, so developing those skills early on helps prepare children for success later in life;
Life-ready: Encouraging children to discover and explore their interests empowers them to become happy, confident, self-aware, empathetic and self-directed with a lifelong love of learning. Whether your child has an interest in astronomy, writing, cooking or another subject, he or she should develop the drive to independently seek out information to fulfill that curiosity.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY
Think about all the times you pretended to be a doctor, a chef, a parent or a pro athlete when you were a child. As you enjoyed exploring that role, you were figuring out how different people behave and learning through play. A play-based curriculum allows children the freedom to have fun while discovering and exploring the world and their interests.
To support learning through play, the F.L.EX.® Learning Program includes the following:
- Fun, hands-on activities that allow children to learn through experience;
- Customized lesson plans that the teachers develop based on the children’s interests and adapt to the children’s developmental needs;
- Warm, nurturing classrooms that promote a passion for literacy, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics;
- A daily schedule that ensures children have time for independent exploration and discovery every day;
- Age-appropriate interactive technologies, such as interactive whiteboards that support collaborative and meaningful learning without replacing creative play, exploration or physical activity.
What ages do you care for?
6 weeks to 5 years in our Preschool and 5-12 years (After School)
Tell us about your special events! Summer camps? After school care? Etc.
Our Goddard Schools have a special theme and event every Month. To name a few – Science night, Movie night, Root for Earth, Spring Fest, International night, Back to School fiesta.
We are very proud of our state of the art after school facility. The whole place is designed on STEAM concept. We have an ART room, a science lab, an engineering and technology center, fully equipped kitchen, tutoring room for math and English and super cool Gym with built in BEAM projector.
The Summer camps are held in this facility located at 5330 Ranch Point. The summer program includes two field trips, lunches, a special activity of the day and choice of mini camps every day. This way the kids don’t get bored and have a new activity to get involved in every day.
You and your husband own the Goddard Schools together – Any advice on working with your spouse?
Communication and clear division of roles. I feel once we separated our roles working together became lot of fun. I have not had this many lunches with my husband since we first got married.
Best advice for someone wanting to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship or wanting to open their own business?
I think it helps to identify areas what one is passionate about. Knowing finances / numbers is also a very important aspect of owning a business.
Who inspires you most in business and who inspires you most in motherhood?
My husband. He loves small businesses and dedicates a lot of his personal time helping other small business owners.
For motherhood, I guess I learned a lot from my own mother. Also, I feel that once you hold your “bundle of joy” the first time and see them smile, I guess that inspired me to be the best mother in the world.
When things get hard, what’s one thing you tell yourself to keep going when running this business?
I think we have taken a huge responsibility in taking care of someone else’s babies. That responsibility keeps me going.
How do you balance being a business owner, wife, and mama?
I truly believe I am blessed to have a wonderful team of Directors, Teachers and Families. It’s with their support I am able to keep a balance in my multiple roles.
Do you experience the dreaded ‘mom guilt’ and if so, how do you deal?
Owning my business has actually allowed me to be available for my son’s PTO meeting and other activities. I used to have lot more of mom-guilt when I was part of corporate America.
Future plans for your business?
Continue to add features to the schools, taking the curriculum to higher level and serve the community.
Any special deals or events our Katy Moms can look out for?
Mention Katy Moms Network and get the registration fee waived for preschool, after-school and/or summer programs.
For more information visit their Website & Social Media: