Franchise owners for multiple Kiddie Academy® locations in the Chicago, Illinois market
Talk to any parent, and you’ll probably hear how having children is a life-changing experience, with new joys, challenges and surprises. For Sunny and Saj, having children was also a career-changing experience. When their first child was born in 2005, all of their priorities shifted when they began searching for childcare for their daughter near their Chicago home.
They wanted a safe, caring and clean environment for her. But they also wanted something more, an educational setting with a well-trained staff that would allow her to grow. Sunny has a master’s degree in education and worked as a classroom teacher, so their expectations were high. After extensive research, they couldn’t find any local daycare options that met all of their criteria. That’s when they had that lightbulb “a-ha” moment. They decided that their professional backgrounds uniquely qualified them to open a franchise childcare business.
They quickly recognized the benefits of choosing a franchise organization over opening their own childcare business. By partnering with an established brand, they’ve been able to launch faster and with a formula that had been tested and proven successful.
The Rizvi’s opened their first Kiddie Academy location in 2008 in Streamwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Since then they have added new Chicago-area locations in 2011, 2012 and 2014. And, they have more academies in development.
In 2010, Sunny and Saj were recognized with the Franchisee of the Year award. They have also been honored in 2009, 2010 and 2011 with the Kiddie Academy Annual Recognition Award for Brand Champion.
“We benefit from Kiddie Academy’s expertise in site selection, construction, and financing matters,” says Saj Rizvi. “As this was a completely new venture for us, we wanted that safety net that would support us throughout our path to a grand opening and beyond.”
The idea of running a franchise business that featured a Monday through Friday schedule was also very appealing to them. In fact, during his tenure at a major entertainment venue, Saj worked weekends and holidays for over 20 years.
“Now that we had started a family, I was looking for a better work/life balance. If I was going to make a career change, I wanted to move toward an option that provided flexibility, freedom and financial stability. Being able to have our children with us while also providing a quality childcare option for our community seemed like the perfect situation,” explains Saj.
“The Discovery Day we spent with Kiddie Academy was different than all the others. We were wowed by the team. Everyone we met showed a passion for the business and a commitment to providing children with a quality educational experience. The immediate connection we felt with the brand philosophy and the people convinced us that Kiddie Academy was the right fit for us, and we haven’t looked back,” says Sunny.
“Honestly, it’s hard to describe how fantastic it is to get ready for work in the morning and know that I’ll also be spending time with my children while building my business. As we often hear from our customers, our children are thriving in the environment we’ve built at our academies. They’re excited to go every day, and often are reluctant to leave at the end of the day. We’re so happy that we’ve built a business that benefits both our family and the community at large” said Sunny and Saj.