Lauren Small, MBA, has been an entrepreneur, educator and business coach for over 30 years. She is the CEO and Founder of Early Education Business Consultants (EEBC)—an innovative firm she conceived after noticing a serious gap in the preschool/child care industry. Programs were struggling to keep their doors open because, even when they excelled in educating and caring for children, their leaders often lacked basic business skills. Already a Small Business Development Center certified business analyst, Lauren decided to focus on helping child care providers improve their business systems, practices and automation. She believed this was the key to transforming them into profitable, high-quality operations.
To date, Lauren has consulted with several hundred early childhood programs, both nationally and in her community of Hampton Roads, Virginia. In 2010, Lauren launched the Early Education Business Program—an eight-part course that encourages and trains early childhood businesses on best practices. The program has consistently caused businesses to increase enrollment and decrease employee turnover, creating an average 25% increase in annual revenue. More than 400 child care providers have graduated from this award-winning program.
In 2015, Lauren established the Directors Leadership Academy in each of the five cities of Hampton Roads, focused on business and pedagogical leadership development of owners and directors. In 2019, she was the lead consultant in creating the Hampton Roads Shared Services Alliance—helping early childhood businesses streamline their operations and save time and money by outsourcing back-office administration to a shared system.
In 2020, Lauren received the Women in Business Achievement Award from Inside Business Magazine Hampton Roads. She continues to be recognized for her work, and is a sought-after speaker and workshop presenter at conferences across the nation.
In this webinar, Lauren reminded us of the power of positivity as it relates to hiring – to never give up and to continuously strive for effective hiring practices. She provided practical tips about marketing for staff, employing strategic planning, and adopting a systems mindset.
Lauren demonstrated how to craft compelling job advertisements that yield positive outcomes and stressed the significance of utilizing technology to attract prospective childcare candidates effectively.
Finally, Lauren delved into the critical aspect of creating a positive climate and culture to retain staff. She defined climate as "The collective perceptions of staff about the quality of work life in a particular setting," and described culture as "Shaped by the personalities that come together and the leadership that guides them."