The Monkey Puzzle roadshow 

A strong rapport between franchisor and franchisee is the foundation on which any thriving franchise network is built

A strong rapport between franchisor and franchisee

Simply put, getting out and about to meet franchisees face-to-face, particularly when new settings are in the process of opening, is a critical component of operations. These meetings not only build trust and camaraderie – ensuring the brand’s standards are being matched across the board – but also allow the franchisor an opportunity to address any common challenges that may arise. They also add a personal touch that sets the stage for collaborative success as the franchise continues to grow. 

Here, senior early years quality manager at Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries, Jess McCarthy, talks us through what she’s been up to in a busy month meeting franchisees across the country, as the brand plans to launch several new settings over the summer and into the autumn. 

A recent Early Years Alliance survey revealed that 68% of childcare providers are currently at capacity, with 86% predicting an increase in demand over the coming years. This is especially topical currently, with the UK government having just announced plans to offer places to two-year-olds and then nine-month-olds from eligible families in April and September, respectively1

This information highlights the immediate need for more places, for children, in early years education. At Monkey Puzzle we’re looking to tackle the increase in demand head on, with plans to open seven new settings across the summer and autumn. 

In what is shaping up to be a busy period for me and my team, it is incredibly important for us to get out on the road to visit as many franchisees as we can. This is both to ensure the new nurseries meet the high standards we expect, but also to build and maintain positive relationships with our franchisees. 

Over the next month or so, we have two settings scheduled to open – Northampton and Wokingham. Before opening, all our nurseries undergo an Ofsted registration to ensure that the provider is suitable and that the premises are safe for children. When those sites are preparing for new children, it is imperative we visit them regularly to impart our knowledge and ultimately ensure they’re compliant. Ofsted regulate our industry, so it’s imperative for us to help franchisees get it right for the children to provide the best possible experiences in their settings.

Another essential aspect of meeting franchisees is to put a face to a name. We find stronger relationships are built when we get out and see franchisees face-to-face. With four of our settings due to open in the next six months, including Stevenage and Horsham, being a visible part of their initial journey is much more than just a beneficial business meeting. It fosters trust, reveals areas where we can improve and allows us to make sure standards are matched brand wide. 

It has been a busy start to the year in my role. In the last month alone, I’ve been from Portsmouth to Glasgow and Watford to Southport – sometimes more than once! However, it’s a real perk of my job as senior quality manager – I’m a people person so I love getting to know our new franchisees and catching up with the franchisees that have been part of the network a little longer. We’re all working towards the same end goal of trying to provide an excellent early years education experience to all the children that come through the doors of a Monkey Puzzle setting – me and my team are the helping hand that makes sure the nurseries are safe, secure and ready to operate. 

1 Early Years Alliance, Demand for places in early years education, Feb 2024

Jess McCarthy
Jess McCarthy