Where flexible working works - Jobs for mums

Physical Play Programme Teacher - Karen McGee

Karen runs Tumble Tots classes in Croydon and surrounding areas. Tumble Tots is one of the UK's leading active physical play programmes for children.

How did you become a physical play teacher? What is your background?

My sister heard about Tumble Tots and thought it could be a fantastic business for us to run together. I was working in recruitment and had been ill and told that I was unable to have children. My feeling was that working with children would be the next best thing to having my own. We went ahead and bought the business.

We were sponsored by NatWest Bank to attend a business training course through Croydon Business Link. Then went on our official Tumble Tots training..and then began running our own classes. A little while later...I had a lovely suprise when I got pregnant! I am convinced running the business and being in the company of children all the time relaxed my worries about not having children!

What training course/s did you do?

We attended the Tumble Tots official training and now have on-going training all the time. We attend 3 workshops and year, plus seminars and ad-hoc training when there are new developments in the business.

How many hours a week was your initial training?

The training took 2 days at the start.

Roughly, how much did your training cost?

£200 - 250. When you buy a Tumble Tots license the on-going training is included.

How does the job fit round your family life?

It is really fantastic. I am able to take my children to school and pick them up. We have a fantastic team working with us, who are all Mums - so we all know that being 'Mum' takes priority over everything else and help each other out. Just last week I wanted to go on my daughter's school outing, it was on Monday when I would have been running classes - another member of my team said she would cover for me so I could go. We all make sure that no one misses out on their kids.

How did you hear about Tumble Tots?

My nephew used to attend classes when he was little - he is 12 now!

Is the job rewarding?

Yes! It is rewarding on lots of different levels - not only is it brilliant seeing the children progress and learn new things, but we are able to offer support to parents and carers. Often parents who attend the classes have concerns about their children's development, both physical and social development. We are able to reassure them that what is happening with their child is 'normal' and can point them in the direction of more help if they need it, such as Croydon Health Authority or through the excellent Tumble Tots Head Office. I also love the fact that the job is sociable - you are not only interacting with the lovely children, you are also speaking to the parents and your colleagues!

Any downsides?

The job is hard work and you have to make sure you split family and work time drawing clear lines between the two. Lifting heavy equipment is the only other thing I can think of!

Do you think it is a job that fits in well with being a Mum?

Absolutely - 110%! It is flexible and you can fit classes in around your own children.

Any advice for a Mum or Dad wanting to start training?

Visit our website at www.tumbletots.com/croydon to find out more about the company and the job!


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