Linda Searles started the business in a church basement and now has turned it into a profitable franchise business and rewarding parent/child play experience. The business – Baby Power is a program for children ages six months to five years and their parents. The mission – to build a system of communication between families, through the Baby Power program, that lasts a lifetime.
It all began back in 1984 when Linda personally developed and taught a progressive, developmentally appropriate gymnastic and musical parent/child play program for the local Adult School. Targeting children in the pre-school years, Baby Power’s objective is to build confidence and promote child development, parent! child communication and bonding.
“My programs have structure… beginning, middle and an end,” said Linda about the Baby Power format. “To warm them up, I wrote the song The Huggy Wuggy which gets my families hugging and ready to sing and play. And then I like to leave them laughing” she added. So I incorporated a musical adventure which required parents and children to play in the band, dance, tumble and sing with me.”
Some years later, she hired her first teacher and recorded her first Baby Power cassette tape as a way to bring the music home with the children. Reflecting back, Linda believes it was the support from these mothers to record her first tape that led to the franchising of the company. Continuing to build upon the program, she added fun things like different animal-like characters, which complimented the music and decorated the walls. Linda built upon the original Baby Power philosophy, but fine-tuned specific areas of the business that would allow others to own and operate their own facility. She studied her competition, primarily the larger, mass market programs catering to keeping pre-schoolers active and realized that the market was ripe for a smaller, more intimate, less expensive approach to creating a parent/child experience. Linda also incorporated new strategies like birthday parties, “Daddy Power” on Sundays, evening classes and lunch classes for working parents.