Spotlight on: Jana, KindyROO Prague

In January, we’re celebrating the launch of KindyROO Prague by our new Franchisee and Brand Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jana Uher. Jana is a well traveled entrepreneur who has previously lived in Australia and the Netherlands before returning to the Czech Republic to raise her two daughters. Along with running KindyROO Prague, Jana is also a post birth doula with her own company, Moms and Babies.

Learn all about Jana, what drives her and what she loves about Prague!

Jana, can tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a postpartum doula and KindyROO teacher and ambassador!

Before I found my “calling”, I travelled a lot and worked in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. I chose to settle down and grow a business that I thought was meaningful and purposeful – working with new parents and their children.

You’re starting KindyROO classes in Barrandov early this year, what are you most excited about?

I am looking forward to a new journey in my life and what it will bring to me and the parents and children I’ll teach. I’m excited to share my passion with people and help them to be the best parents they can possibly be.

I’m also very excited to meet new people and hear their stories and their journeys.

KindyROO Prague classes start in Barrandov on 21th January

Book here

So, how did you become passionate in the field of early childhood development?

It really all began when my kids were born. I got to experience babies trying to communicate, even if they couldn’t talk or really move – how amazing is that?!

I started to learn more about this and I really become passionate about trying to support parents. I wanted to help them understand this time and how their children were developing. I know it can be a really challenging time for them, so helping them in this way is really important.

From this, it was clear the direction I wanted to take with my career: I wanted to work with new mothers and their newborn babies, so I do!

I am so grateful I can be involved in many women’s and babies lives during this beautiful time. It’s such a transitional period in which women especially need all the support they can get.

So you also have another business, Moms & Babies – what compelled you to start M&B?

It was the time of life, when I already felt ready to start my own business. When my first daughter was born in the Netherlands (where we lived at that time), I had great help and support from my kraamverzorgers (maternity carer in Dutch). They helped me to navigate this important, beautiful, yet very challenging period of postpartum. So when I returned to the Czech Republic, I decided to open a similar business, which would support newborn mothers as there wasn’t anything available to Czech mothers at the time. And now, here I am 🙂

So two businesses! What’s it like being an entrepreneur?

It is great. It teaches you to manage your time well and actually value your time. You are your own boss and employee. You cannot blame anybody else, when something goes wrong.

You can also properly divide your time between business and family and that is what I like the most about it. On top of that, my kids see that I am passionate and dedicated to what I do. They see that I love doing it and I am grateful I can give them this example.

You seem so busy! Do you have time for any hobbies?

I am, but I try to make time for hobbies. I majored in Political Science in University, and I’m still very interested in it! I am always amazed by how history has a tendency to repeat itself. I also love art, especially photography, and of course travelling which has been a passion of mine since childhood. I used to enjoy looking through old maps and travel books.

So let’s talk Prague! Have you always lived in Prague?

No, I was born and lived in the south-west part of Czech Republic, South Bohemia. I am from a small village, close to the borders with Austria.

Thanks to the fall of The Iron Curtain, I attended an Austrian school for a couple of years! It was quite a cultural shock for me back then, as you can imagine, but it really encouraged me to learn about other cultures and countries. Funnily enough, many years later, I’ve realised that no matter what culture or background you’re from, we all want the same thing – we just want to live peacefully and make sure we and our kids live a healthy, happy life.

What’s Prague like?

Prague is a beautiful town with a magical, medieval character. Going down the tiny streets, it can feel like a fairytale! We’re so lucky Prague was spared from bombing during WWII. At the same time, Prague is a very modern international city. We’ve got an excellently efficient public transport system! There is also plenty of art in the streets and small boutiques and cafes where you can rest and enjoy Prague’s picturesque atmosphere.

One thing that I’ve noticed in the last few years though, is that Prague can feel very busy as there are lots of tourists all year round. Sometimes Prague can feel quite crowded.

If you’ve got kids in Prague, what is there to do?

I think that with small kids it’s better to live outside of a city as it can be quite a “concrete jungle” so if you do want more nature, it’s very easy to go for a short trip just outside of Prague. But actually, Prague does has a lot to offer. There are so many green spaces- parks, gardens and playgrounds, all free to use! There are also plenty of events for kids like sports, events, museum and gallery tours, movies and theatres, and many child friendly cafes and restaurants.

KindyROO is also an excellent activity to do with young kids. Not only are you both learning and having fun, you’re bonding and meeting other mums in classes. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends!

What does KindyROO have to offer Prague and the Czech Republic?

The program is unlike anything that currently exists in the Czech Republic. The program combines knowledge from pedagogy, psychology and neuroscience, and brings it to parents in an understandable and practical way. It helps to teach parents how to support their kids so that they can grow to their full potential.

I appreciate that KindyROO is not just another exercise program like some gyms have on offer. There are legitimate and elaborate teachings and philosophy behind KindyROO.

I also really admire the KindyROO founder, Margaret Sasse. I wish I had the chance to meet and work with her before her passing. I hope that I’m able to tell the story of her life and share her teachings with as many parents in Czechia as possible as she and her teachings deserved it.

So to finish up, what’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve received?

The best piece of advice I’ve received is advice I got from the person that inspires me the most, my business mentor, Julia Jones. She said, “You are enough.” Meaning that as long as I try my best and I love my kids that’s alright and that’s enough. It’s funny, but since hearing this, I have started to feel like a much better mother and person.

And what’s the best piece of business advice you’ve received?

I’d say, it would be this: “Better sorry than safe.” I know that in English, the actual saying is the other way around, but I got this advice and I really like it! 🙂

There’s also another saying in Czech which I follow, which can be translated as: “If you don’t do anything, you won’t spoil anything, but you won’t do any good either!”

Keep up to date with Jana!

Following her on facebook @kindyroopraha

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“Spotlight on” is a series in which we’ll be giving you an insight into the life of our KindyROO Europe Franchisees. Interested in franchising? Contact us here

Spotlight on: Mariela, KindyROO Cyprus

This month we sat down with Mariela, our KindyROO Cyprus class teacher and franchisee. Dedicated to the KindyROO philosophy and a wonderful mum to her 2 year old son, Mariela is navigating motherhood and managing a successful, growing business that she’s passionate about – both physically and mentally demanding, full time jobs!

Based out of 10, Myrtiotissis, Germasogeia 4041, Limassol, Mariela has been running KindyROO classes for just over 6 months and has brought her warmth and knowledge to many new parents in Cyprus. We interviewed Mariela to get a taste of her life in Cyprus!

So, Mariela, First off, what’s it like being a mum in Limassol?

As with everything in life being a mum in Limassol, Cyprus has it’s good and it’s not as good sides! I love the weather, the island is famous for its abundant sunshine and the summer which lasts 6 months long. This really suits me and my family because we don’t like the cold, rainy weather. The only downside to this is that July and August tend to be extremely hot, so sometimes we need to spend more time inside than what I would prefer.

I get a little frustrated that I need to use our car to get to most places. Sometimes I just want to take my son in his pushchair and go to the nearest park by foot and enjoy the nature but I’ve tried it a couple of times, and it wasn’t the best idea! There wasn’t really enough pavements to easily do this with a stroller.

Apart from these little inconveniences, living in Limassol, which is on the beach, is incredible! Mums like me get the chance to enjoy the sand and sea and share this lovely, special place with our little ones. Cyprus life really is a lovely life- especially now that KindyROO is here!

Outside of KindyROO, what are some of your passions?

I have always been a person who loves to learn. I like learning new languages (I’m fluent in English, Greek, Bulgarian and almost fluent in Russian!), obtaining new skills all the time and broadening my horizons. KindyROO’s extensive ongoing training satisfies my thirst for new knowledge and information and ensures I provide parents with as much information about their child’s development as possible.

How did you become passionate in the field of early childhood development?

When I was pregnant with my son I started learning more about early childhood development, as most mums do. But my passion for development grew even bigger after the difficult birth of my son.

I had a very difficult delivery and the first couple of months of my son’s life were very hard to say the least. I don’t want to go into too many details, but my son spent almost a month in an incubator and doctors were worried that he might have sustained damage to his brain.

During this time, I realized that I needed to do my best to help him have a better life and I knew how to do it. Once we got home I started incorporating KindyROO activities in our day to day life. I started singing, dancing, massaging and playing with my son and the results were astonishing! Now, he is a happy, healthy and outgoing boy, who loves music and continues to meet all his neurological milestones on time.

Having been so close to losing my child – I know how important it is to appreciate every second you get to spend with them. Children are a precious gift and we need to make sure we provide them with what they need the most – our time and attention!

What do you enjoy most about KindyROO?

I have always liked teaching and I love singing and dancing. What is more, I have always been very good at seeing the potential and talent in others and helping them to develop it, so teaching KindyROO classes came quite naturally to me and I find it really fun!

I would have to say that the thing I enjoy most is being around mums, kids and babies! I love seeing mums and dads spending quality time with their little ones and seeing the happiness and enthusiasm in their eyes as they come to class, it brings me so much joy!

I love the fact that I have the absolute privilege of being a child’s second teacher (after their parents) and I make sure to build a secure and loving relationship between me and my young “students”. I am so proud to see them progress day by day, getting stronger, calmer, becoming more social and outgoing and learning to share and take turns. It is heartwarming to see a shy toddler transform into a confident child in a couple of months!

The program is wonderful – its diversity amazes me every single day. I love it!

The most amazing class for babies/toddlers/children... and moms!! A wonderful, patient and loving instructor, very helpful overall programme for a child's development.”  - Marina, KindyROO Limassol Parent

How you manage the crazy world of motherhood and running a successful business?

To be completely honest, the first couple of months were not easy. As every mum would know, I have had to learn how to balance my family life and my passion (I would not call it work).

People say I am a young entrepreneur – and that sounds great, but it is way more challenging then people can even imagine! In saying that, it’s been a very rewarding journey.

I have had to learn how to better structure my day so everything can go smoothly (although as most mums would know, that’s not always the case!). I have become more organized and started prioritizing my tasks. Also my loving husband, who is my biggest fan, has been a great support, which has meant everything to me.

I have found many advantages and positives of being a “mumtrepreneur”. The advantage of my business is that I’m at the same stage in life as my clients – I can empathise with them as I’m going through much of the same struggles as they are. This has made my interactions with them truly meaningful as we are able to share about our similar experiences and support each other.

What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve received?

It’s a bit of a cliché but one of the best pieces of advice I have been given is to follow my intuition and to listen to my child.

Motherhood is a blessing, but at times it can get really tough. Breastfeeding, weaning to solids, the tantrums and meltdowns, these are all parts of the colourful journey called parenthood. Parenthood is a journey and not a race. Staying present is key.

If I can give parents one honest piece of advice it would be this: treat your kids with respect and believe in their potential.

To find out more about Mariela’s classes, keep up with her on facebook  or book a class here:

KindyROO Cyprus

“Spotlight on” is a series in which we’ll be giving you an insight into the life of our KindyROO Europe Franchisees. Interested in franchising? Contact us here

KindyROO Presents At For Babies Expo Prague

“The brain has developed more complex connections because movement stimulates growth and connectivity of neuronal pathways”  (Melillo & Leisman, 2004).

Saturday, October 18th, saw the 10th annual ‘For Babies’ Expo event at the PVA exhibition Centre, Prague. Jana Uher from our KindyROO Prague branch was able to present the lecture: “Why the First 1000 days are the most important in a child’s life”.

Along with the “For Babies” expo, the “For Toys” and “For Games” Expos also took place. This 4 day event saw a great turn out with hundreds of parents and their kids interested in seeing the newest products, services and trends in the world of products for babies, childrens’ furniture, fashion and hygiene.

KindyROO’s Jana was given the opportunity to speak to many new and expecting parents about early childhood development and introduced them to the concepts learnt within the KindyROO classroom.

Some highlights from Jana’s presentation include:

  • Early brain development is the key to lifelong academic, emotional and social wellbeing
  • We’re born with billions of brain cells and as we experience the word, these brain cells begin to interact and form brain connections
  • Movement is the key to learning, but not just any movement: it needs to be appropriate for each stage of development, make use of natural movement patterns and build on previous levels of development

The biggest takeaway from Jana’s presentation was that you as a parent can and should be involved in your child’s development from day 1. KindyROO classes guide parents through the early years, helping teach parents about their baby’s development from birth. KindyROO classes specialise in age appropriate exercises, games, dances, massages which help children to meet developmental milestones and be ready to crawl, walk, socialise and prepare them for school (when the time comes!).