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Dandy Development baby and toddler development classes combine baby sign, music and sensory fun.  The classes are unique as they also teach the parents speech techniques that they can use at home to support communication development. 

I became inspired to create a new type of classes when our son had delayed speech and I couldn’t find anyone or any class that would help.  The health visitors, doctors and speech therapists said that he would catch up but I didn’t want him to ‘catch up’ I wanted him to thrive.  I pushed and pushed until eventually I was granted a place on a parent based therapy course.  I learnt a great deal about communication development and some fantastic techniques to boost my son’s development.  I was amazed that this information wasn’t readily available for every parent and every child and that’s when I came up with the idea of Dandy Development.

Dandy signing (2)

Dandy has only been up and running since September 2011 so I am thrilled to have won two prestigious awards already.  Dandy won the ‘Best Local Pre-school Class’ 2012 in the What’s On 4 Juniors awards meaning that Dandy is the best independent class in the country.  Dandy also won netmums.com’s title of Warwickshire and Coventry’s Favourite Pre-school Class. 

Dandy Development is expanding quickly.  In the first term I taught five classes and I expanded to eight in the second term.  Many parents are now bringing their little ones along for a fourth consecutive term which is a huge compliment and I now teach baby siblings of Stage 2 toddlers too!  I recently organised and held a first birthday celebration raising £834.36 for Warwick Special Care Baby Unit.   In January I am starting classes in Kenilworth and will be teaching nine classes a week. 

Abi and lottie dancing (2)

I had no business background at all and dealing with the accounts still scares me.  I developed the concept and logo, wrote the plans, the advertising literature, the website, bought the resources and even wrote unique songs and had them recorded myself.  The business fits around my family perfectly:  I can take the children to pre-school and school and pick them up which is really important to me.  Starting a business from scratch has been hard work but I am very proud that what I have achieved is all mine.   There is huge potential to extend Dandy by bringing someone else on board or developing a franchise package. 

I am thrilled to win the Networking Mummies Business Mum of the Month for October.  I have met some really wonderful business mums this year and I have developed an addiction for social media, where I am an avid networking mummy!  The one piece of advice I would give to other mums thinking of starting a business that they feel passionate about, don’t let hypothetical excuses get in your way: just get out there and do it!

Dandy Development – Talk, Share and Play: We’ll Grow in Every Way!

Written by Nikki Sayers.  Dandy Development classes are held in Barford, Kenilworth, Long Lawford and Leamington.  The Dandy website http://www.dandydevelopment.co.uk/ has more information.  You can also follow Dandy on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DandyDevelopment

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