A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Tiffany Sams to franchise her successful Skidaddles flexible, drop-in child care concept

By Laura Kroeger
Special to NKyTribune

After establishing successful drop-in-anytime childcare centers in Kentucky and Ohio, Tiffany Sams finds that post-pandemic families are eager for childcare that suits the new hybrid of home and office work lives.

A CPA by training, Sams sought flexible full-time childcare early in her career. All she could find were centers charging for full-time care whether the child was present or not. That’s when Sams and her husband decided a new childcare paradigm needed to be created. They hired staff with elementary education degrees and designed a multi-faceted style of quality care geared for the hours when parents need the assistance the most.

“It is a concept that has spoken to many parents the past 12 years—part-time workers, those with unusual schedules, moms needing to run errands and attend medical appointments,” she explains. “Everyone has different childcare needs for their family. Then the 2020 COVID-19 crisis came. The way Americans work drastically changed.”

Sams has been flooded with requests for information about her unique concept as thousands of companies decide they’ll no longer require their employees to be present at the office every day of the week. According to a recent WorldatWork survey, many employers will make remote work arrangements a permanent option. Half of organizations will continue to allow some employees to work from home. For employees with children, 81% said they will keep such policies, with another 73% offering flexible work schedules.

“Working from home has been a new and invigorating experience for parents,” says Sams. “But it’s certainly difficult to get a rush project done when a two-year old needs attention.”

At Skidaddles, parents can pay a weekly fee and choose a flexible full-time childcare option to use their services any hours during the six days a week they are open. The centers currently operate from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Fridays. It is also open Saturday evenings so parents can enjoy a date night. Hourly drop-in care is also available for those families that need care without a weekly commitment.

“Parents have the flexibility to choose the days and times that work best for their busy schedules. A parent may need a full day and then just a few hours the next day.

“Our concept is all about having fun while learning. Adventure World, Circus Time and Spy Camp are just a few of the many theme days that involve kids in creative crafts and STEM- focused activities. Enrichment classes are age-appropriate and a favorite for parents and kids. Each day is a different learning opportunity with classes offered like sign language, cooking, music and foreign languages. Enrichment classes are included in the rates.”

Managing Director Holly Matteoli has been with Skidaddles since 2009. She holds a degree in elementary education and can’t think of anywhere else she’d rather be. “It seems like we have been preparing for a dozen years for this moment,” she says. “Our time of sheltering in has caused American families to pause and figure out their new work/life balance. We’ve perfected this unique model for exactly the time it is most relevant to today’s family.”

In addition to flexible childcare, each Skidaddles site also operates a flexible preschool program, before and after school care (complete with van or bus service to nearby schools), and a summer camp. Skidaddles accepts children from 12 months to 12 years old.

“These can be frightening times for parents and their children,” Sams says. “Part of our job is to ensure parents that their kids are safe, protected and loved every minute they are here.”

“I’m so glad that Tiffany is franchising this concept,” says Chelsey McNair, a mother of daughters aged three and five who can’t wait to arrive at Skidaddles for their next adventure. “Since so many families now have a combination of working from home and at the office, drop-in child care is needed now more than ever.”

Based on pleas from parents such as Chelsey, Skidaddles is now actively expanding its unique concept through franchising in neighboring counties and states. For additional information on Skidaddles’ flexible full-time childcare concept now employed in Ohio and Kentucky, phone (859) 647-7529 or visit the website.

Founded in 2008, Skiddaddles is the first in the Ohio/Kentucky region to offer state-of-the-art, high quality, flexible full-time child care and a full complement of drop-in-anytime services. Finding that traditional child care centers did not offer flexibility or creative learning through play, Sams and her husband Michael set out to create a novel concept that could address every parent’s childcare needs whether it’s for a couple of days, hours here and there or full time. Skidaddles offers nursery school, before and after school care, summer camp and full or part-time care. A one-time registration is all that is needed.

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