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Meet Tara Kochanskyj

Childcare Leadership Expert

Welcome to my journey in childcare leadership!

My passion for childcare and education dates back to my childhood, where my father fondly recalls my desire to become a teacher, and my mother recounts the countless hours I spent playing school with dolls and friends. In 1998, I began my professional journey as an afternoon floater at a local preschool, an experience that ignited my love for the field and solidified my calling as an educator.

Over the years, I dedicated myself to various roles, progressing from floater and assistant teacher to teacher and assistant director. Simultaneously, I pursued my education, earning my associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in early education and childhood education. Amidst this academic journey, the dream of owning my own preschool took shape.

The pivotal moment came during the last semester of my master's program when, working as a hostess at a local restaurant, I devoted my downtime to studying the New York State Childcare Regulations. I understood that a strong foundation, rooted in compliance and a commitment to quality, was essential to realizing my dream of center ownership.

In 2011, shortly after the birth of my son Austin, I landed what seemed like the "dream job" as the director of a large childcare center. Unfortunately, the reality didn't align with my vision. The center prioritized profit over quality care, prompting my swift departure. Unemployment, though initially daunting, became the turning point of my career.

Undeterred, my husband and I took a bold step. Selling our furniture, creating a Facebook page for a childcare center that was yet to exist, and navigating the intricacies of licensing, we opened an in-home childcare center. Learning on the go, we sought guidance from industry experts and joined coaching and mastermind groups, steadily building our knowledge and network.

Within six years as in-home providers, we achieved a major milestone by establishing our first center. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought challenges, but we adapted swiftly, reopening our center as an outdoor school just six weeks into the crisis. The response was overwhelming, with a full enrollment and a growing waitlist.

Following our success, we expanded further, opening a second location six months later and a third boutique preschool, mommy & me, and birthday party center a year after that. Today, I lead these thriving businesses remotely from just outside Sarasota, Florida, with my family.

Beyond managing my childcare centers, I contribute to the industry as a Master Coach for Childcare Business Professionals, work with private clients, and am currently developing a subscription-based curriculum coaching program set to launch in 2024.

I am thrilled to invite you to join my community, and I look forward to the opportunity of working with you on your journey in childcare leadership!

Tara Kochanskyj working on ipad
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