The purpose of this paper is to show the need for early intervention for infants and toddler with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities. Kitkat the Educators program will prepare disabled students to excel at a young age, by teaching, training stimulating the mind to create an atmosphere to function outside of one’s self. Kitkat is not like the competitors, this school will focus and offer advance communication skills (technology) to encourage speech, physical strength, academics, top of the line technology, after school tutorial, recreational, craft and dance. This disability has created a need for quality child care development and training to help children with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities to be successful in life. Also, the owner focuses on parent trainings, parents turn to for support, reassurance, and hope when faced with the uncertainty of their child’s future. It is important for parent participation as long as their child receives services from the school. This program will focus on parents learning all techniques use in the classroom in the home, and community.
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History of Organization
Kitkat is a privately held corporation run by its owner, Cathy Austin, who has 20 years of experience teaching students with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) and Autism (A). The owner is certified as special education teacher and highly qualified by the State of Georgia. The owner currently has a bachelor degree with a concentration in mentally retardation. Which is now known as intellectual disabilities? The owner will be supported in daily operations of the school by a consultant, a campus director and certified educators with experiences in the child care field. Intellectual disability (ID) is now more common amongst autistics than in the general population.
According Ackerman, (2011) “The increasing prevalence of Autism has been recognized as the fastest growing developmental disability in the nation, affecting one in 88 children. It is now the third most common childhood disorder, more common than Down syndrome and childhood diabetes combined. In turn, parents need to be informed of the assessment, treatment, and intervention resources available to help their children if diagnosed with autism. At the center of KitKat the Educator, we want to reassure parents that there is hope, and through our services, individuals will be able to maximize their potential. KitKat has established itself as the institution that parents turn to for support, reassurance, and hope when faced with the uncertainty of their child’s future. We want to reassure parents that there is hope, and through our services, individuals will be able to maximize their potential.”
To most effectively meet the needs of children with autism and their families, KitKat the Educator has developed a training and education center scheduled to open in 2013.
Ackerman states (2011) “this new initiative will create a more timely early diagnosis screening for infants and toddlers who may be afflicted with Autism. A Licensed Clinical Psychologist (LCP) will be hired to meet the ever-growing demand for extensive evaluation, assessment, and treatment services. KitKat will work collaboratively with local service providers, and school systems, to create a progressive and comprehensive treatment facility to best serve children’s needs (Ackerman TACA, 2012).”
According to Berkell, Z. D. (1999), a “Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Blueuler was the first to use the name Autism back in the early 1912’s. The reason for early intervention today is to help Autistic children function much better in society (Berkell, 1999).” In the 1940s, researchers in the United States began to use the term “autism” to describe children with emotional or social problems (Berkell, 1999). “Kanner, Leo a doctor from Johns Hopkins University, used the word autism to describe the withdrawn behavior of several children he studied (Berkell, 1999).” Also Han Asperger a scientist in Germany, identified a similar condition that’s now called Asperger’s syndrome Aylott, J (2011). According to Aylott, J (2011) Han Asperger found several types of autism:
Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS)-
Childhood disintegrative disorder
How Is Autism Treated?
Leo Kanner treatments for autism vary (Aylott, 2011) depending on the needs of the individual. Kanner, (2011) treatments fall into three categories:
Behavioral and communication therapy
Medical and dietary therapy
Complementary therapy (music or art therapy, for example)
The Owner’s Journey
The journey as teacher did not begin immediately after college. Cathy Austin’s degree in special education B. S., as an Intellectual Disabilities (ID) and Autism (A) teacher for DeKalb County School District. The owner has 21 years of experience working with children with ID and Autism. The owner worked with Children diagnosed or identified with autism, cerebral palsy, Mental Retardation, intellectual impairment, physical impairments, learning disabilities and Down syndrome. The owner believes that providing structure and visual supports can help to alleviate problems that may arise. Thus, allowing individuals with disabilities to demonstrate to others their capabilities. Teaching is actually a second career for the owner; the owner worked in the health care in the as a nurse’s aide for 4 years.
The owner was trying to run from the calling of God. On the job doing the daily routine the voice of God spoke and said “this not what I told you to do!” Then God said “I told you to teach children with special needs. Limited with only being a nurse’s aide, the owner decided to apply for college to get a degree to teach. The owner was unemployed for five months and then got an opportunity to go to college and get a Bachelor Degree in Special Education (Mentally Retardation). The first teaching job was as a special education teacher for homebound. The owner wanted to do something to help and to make a difference in the lives of these young children. The Owner moved from homebound to teaching in the classroom started in 1991. The owner’s favorite project is walking for March of Dimes Autism, and Cerebral Palsy.
What can you do to strengthen and improve the child’s life?
The Owner enjoys being involved in educating the community about our children and being an advocate to support the parent. The Owner always wanted to have a school for children with disabilities. Now I can see the dream happening more now than ever before. Kitkat is a childhood nickname. So the Owner decided to use kitkat as the name of the school.
The teaching profession can be strengthened by additional parent-involvement. The students whose parents are involved and vigilant about seeking opportunities to further expand their child’s learning and abilities are the most successful students. The art of learning does not occur solely within the confines of the classroom, but it includes life-lessons and cultural experiences. The parents who ensure they are providing these additional resources for their children help not only the child, but the teacher who can draw from these experiences to illustrate key points in the child and parent life.
The Owner’s philosophy of teaching is very simple. It is simply to go beyond the standards, improving inappropriate behavior and communication skills. One needs heart and compassion to teach and reach children with special needs. Having the desire to get to know the students and actually listen to them is a major part of learning. The students respond better when they know others care, and care enough to watch their patterns and identify the times when they are not themselves and need help beyond the lesson for the day.
The Owner’s thoughts are what can one do to strengthen and improve one is to evolve as a teacher. Children are changing. Curriculum and techniques is changing. The world is changing, so for one to remain the same and not evolve with the changes of society and the people in it does not help children. The overall goal in education is to help children and in order to do that, one need to constantly reevaluate ones lessons, approach and delivery as a whole. As a teacher you learn so much from your peers, but one will continue to watch and learn from the students as well. It is honestly believed that one can make a difference in the life of a child, every day.
My Career and Educational Experience
B.S. Degree in Special Education
MBA Degree in February 2013
2 + years Adult Workshop
2 years Georgia Regional (skilled area) children Intellectual Disabilities
3+ years supervisory experience of staff
20+ years teaching Intellectual Disabilities/Autism experience
Past strategic choices-
Through the DeKalb County School District, Clayton County Adult workshop, and Douglas county workshop my work experience are as follow:
Homebound- providing service to disabled students not able to attend public school system due to medical and fragile situations.
Clayton County – Respite care to children with Intellectual disabilities.
Parent Conference – meeting with parent for concerns and information
Atlanta Group Home – for Jewish Down Syndrome adults.
Current Position in the Market
Location of Business – The future home for the business will be 748 Flat Shoal Road, Decatur, Georgia. This business will start in the old “Y” building on Candler road and my pursuit for a loan of $300,000.00 for the building. This building is in the heart of the business district of Candler Road. It is one mile from Flat Shoal Elementary School. The Owner will offer after school program to disabled and non-disabled school aged children. “Some of the best years in life are the time spent as a child and later our adult yearsâ€¦.” As working adults in a fast paced society, we sometimes forget just how precious and fleeting those years are. With that in mind, imagine an alternative to traditional infant, day and after school care that not only met your child care needs, but also provided an activity based learning environment that mirrors those used at public schools. Professional care givers with the credentials to not only enhance your child’s early social and motor skills, but to also teach them advanced studies in the arts and academics found at institutions of higher learning. A curriculum based curriculum tailored specifically for children, taught in a fun, nurturing care giving environment.
Now imagine this at a cost less than that of the combination of conventional training services and specific interest based children programs. Kitkat the Educator is an early intervention comprehensive developmental and educational program, exclusively for children with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism, ages new born to 7 years old. The school dedicates its efforts and resources toward ensuring top rated care giving services coupled with a high quality activity based learning environment tailored for children in these age groups. The school will respond to the needs of its parents and students with excellent care giving and instruction an advanced curriculum, flexible programs, local community involvement and business partnerships. The Kitkat School has a strong commitment to accessibility and diversity. Its open door policy embraces all who desire to provide a better quality of care, preparedness and education for their children. The school works to provide affordable, first class care giving and education by providing a broad range of integrated programs and services and innovative learning approaches. The school is committed to taking a leadership role in child care services, higher learning, community services and promoting cultural diversity. Kit Kat directs its activities towards student success.
Campus Direction Sign
Keys to Success
The keys to success for chitchat are:
Marketing: differentiating care giving and education and interest activity programs.
Service quality: care giving and educational programs provided by degreed and certified educators, child care workers, tutors and technology.
Reputation: maintaining a highly regarded reputation for excellence in care giving, education and community involvement and being the employer of choice in our market for child and educational talent.
Profitability: controlling costs and managing budgets in accordance with company goals, adhering to strategic business plans for growth and experience and reinvesting in the business and its employees.
Start up Summary:
As I pursue investor to invest into kitkat business, the first location may start in my home. As the number of children increase and the fund are available then the Shoal road facility will be a dream comes true. Reaching into some of my retirement money, it is possible to use funds from my 401to start the business in my home. The school founder and president, Cathy Austin, will oversee fiscal responsibility, employing an CPA for financial oversight. A campus Director will be hired to handle day to day operations and will work collaboratively with the silent partners and other campus personnel to ensure a successful business venture. As reflected in the table below, the estimated startup cost for kitkat will be $39,450. These costs will be financed solely by the owners’ personal cash funds and optional credit lines. An anticipated $60,000 SBA guaranteed 5 year loan will be used as working capital. Future expansion, growth and franchising strategy will be self financed.
Business printing paper
1 Teacher Assistance
Built one room on house
Lab tops (4 to 5)
Enrollment will be at least six children per quarter:
First quarter expecting 6 children
Second quarter 6 more children
Third quarter 6 more children
Fourth quarter 6 more children
Total of 24 children
As the children increase then staff will increase to help teach in a small group to focus more 1 to 4 children in a classroom.
By the end of Year 2 expect sales increasing almost double.
By the end of Year 1 maintain a high raw gross margin.
By the end of Year1 expected to open second campus.
By the end of Year 3 will attempt to franchise.
Kitkat must charge appropriately for the high-end, high-quality educational and care giving services we offer. Our revenue structure has to support our cost structure, so the salaries we pay to assure quality services must be balanced by the revenue we charge.
We will be price competitive in the market we serve; however, we will not subscribe to the “low price leader” concept. The quality of our service will support the prices we charge.
Affordable Price – The price for service for each child is $350.00 weekly, paying in advance by check, cash or money order. The payment policy is expected to be followed and payment is due on every Friday.
Support Service – Behavior Specialist, Occupational/Speech/Physical Therapist, Autism Specialist,
Employment – policy and Procedures, Job description, Safety fire, Recruitment and training
The type of services that will be offered:
Full time child care
Part-time/After school activities
After school Tutoring
Parent training and support
To enhance the life of the disabled child in socially, emotionally, academically, recreational and physically.
The act of learning should not occur solely within the confines of the classroom, but includes life lesson and cultural experiences. The overall goal in educating is to help disable children improve and progress socially, emotionally and communicating. One must learn to make a difference in the life of a child every day.
to teach the parents
increase data driven
teach and reach a child
to teach the child the curriculum based activity
the economy condition can be threat to profit (state funds to children with disabilities)
competitors can be a threat
External Opportunities in the community for exposure and direct mail campaigns
Internal Strengths and Weaknesses – SWOT
Top of the line Curriculum and Training
Small class session
Required Parent training and support groups
Quality care and service
Not enough funds
Get the right people on the bus
Someone stealing your idea
State License and approval
Expected Monthly Cost
Expected Yearly Cost
Salaries and wages
Supplies: Technological, Equipment, furniture, computers, software, copy machine, desks, chair, etc.) and other
Advertisement and other promotions
Utilities, Heat, Electricity, etc.
Telephone and Internet
Total Revenue (Sales)
Cost of Goods Sold
Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE)
Well known for quality & reliable service
Low turnovers provides continuity & customer knowledge
Represent a full line of top quality component manufacturers
Strong balance sheet with very little debt
Almost 60% of customers come from referrals
Strictly a local company
Unknown to the general public
Use distributors for parts purchases, incurring higher cost
Provide many benefits to employees that raise coat
Less than 5% if customers buy service contrasts
Kitkat first school will be located North Druid Hill, Atlanta. The school will employ six fundamentals that will serve as the driving force for the services offered.
Premier care giving services
An activity based, children structured curriculum
Advanced technology and developmental programs
Continuing education mentoring and tutoring
Community advancement and involvement
Kitkat developmental and training school is a privately held proprietorship owned in majority by its founder. There are also two silent partners, neither of whom own more than 10%, but will be active participants in daily operations, management decisions and consulting though they do not own a financial stake in the company. Once the operation reaches its anticipated growth and profitability goals, the school plans to franchise and will register as a limited liability company or as a corporation, whichever will better suit the future business needs.
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KitKat training school offers quality child care services and a curriculum based designed for kids new born to 7 years old and pre-k to second grade. Normal operating hours will be 6:45am to 6:30pm. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday – with observance of all major legal holidays. Early drop off service will be offered as needed. KK exists to provide premier child care services that are aimed at enhancing traditional day care methodologies and integrating extracurricular interests (such as arts and crafts, gymnastics) into one comprehensive program. Our activity based curriculum is specifically tailored for children. We offer state of the art technology programs in leading edge facilities which help prepare students through main school homework assignments and provide a base of understanding and interaction to ensure success in future educational endeavors. Finally, our developmental program reinforces basic social, listening, independence and motor skills and prepares students for future related interaction. All of our learning and child care services employ technology, partnerships, professional services and other activities that support and promote higher learning. In addition to the extensive services and curriculum offered, each campus will also offer weekend specialty classes for children and adults and planned family activities in the community it serves. KK will also offer children birthday party hosting services, providing great activities for kids and an easy experience for parents. Activity instructors will be assigned for these events and will lead the activities, ensuring a memorable celebration
Upon its opening, Kitkat Developmental and training services will offer four basic services in the Atlanta area:
Full time child care
Part-time/After school activities
After school Tutoring
Prior to opening, the school will have a two month enrollment drive. Based on the market reaction to the drive, these services may be altered to meet the needs of the community. The school will always remain nimble enough to respond to the needs of the community in which it serves.
Support Service Offered
Early Intervention starts with a committee meeting to determine what services a child may need. The team will take the time to evaluate child to see if they need any of the following listed below:
Psychologist – the referral for a psychologist is to obtain a current intellectual functional level of the child. During this process a parent questionnaire must be complete by the parents. This is for background information; the child’s birth, prenatal development, weight at birth, complications at birth; medical history such as; asthma or food allergies; and behavior. The types of testing instruments the psychologist use for evaluation is:
Brigance Inventory of Early Development – this instrument test self-care, gross motor, cognitive/social, communication, perceptual/fine motor and this instrument checks the age equivalent in years and months of a child. Assessment of Intellectual Functioning- the purpose of the evaluation is provided and estimation of the child’s intellectual ability as a comparison against actual academic achievement. Determining cognitive strengths and weaknesses also helps to evaluate learning potential and guide recommendations for the use of specific instructional strategies and intervention techniques.
Stanford-Binet Intelligence scales: Fifth Edition (SB: 5) – is an intelligence measure that consists of nonverbal and verbal tasks that assess skill in five domains. The SB: 5 yield composite scores in each of these domains as well as a nonverbal Intelligence Quotient (NVIQ), a verbal intelligence Quotient (VIQ) and a Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) that represents an estimate of the child’s overall level of functioning.
Speech therapy – When a child who needs speech therapy received speech in the early stages to promote your child’s development, it is a support system not only for the child, but also for the family, and finally it gives your child the abilities to become a functional member of society. Development – Research has shown us that most of a child’s learning and development happens in the pre-school years, which is why the timing of intervention is so important. All children have what we call “stages of readiness” to learn, and if you miss these stages, your child may have difficulty in learning particular skills later on. Support system – This is extremely important for any family with a special needs child. We have a lot to cope with in the early days, after a diagnosis, disappointment, frustration and helplessness. Many families of handicapped children also have to deal with divorce and some degree of social isolation. That’s why stepping in early can definitely give your family the tools to have a better attitude within the family and towards the special needs child. Your therapists can provide you with information and skills to teach and help your child t best of your abilities, thereby relieving a lot of stress and feelings of helplessness. Take advantage of friends and family who offer to help, you need to take time out,
you are after all more than just a mother and a wife. Society – We would all like our children to become functional and contributing members of society, so start implementing the skills your child needs to do this, as early as possible. Become involved in your child’s treatment, and implement all the skills that your therapist suggests to improve their overall communication skills. The speech teacher works with the child; to assist the child in developing the ability to understand basic concepts, when shown two pictures, the child will understand the difference between the two concepts; to assist the child in identifying pictures describing basic concepts; to understand the concept of sequencing with 10%, 20% etcâ€¦; the child will begin to understand sounds, temporal sequencing; the child will develop the ability to make sound, position lips, and tongue; assist the child in matching and sorting pictures with association relationship; Expressive Language-increase expressive language skills that are needed to facilitate effective daily communications; to produce his own name; name body parts; imitate sounds, intonations and words; name common objects and pictures of objects; assist the child in expressing needs through words; use eye to face contact when speaking needs through words; decrease echolalia and preservation speech; develop self confidence in verbal encounters; develop volume that is appropriate to the listener’s need; participate in group activities that involve turn-taking and observation of rules; develop reasoning in cause and effect relationships; identify the object described when presented aloud with the definition; carry on a conversation in a socially appropriate manner; tell about recent and past experience; to correctly produce one-word utterances; name object and person; say words to call attention to an object; say two words to indicate the recurrence of an object; say two or more word utterance which contain an adjective and a noun; say two or more words to show disappearance of an object; say two or more words to show emotion; use verbs appropriately; name pictured verbs; described actions performed by himself/herself; describe actions performed by others; use categories and association appropriately; name member of the category when presented with the category title; imitate the model as they point to peers possession; respond orally with the correct possessive form in short phrases as the speech teacher points to peers; respond to “wh” questions; answer “what, “who,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “which,” questions;
The child care industry as a whole is saturated. However, based on US Census 2000 data, DeKalb County child care services provider listing is growing and has few licensed developmental and training centers for disabled children. Kitkat School intends to fill this local market need. In the Atlanta area –North Druid Hills subdivisions mostly have retired resident homes respectively (Margret Harris Comprehensive school). There is only one other developmental facility in the North Druid Hills neighborhood. This one is on knob Dr. There is also three family child caregivers listed in the area, but none in the immediate community. Kitkat will differentiate itself from its local competitors by offering an alternative to these traditional day care approaches. The kitkat school market strategy is based on providing an activity based learning environment that is used in many major public schools. We will offer the community of professional caregivers with the credentials to not only enhances a child’s early social and motor skills, but to also teach them advanced studies in cognitive and social skills.
Since the school founder has an extensive information Technology background, it’s only natural that Kitkat’s school will employ and maintain the latest technology to enhance its curriculum, office management systems, payment processing and record keeping.
Marketing Analysis Summary
Kitkat’s developmental and training program offers services which are vitally important in today’s fast paced, dual-income world. As an increasing number of families have become dependent on one income, the need for quality child care has skyrocketed. According to Atlanta Business Statistics, 84.6% of licensed child care facilities succeed and make a profit in their 1st year of operation. Nationally, this number is 66.7%.
There is no doubt, in the North Druid Hills area, that there is room and a need for a school for disabled children. Market demographics to support this statement can be found below.
Target Market Segment Strategy
The target market for Kitkat is full-time workers. Referral marketing, direct-mail campaigns and
Referral marketing, direct mail campaigns and community activity days will be the primary types
Of marketing strategies utilized. Maintaining and enhancing its reputation with families and in the community will be crucial in obtaining the planned market share growth of this target market.
Kitkat has a focus on meeting the local community need for child care services within the 5 mile radius of downtown Atlanta. Students will taken in flexible on either a full time or part-
The school will establish a significantly large, full-time, regular client
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