In the second of our two-part Meet the Founders Series we catch up with Jo who has been working in this field for close to a decade.
Jo's background in music and as a mom to two boys and a little girl herself means that her job working with child development through movement, music, and play is never work!
In this Q&A session, we will find out what drives Jo in her role as Ready Steady Play co-founder, and what got her onto this path.
Q) Hi Jo, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I'm Jo a mum of three amazing children aged eighteen, nine and seven, and I am the co-founder of Ready Steady Play and Music. I have a passion for childhood development and I have spent the last 9 years immersing myself professionally and personally in infancy and early years learning.
I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Journalism, and this is where I developed a keen interest in childhood development. I was probably always destined to end up with an instrument in my hand! I grew up in a very musical family, where I played the accordion and I was in our local town band too. We won four all Irelands and my love of music is something I love to pass on to the families I work with today.
Q) What brought you onto the path of working with children as a career?
After finishing college, I spent my initial professional years as an Area Manager for a Telecommunications company up to when I had my own children. As a parent with an active role in my own children’s development, I quickly found that there was a real lack of developmental activities for young children in our area. When I saw the opportunity to bring the benefits of play, music, and movement to other children and their families, it inspired me to start my own business.
Q) How did you come to partner with Jade to launch Ready Steady Play and Music?
I was working full-time running play, movement, and music classes under the same franchise as Jade when we met, connected, and started to collaborate on lesson plans and class themes together. We really thrived around the creation, ideation, and delivery of our concepts in class so when our master Franchisers license was not renewed the opportunity arose, to start our own business. It really was a case of one door closing and another one opening. We had history, combined experience, and had already spent so much time supporting each other professionally, so launching Ready Steady Play and Music was a natural choice for us!
What do you love about your role?
Our teaching roles at Ready Steady Play and Music are very rewarding as we enjoy working with children, parents, and caregivers in class settings and schools. We take pride in knowing that we are contributing positively to their social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development. No two days are the same and it is such a fulfilling career full of joy and laughter.
Our classes allow us to create long-lasting relationships with parents and their children and we are honored to be a vital part of their little one’s early year’s development. We get to have fun through educational & play activities and love being the big kids in the class. Life is one big adventure and we LOVE that we are joined on a new Play and Musical adventure every week with hundreds of little friends.
Working at Ready Steady Play and Music allows us to have a great work-life balance which is important to us as we are both moms and want to enjoy our time with our own children while they are young.
Q) What does the future hold for Ready Steady Play?
We are very excited to be launching new classes in the Midlands and the southeast this coming September and October and we will expand into new national locations over the next 18 months to bring the enjoyment and adventure of our classes to lots of little people all around Ireland.
Thanks Jo! It was great to get an insight into your world and the story behind the conception of Ready Steady Play and Music.
You can attend play, music, and movement classes for babies, children, or toddlers with Jo and her team of teachers in Athlone, Tullamore, and Portlaoise by following this link.