Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sara Schreiner, Owner and Director of Childmynder, located in Laurel, MT, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Our business is ChildMYnder, a multifaceted platform focused on empowering the childcare industry. We are aimed at transforming the childcare service landscape through coaching, consultation, and providing critical business services. Our services range from assisting with tuition processing and policy development to enhancing the client pipeline for childcare providers.

We primarily serve three groups. Our first group comprises individuals who aspire to establish their own childcare programs. We guide them through the initial steps, helping them transform their vision into a profitable and high-quality childcare business. Our second audience involves existing providers who have been in the industry and seek professional development to take their childcare services to the next level.

Finally, we extend our services to corporations that prioritize their employees' well-being and work-life balance. We facilitate these companies in offering discounted childcare benefits or aiding their employees in finding suitable childcare options, thus improving employee satisfaction, retention, and recruitment.

In essence, our primary objective is to ensure a healthy work-life balance for childcare providers, empower individuals to operate profitable, high-quality childcare programs, help directors and owners enhance their leadership skills, and aid businesses in providing their employees with quality childcare options. By doing so, we address some of the most significant challenges in the childcare sector, ensuring better outcomes for providers, parents, and businesses alike.

Tell us about yourself

I am not just the founder of ChildMYnder, but also a wife, mother, and owner of several thriving childcare programs. My journey into the childcare sector was not just a professional choice but a personal mission. The seeds of this mission were planted when I first built my childcare business from scratch. Through this process, I encountered numerous challenges and learned invaluable lessons about business and leadership.

As my business grew, I found myself in a unique position to mentor and train hundreds of women. The resilience, ambition, and passion I saw in them convinced me that women are uniquely positioned to lead and inspire change within the childcare industry. This realization was the spark that led to the creation of ChildMYnder.

Every day, I'm driven by the belief that we all have untapped potential waiting to be discovered. My motivation stems from a desire to empower others to achieve their dreams and to teach them how to balance their professional aspirations with their home life. There's a distinct joy and fulfillment in seeing individuals, especially women, discover their capacity to shape the childcare industry while maintaining a balanced life. It's this purpose that wakes me up each morning, ready to make a positive impact through ChildMYnder."

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been securing the Innovation and Expansion grant from The State of Montana. This achievement marked a crucial turning point in the inception of ChildMYnder, and a testament to the value and potential of our vision. The application process was incredibly rigorous, challenging, and competitive. It required a detailed proposal outlining not just the business concept but also how it would tangibly contribute to addressing the childcare crisis in Montana. But it wasn't simply about drafting a convincing application; I also had to convince the entire application panel, persuading them that our venture was worth investing in. When we were awarded 100% of the funds requested, it was a resounding affirmation of our mission. The grant allowed us to launch ChildMYnder and gave us a significant boost in helping solve the childcare crisis in Montana. More than the financial support, the grant stands as a symbol of the value and transformative potential of our work in the childcare industry. And that, to me, is a profoundly gratifying accomplishment.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner, especially for someone like me with a visionary mindset, is navigating the myriad of opportunities that come our way. Innovative ideas and concepts are always enticing - they sparkle with potential, like uncut diamonds, and it's easy to get drawn to their shine. However, the reality of running a successful business requires a discerning eye and the ability to practice delayed gratification. Every new idea and opportunity needs to be evaluated against our current goals, strategies, and resources. This is no simple task; it's akin to being a sailor navigating the vast ocean, trying to stay the course amidst the siren call of seemingly attractive detours.

The real challenge lies in finding the balance - knowing when to leap at an opportunity that aligns with our mission and when to respectfully let it pass in favor of maintaining our strategic focus. This juggling act, albeit exciting, requires careful thought, foresight, and sometimes, the courage to say 'not now.' This, I believe, is one of the hardest but most essential aspects of being a business owner.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Assemble Your Team Wisely: Starting a business is not a solitary endeavor, and you should never feel as though you have to shoulder every task or master every skill. Surround yourself with a team of experts who excel in areas where you may lack expertise. Their strength will complement your own and cover any gaps, allowing your business to operate and grow more effectively.
  2. Embrace Feedback: Every piece of feedback, positive or negative, is a valuable resource for improvement. Seek it actively, treat it constructively, and use it as a launchpad to refine and enhance your business. Remember, it's through understanding our shortcomings that we can turn them into our strengths.
  3. Chart Your Own Path: Progress is a deeply personal journey, and it looks different for everyone. It's easy to fall into the trap of constant comparison with others, but the true competition should be with yourself. Strive for consistent self-improvement, aiming to be better today than you were yesterday. Let your growth be measured not by the pace of others but by your own strides.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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