Interview with Natacha Beim - Founder/CEO of Core Education & Fine Arts
Born in Uruguay and raised in Montreal, Canada, she has traveled extensively and studied educational systems around the world. As a pioneer in the field of modern education, Beim continually pursues studies in the field development psychology focusing on the early years.
Beim strongly believes in the power of a well-rounded education. A published poet at the young age of 16, Beim speaks three languages and has won many hats including teacher, ballerina, model, journalist, painter, writer, actress (theatre) and runner. While she still devotes time to these interests, her passion is now with helping the next generation of young learners by creating North America's most regarded junior kindergarten program.
Beim's progressive view on education and incredible passion for life, have made her a fascinating speaker, enriching parents and educators alike. She now resides in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons. There she divides her time between research, writing, speaking engagements and her most important accomplishment to date - being a mom.
BeTheBoss: Tell us about the Core Education & Fine Arts (cefa) concept.
Natacha Beim: Established in 1998 in the city of West Vancouver, Core Education & Fine Arts (Cefa) is Canada’s first Junior Kindergarten school. The school is designed to develop a child’s intellect and deliver the finest start in education, art and humanities...Cefa is open to children between the ages of one and five. and presents them with the possibility to discover and challenge themselves and their own potential, Core academic concepts introduced include: reading, writing, math, science, music, physical education, visual and dramatic arts, yoga and relaxation, and culture immersion. Cefa also provides children with the opportunity to contribute to their community and to develop empathy.
BTB: How and when did you become involved with cefa?
NB: Having worked as an elementary school teacher and later specializing as a Junior Kindergarten teacher in Europe, I was able to experience firsthand the incredible effect of early academic exposure in young children. When I returned to Canada, I wanted to provide children with that same caliber of learning. I wanted to create a curriculum that would not impose on a child’s natural desire to explore, play, and learn by allowing them to experiment with their environment.
BTB: What was your background prior to joining cefa?
NB: I was born in Uruguay and raised in Montréal, and traveled extensively. I studied several countries’ educational approaches. I also studied journalism, ballet, and drama for many years and published a book of poetry.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a cefa franchisee?
NB: Cefa responds to the social, educational, and developmental needs of children and is constantly evolving and growing. Choosing to be a part of cefa is not only a lifestyle decision, it’s a decision to better the education of our children, and therefore, society in general. Cefa franchisees are provided with consistent and efficient support and an environment that feels more like being part of a family than a large corporation. Everyone contributes.
BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?
NB: Our ideal franchisee is someone who is constantly thinking of ways to make cefa better by proactively collaborating on best practices. It’s important that our franchisees embody our vision of education and empowering children. We are looking for great team who truly understand and believe in our philosophy and systems.
BTB: Tell us a little about the cefa Market?
NB: Being the only Junior Kindergarten school we are at a truly advantageous point. We have very little competition, and because we provide an essential service, we also manage exceptionally well when the economy is not at its strongest.
BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
NB: The greatest lesson I have learned is to be very careful choosing your franchisees...I am proud of the fact that we select great franchisees. They are wonderful to work with, and have contributed so much over the years. Our franchisees are invested in Cefa’s success, and that’s kept us strong and confident.
BTB:Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
NB:I feel inspired by the people whom I work with. I am very fortunate to work with such talented, creative and kind people, from our staff at cefa to our owners and teachers.
BTB:What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
NB:Cefa is far from a typical franchise. A person who decides to invest in a school is investing much more than capital, effort and time. Being in part responsible for the development of children is about contribution. It is more a choice to give than a choice to earn, or receive, and with that comes many rewards. Take the time to consider whether or the franchise is a good match with your own aspirations. Do your research and feel good about the company you may join.
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that cefa would be a great opportunity for someone?
NB: Choosing to be part of cefa is more than a business decision, it is an important contribution to society, Cefa gives franchisees an opportunity to work for a Canadian company that is dedicated to teaching children during their most formative years, using a progressive program that has a 100 percent success rate. We raise the bar when it comes to education. Becoming a cefa franchisee also gives a person the opportunity to give back to their community, enjoy a work/life balance, and be rewarded both personally and financially.