Kids with an eagerness to explore a wide range of subjects, will soon be able to dabble in everything from coding to stop motion animation to culinary arts, all in one location in Whitby.
The new site is set to open this summer, just two years after Francis opened the Pickering location, which was met with much success, despite opening in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We actually sold out all the camps in the first year that we launched,” Francis recalled.
The IDEA Lab Kids franchise was founded as a way for kids to explore their love of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) subjects.
Francis, a mother of two who balances a full-time job in the banking and mortgage industry, with owning the two IDEA Lab Kids locations, saw a need for this type of service in Durham.
“My son was the main motivator for my business,” she said.
As a toddler, he was learning quickly and getting bored, Francis said.
Research told her that her community didn't have anything that focused on more than one area of learning. When she stumbled across IDEA Lab Kids, she met with the area developers and was instantly sold.
“The benefit is, it’s not a traditional classroom setting,” Francis says. “The learning they would receive from us, the value is not what they would get in the schools.”
The Houston-based education franchise offers after-school classes, camps, birthday parties, open labs and lots more to children from ages four to 14 years of age.
“They learn by doing the activities and it really allows them to be creative,” Francis says.
Summer camp registration is open for the new location at 72 Baldwin St. in Whitby.
“Pickering is selling out quickly,” she says.
A contingency space will be available if the new site is not quite ready for campers.
The new 3,100-square foot space is larger than the Pickering location, and includes a gym.