Antonia BEAUVOISIN BROWN is fronting up the Education revolution here in the South of France with her Bricks and Mortar biz KidooLand, her online learning Academy and her local entrepreneur podcast.
She is part of the RBC Board volunteering as the Membership secretary and looks forward to connecting with all our business leaders.
It might come as a surprise to Antonia’s school teachers that she has taken the Education route as she wasn’t actually a star pupil .. far from it and by 5th form had disconnected in a big way from the classroom. 6th form was more fun out of school than in and soon after she escaped it all and went to Paris. It was probably this year out as an Au Pair that got her into the childcare world, where she got her French up to a level that allowed her to get into University and onto a course that included training and a year teaching in schools in France.
With summer jobs working as a counsellor on kids camps the education flame was lit as she observed what children loved doing.
Post Uni, after a brief stint working for a Champagne house where bonuses were paid in Dom Perignon, Antonia spent 8 years working for a Fortune 500 company in the Technologies, Business and Operations departments – as it was the major employer in Brighton.
Several times, she considered leaving I.T. to go into teaching but with the Millennium bug and the rise of salaries in Tech it became hard to leave. Alongside this she set up an apartment rental business so they could holiday in Nice, which she subsequently sold and also co-founded an Au Pair Agency so she could have someone help with their son. The Agency continued her career into childcare, particularly on the recruitment and HR side.
A huge life change opportunity came after the arrival of their little girl and they moved their young family to France in 2004. Not wanting to leave two small children in fulltime care, Antonia looked for ways to set up a business where she could take her kids to work and so started 18 months of market research on what was available for young families on the French Riviera.
A graduate with a degree in French, Russian and Linguistics, a diploma in Child Psychology and many years of Project Management as well as a whole family of entrepreneurs, led to her establishing KidooLand the Little English School in 2007 in Vallauris.
Antonia set about creating an educational system that her children would love to go to and that as a parent she felt safe in the knowledge they were happy while learning.
Key services include Early Years foundation skills for Mum and Baby clubs and Playgroups, weekly interactive English lessons and holiday activity camps to children from 0-16 years. There is also online 1:1 tuition and language coaching service for teenagers and adults.
This language school with a difference minimises methods used in traditional learning and instead uses NeuroLanguage Coaching, borrows from Montessori methods and above all has brain friendly techniques to get the dopamine going and engage its’ students.
Antonia actively worked with her own children, getting their feedback to design the courses and so KidooLand was the first language school on the Riviera to use activities such as Lego, Yoga and cooking to teach children English. The programme now includes Theatre, Art, Music, Forest school and more.
In 2017, Antonia was nominated and won the RBC Business Person of the Year award . Having said she was going to expand during her presentation – she felt she had to plough on ahead with the plan and she expanded to a second premises in Sophia Antipolis in 2018 and then in 2019 open a 3rd premises in Villeneuve Loubet Village.
After a trip to Finland in 2022, Antonia was able to bring more ideas from the world’s leading educational system back to France and start implementing them in class. The team are encouraged look globally for new ideas to bring back to our classrooms. She hopes to start working with local policy makers to get all education into a more progressive mindset.
For the last 5 years Antonia has worked closely with Business coaches and also trained as a coach herself which has enabled her to stop being the one doing all the things and hire and outsource more. This has given the business the essential structure it lacked and allowed it to scale and grow.
The KidooLand back office support team work closely with their teachers to ensure they streamline as much as possible, reduce planning and to create a happy work environment.
Her children have just finished in the French education system and that experience and the feedback from thousands of clients has led Antonia to believe that education needs to change fundamentally and soon. In the next 10 years they plan to open new centres in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var and develop more classes in different subjects but also work with local decision makers to make change happen.
Antonia hosts a niche podcast the Riviera Firefly that has had over 30,000 individual downloads across the podcast platforms.
On it she interviews inspiring local entrepreneurs and shines a light on what’s what in the department.
Antonia also set up and manages an active community Facebook group with over 12,000 members for those living on the Côte d’Azur to help those relocating, visiting and living here and markets her family’s IRISH HOLIDAY RENTAL.
Thanks to her incredible team she no longer has to do “all the things” and actually does get a lot of time network with other business leaders, go swimming and also be part of clubs such as the photography circle that she loves.
She is happy to help the RBC grow its membership and enable more business leaders to connect and learn from each other and joined the board in summer 2022.