Educator Robin Wes founded The Little Gym International in 1976 as a franchiser of infant and child-oriented fitness gyms. In effect, the establishment is a daycare center for pre-school and young children aged 4 months to 12 years. This is a broad market scope for constructing a curriculum of physical and mental development. The opportunity evidently exists to maintain repeat business all throughout Prep-Kindergarten and Grade School.
Today The Little Gym International, Inc. is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. It was incorporated in 1992 to franchise The Little Gym concept aggressively.
The following The Little Gym prices are estimates only.
|Initiation Fee (Per Child)||$0.00|
|Annual Fee (Per Child)||$40.00|
|Price Per Season||$165.00|
|Cancellation Fee (Per Child)||$0.00|
Nearly two decades would elapse before The Little Gym sortied throughout the nation and offshore from its base in Scottsdale (AZ). By 1992, the chain boasted 300 franchises in 29 countries.
USA/North America: there are 35 franchisees around the nation and four in the provincial capitals of Canada: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The authorized Canadian centers are in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Quebec.
The international network has attracted old-line European Union member nations (the United Kingdom, Belgium, the former Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland), newly wealthy middle-income countries throughout the Arab World (Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Asia (India, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and China), and high-aspiration Latin America itself (Mexico, Puerto Rico).
Brilliant market scope and repeat business opportunity aside, target market inclinations support only classes in Parent-Child, developmental gymnastics for both Pre-k and Grade school, Karate, Sports Skills Development, and Dance. By the intermediate grades, children are too independent and gregarious to attend daycare. Besides, physical education classes in school exert an increasingly heavy schedule and physical workload.
The Little Gym also offers itself as venues for birthday parties, camps, and Parents’ Survival Nights.
In the main, The Little Gym positions itself as a provider of first-class experiential learning and child physical development center. This it does with progressively structured classes and a positive learning environment that creates opportunities for children to try new things and build self-confidence.
The pedagogical principle is three-dimensional learning across physical activity, intellectual development and character-building. Aside from games that burn boundless energy, the physical regimens build flexibility and strength, develop balance and coordination, and encourage agility, rhythm and overall fitness.
The establishment reports that the primary insight they bring to the service is that creative physical activity and the immediate boost children get “One Humongous Grin at a Time” is the sine qua non for getting the best start in life. It is the key to becoming well-rounded, well-adjusted adults. The child who learns to propel himself on a bike, albeit with training wheels and a vigilant adult in tow, is more likely to become and successful.
Piagetian and other development studies note that the benefits of a whole child approach to physical activity include:
Intellectual development programs, secondly, are aimed at “expanding the mind and developing a love of learning… fostering sustained concentration and decision making, preparing for or reinforcing school lessons, and nurturing problem-solving ability…and creative expression.”
Essentially, the character-building civics classes promote socialization, sharing, working in a group, listening and leadership. Other than these 3 pedagogical principles, the chain lets children progress at their own pace.
All in all, The Little Gym has shown that experiential learning is the key to child development. Parents themselves report their satisfaction that the physical programs provide opportunities to explore their own potential and to better understand and enjoy the world around them. The curriculum is progressive, building each new stage off the last.
Like daycare, enrollment is flexible. Children can join anytime except during the two weeks leading up to Show Week, when ongoing rehearsals make it intimidating for the late entrant. Monthly tuition – $79/month for one’s “home class” and unlimited drop-ins. The second child gets 20% off. Annual Family Membership – $50/year, entitling parents to discounts on birthday parties, camps, and Parent Survival Nights. Little Gym levies no registration or cancellation fees, merely asking for 30 days’ notice of intent to cancel.
For more information about The Little Gym, visit their official website.