Name of Recipient:
Mr. Derrick Huang
With the large amount of working parents in Singapore, the welfare of their children is a genuine point of concern for them. To cope with this demand, many student care centres have established themselves in Singapore, allowing students a safe place to go after school. However, for Sparklekidz Academy, they are not only committed to providing just a safe haven, but also to providing both character and academic development for their charges as well.
Established in December 2012 by Mr. Derrick Huang, Sparklekidz Academy specializes in before and after school student care, small group tuition, as well as school holiday enrichment courses for students aged 7 to 14 years old. With their six core values, S.I.M.P.L.E, which stands for social, intellectual, moral, physical, language and emotional, Sparklekidz Academy believes in preparing their children for the future.
For Derrick, his reasons for taking over the centre stemmed from his student days. “I was a product of a teacher who did not handle the students well. And from that time onwards, I told myself, when I become a teacher, I will treat my students with mutual respect, with patience and no demoralizing actions toward them.”
Later on, when Derrick did make it into the student care industry, he found himself not entirely satisfied with the system. “At one point, I was the second man in control, handling four student care centres. However, as much as I would want, some changes just can’t be made. That’s when I decided to come out and manage my own centre instead.”
However, when he first took over Sparklekidz Academy, the place had been mismanaged for some time and only eight students were enrolled in their centre. “We had only 8 students and when potential clients, which are the parents, come in to see the place, they were definitely thinking, ‘Why should I pay this price for this?’
With a small team of dedicated teachers and employees, Derrick set out to transform Sparklekidz Academy into a better place for their students. “During that time, student care centres were known for just ‘babysitting’ their students. But we want to do the opposite, to take care of both their character and academic development. This is quite a challenge as the centre was rather rundown and had only 8 students.”
“Also, being a father myself, I know what parents want and we then gradually started to build up strong parent-teacher relationships with them. With my team, day in day out we worked hard, and we started to build up our existing student base as time went by.”
Indeed, since their establishment, Sparklekidz Academy has seen their student number rise rapidly and now they have over 80 students at their main branch. With their centre at Mountbatten Community Centre now at maximum capacity, they have also established a new branch at Pasir Ris, to better cope with the rising demand.
In light of their recent successes, Derrick has attributed much of it to the teachers they have engaged, which he stresses are quite different from other student care centres. “In other centres, their teachers are usually specializing in one subject. But for us, the teachers we have engaged are all-rounders, able to coach students in any subject from Primary and Secondary Schools. We are strict about our teachers and the right candidate has to be one that is passionate about children and is able to contribute to our vision. We are then able to groom and guide them into even better educators.”
Having spearheaded the success of Sparklekidz Academy, Derrick now shares with us some lessons he has learnt throughout his entrepreneurial journey so far. “Sincerity is very important. For me, we have to interact with the parents sincerely and be as open with them as possible. When you talk to them, they can feel whether you are sincere or not.”
“Also, entrepreneurs need to be brave and have the courage to do what they need to do. If you think and consider too much, you will not be able to do it. Just believe in your own products and everything else will fall into place.”
With his business running strong, Derrick now has further plans for Sparklekidz Academy’s expansion. “Currently, I believe strongly in our business model and this is duplicated to our other centres. Looking ahead, our teachers will take on more senior roles in the future, and they will be promoted from within the core team that has been with me since the start.”
“We are definitely interested to establish more branches, but that is dependent on the location. They need to be close to schools, at the same time, it must be accessible to parents. I spent two full years looking for a suitable location and I would like to be as careful with future branches.”
With the vision to enhance and cultivate a well-rounded environment for their students, it is clear that Sparklekidz Academy is not merely a simple student care centre, but a place where students can thrive both in character and academics. Under the leadership of Derrick, there can be no doubt that Sparklekidz Academy will continue on to achieve even more success in the future.
35 Jalan Satu #01-03
Mountbatten Community Club
T| 9325 3855
Pasir Ris Centre
454 Pasir Ris Drive 6
T| 6583 9885 / 9325 3855