Talking Tots is franchise giant

Lisa Houghton and Tracey Park
Lisa Houghton and Tracey Park
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A PIONEERING toddler group business launched in Lytham has spread across the UK.

Talking Tots, which is aimed at improving listening and communication skills in a fun environment, now has more than 30 franchises across the country.

Founder Tracey Park and Lisa Houghton, both from Lytham, are delighted with the popularity of the business.

They decided to quit their jobs as paediatric speech and language therapists in the NHS to launch their activity venture.

The business was launched in 2005 and two years later, sold its first franchise.

It now boasts 30 franchises across the country and has gone international –with the latest setting up in Ireland.

Tracey said: “It surprised us at first how well it took off, but we always believed in it.

“It was a leap of faith for us.

“We both gave up very secure NHS jobs to do this.

“It got to the point where it was now or never so we just did it.

“So far we’re an all female franchise – no men have started one up!”

The tots sessions are designed to be fun while gently boosting preschool children’s communication and social skills.

Classes are designed to help children become more independent while learning and listening to instructions in a series of games.

There are currently 1,500 businesses using a franchise model to grow in the UK.

A spokesman for franchise service FDS said: “By taking the franchise route you cut overheads and, unencumbered by staffing and administration issues, can focus more time on developing the business.”