MindChamps closes one branch at OneKM, steps in to help parents, teachers
OneKM Reading and Writing, a MindChamps franchisee in Tanjong Katong, had its license revoked by MindChamps headquarters in early September this year due to the franchisee's failure to meet the HQ's quality checks.
In a statement today, the company said that MindChamps HQ stepped in to service all OneKM Reading and Writing franchise centre's students. For those parents who could not continue in other MindChamps Reading and Writing centres, their fees were refunded.
Although this OneKM centre carries the name of MindChamps, it is a franchise centre and it is ultimately owned by the Franchisee who is responsible for the running of the business and all associated costs.
Nonetheless, MindChamps made sure that OneKM Reading and Writing full-time employees were paid up to the end of August this year, while part-time independent contractors were advised to file their claims through the small claims court for any balance payment owed by the franchisee.
And in the event that they do not succeed in their claims, they have been informed that MindChamps headquarters will step in to pay them out of goodwill, the company said today.
In addition, MindChamps has also offered positions to affected employees at the HQ and other MindChamps centres.The statement follows a New Paper story on Oct 20 quoting some centre employees who had trouble claiming salaries owed by the franchisee. Some of the trainers had a scheduled hearing at the Labour Court on Oct 20, but the two directors of the axed franchisee did not show up, A new date has been fixed in November.
The centre that has been closed is one of two at OneKM. MindChamps Pre-School remains open.
As to the claim that the Reading & Writing Centre was closed without notice, MindChamps said all parents had been given advance notice.
The company said the MindChamps brand is known not only for its strong scientifically validated curriculum, but also for honouring its promise in delivering high quality standards to its students.
It currently has 33 MindChamps Preschools and seven MindChamps Reading & Writing centres island-wide. Its soon-to-be announced 2016 win as Influential Brand of the year for three consecutive years is a testament to its promise, added the company statement.
On their response to the situation, founder of MindChamps, Mr David Chiem said: "Honour is everything to us. Our number one priority is our children and we will do whatever it takes to keep our promise in providing them with the very best. In the case of the OneKM Reading and Writing franchise centre, revoking their franchise license is about upholding our stringent quality standards and protecting our parents' and stakeholders' trust in us."
MindChamps franchise owners felt the same way, the statement added.
Mr David Lee, who owns five centres said: "I started my first franchise centre with MindChamps Preschool in 2008, and am very grateful for all the support and training provided by MindChamps headquarters. Now with our fifth centre, I am delighted to be a part of a strong brand where stringent quality control and standards are not compromised in any way."
He added that the fact that MindChamps HQ had no qualms shutting down a franchise centre that did not deliver excellence, makes him even more confident be a part of the MindChamps brand.
The content of this article has been updated