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Meet Eula Gomez of Canterbury Academy in Inglewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eula Gomez.

Eula, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been working with children and families in an early education and childcare setting since I was 16 years old! Working as a teenager in an after-school program, it became clear to me that my passion for teaching children and being really good at caring for them was not some passing fad or fluke! Pouring what I have and know into eager, inherently curious young minds is core to who I am as a professional, woman and mother. I pursued my degree in education and child development and in 2005 opened a family/home childcare business.

This first entrepreneurial venture allowed me to apply the wonderful things I learned in school and positively impact real children and families. This also allowed me to hone my philosophy of home/school partnership in educating and caring for children so they are confident, lifelong learners not just well-prepared preschoolers or future kindergartners! If we all accept that knowledge is power (and I certainly do), then the powerful need those who impart knowledge! All great leaders, inspirational figures, and dynamic innovators were influenced at some point in their lives by a teacher – either traditional or non-traditional, formal or informal. At Canterbury Academy THAT is our basic driver, every child can be a great leader, inspirational figure and/or dynamic innovator when the teachers in their lives, at home and school, recognize and nurture the intelligence and abilities inherently in them.

Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest obstacles or challenges I have encountered since the founding of Canterbury Academy in 2009-2010 are fairly common for center-based preschools and childcare; budget fluctuations, staffing challenges, industry changes or unfunded mandates, and the occasional difficult parent. Although education and childcare are essential components of our country’s economy and basic societal stability, it is often the first “expense” that is reduced when families or state budgets (tuition subsidies) experience financial strain. This creates an up and down revenue stream that can be very jarring for small centers. Often this is not a result of dissatisfaction with the services we offer, rather the family’s understandable decision to save money by having a relative or friend care for their child, so they can afford food, pay rent/mortgage, etc., after losing a job or suddenly being disqualified from subsidy programs.

When I first began, I wore multiple hats (teacher, director, cook, accountant, custodian). This became untenable and I had to accept that I could not do all of these things well without completely burning out or making costly mistakes. I was unwilling to sacrifice quality, and so hiring positions to assist with the various roles involved in operating a center was essential. Now the challenge is retaining the wonderful team I have! Staff turnover in the early education and childcare field is not uncommon, but I have managed to keep dedicated, intelligent staff at Canterbury Academy. We pride ourselves on maintaining exceptional standing with all regulatory agencies, but achieving compliance, many times without additional revenue or resources continues to be a challenge.

Lastly, and as many teachers, directors and other educator/caregivers will attest to, parents who intend to be “hands-off” or who don’t fully understand or embrace our philosophy of educational partnership can be a big obstacle to their child’s educational progress. Because we emphasize the home-school relationship early on, it is sometimes a big adjustment for parents who are not accustomed to the level of attention we give to the academic and developmental experience for their child/ren. This is especially true when children are observed to have possible developmental delays or learning disabilities.

Please tell us about Canterbury Academy.
Canterbury Academy is an early education and child care center serving children from 2 – 6 years of age. We are child and relationship centric, focused on addressing the individual academic and developmental needs of each child through evidence-based practices, proven teaching strategies, and developmentally appropriate methods. We begin with establishing robust partnerships with parents, understanding that children learn best when the school and home environments are aligned and supportive of their academic journey. This home-school connection is essential to the Canterbury Academy philosophy of addressing the “whole child”; cognitive, social-emotional, physical and language development.

Unlike many of our competitors, we believe academic knowledge is only enhanced by a child’s self-confidence in his/her abilities, which requires an environment that encourages exploration, appropriate challenges, innovation, and a strong academic foundation. At Canterbury Academy children are developed into life-long learners confident in their ability to perform academically and achieve individual goals! In fact, my proudest moments are when former students return to share their report cards and the dreams they have for their future! We teach children to dream big and believe they have the power to realize their dreams through hard work, education, and preparation. I also recently wrote a book titled “Mama Says I’M Sassy!” which is all about self-confidence and big dreams, from perspective of a young, smart, sassy 5 year old girl- Victoria Eliyah Rose! You can find it on Amazon.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Our city is a good city for many businesses. Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I have seen so many black and brown entrepreneurs get started right in my city and I am proud to be one! I would recommend anyone with a passion and love for children to start a business here. However, it will take hard work, determination, dedication, and your God-given purpose to succeed.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 204 S. LaBrea Ave
    Inglewood, CA, 90301
  • Website: teamcanterbury.com
  • Phone: 310-677-5437
  • Email: canterburygomez@yahoo.com
  • Instagram: teamcanterbury
  • Facebook: Canterbury Academy
  • Yelp: Canterbury Academy

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