Membership History

Joined 2021

Company Overview

Debutots is a multi award-winning franchise. The head office team won the top award for Best Franchise Support 2020 in the prestigious AFA awards; it took home the prize in the children’s category at the Best Franchise Awards in 2019 and its Worcestershire franchisee, Kirsten,  won Network Contribution at the AFA awards in 2019. Franchisees also gave Debutots a 96 per cent satisfaction rating and the franchisor was awarded the 5 star franchise satisfaction award in 2019 by Work Buzz, the BFA recognised benchmarking company operating across the franchising sector. The franchisor was  complimented on its professionalism and attention to detail.

Franchise Overview

The services Debutots provides will always be in demand, as there is a never-ending need to invest in developing children’s communication, social and emotional skills.

Classes appeal to a diverse customer base, which includes nurseries, schools, after-school clubs, children’s centres, libraries, local councils and parents, and with the introduction of the intergenerational project franchisees have more to offer than ever before.

Debutots is a ready-made business. For their investment, franchisees get everything they need to start, including:

  • Weekly class plans, proven curriculum and all resources
  • Full initial and ongoing training and mentoring in all aspects of the business
  • A website, email, and social media pages and online business management account
  • Your own exclusive territory
  • Freedom! Franchisees organise how they work and when they work from their timetables to their staff.

The Debutots franchise model has been in operation for over a decade and is set up to be workable around your lifestyle. The company understands that, parent or not, a business has to be flexible enough to work around your life, while also being successful at bringing income into the home.


Franchisees get one to one initial training, mentoring and ongoing support. The training provided is very comprehensive, includes business training and is highly praised by franchisees.

There is a friendly network of support that comes not just from head office, but from other franchisees, who share their experiences on the company’s online forum and at the company conference.

“Both the practical and business training set me up so well and gave me the confidence in myself and it is so reassuring to know that there is always someone at the end of the phone should I have any questions or just want to talk something through.” Avril, Franchisee for West NI.

Daily Life of a franchisee

Our franchisees work to their own schedules and set their own goals. As such, each franchisee is unique and some will work three days a week and some full time. There is no cap on earnings and our cascade training programme makes it affordable and straight forward to recruit and train your own staff.

It’s a diverse business and franchisees can be delivering classes with parents and their little ones in the morning and delivering a rewarding intergenerational class in the afternoon in a residential care home with a group of pre-schoolers.

Franchisees build relationships within their local community and become preferred suppliers to local organisations, schools and nurseries.


Avril Loughlin, Debutots West NI

I became a Debutots Franchisee in February 2021 and I have to say that I have loved every minute of it. After 17 years working in Retail, this has been a massive change for me, but in so many good ways. The sessions with the children are so much fun and watching the little ones progress each week with new little skills and watching them grow in confidence has been just amazing and so rewarding - it doesn't actually feel like work! Just four months in and I run weekly sessions in three different venues and I have been overwhelmed with how many of the sessions have booked out. None of this would have been possible without the constant support form Charlotte and Clare, they have honestly been amazing since day one, through all of my training and still on-going. Both the practical and business training set me up so well and gave me the confidence in myself and it is so reassuring to know that there is always someone at the end of the phone should I have any questions or just want to talk something through. Thank you so much Charlotte and Clare for all your help and on-going support, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Jennifer David, Debutots Finchley, Hampstead and Muswell Hill.

I was looking for something that would suit my interests, experience and strengths – Debutots ticked all the boxes. My business has grown year on year and I now have 4 members of staff delivering up to 40 classes per week -  my holiday camps are so popular that they are booked up months in advance. I do have some admin to catch up on in the evenings when my children are in bed, but otherwise my work is based around my family timetable!  My family are proud of my business and I love that I’m setting an example for my kids – it really is possible to enjoy your job! I love working with children: telling stories, dancing, popping bubbles, dramatic play; any stresses or craziness that may be going on in the world of adults melt away…it makes for a very simple and joy-filled life!

Liz Gulvin, Debutots Sutton.

I had spent many years working in fast paced, demanding jobs, but always dreamed about owning my own business. After having my second child I realised that now was the time for change, and this was when I found Debutots. Running a Debutots franchise was the best decision I have ever made. I have grown a successful, financially and emotionally rewarding business. Debutots works fantastically well around my family commitments and gives me, and those who attend my classes, so much pleasure. I couldn't recommend Debutots highly enough.

Emma Booth, Debutots Hull.

I am so proud to be a part of the Debutots brand and with the support from Head Office I put the foundations firmly in place throughout the start up three months of my franchise and by December I was already working with 15 nurseries and schools. From the moment I first spoke to Charlotte at Head Office, her enthusiasm and passion for her business captivated me and made me want to be a part of Debutots.

The level of support from the beginning was outstanding in every way from the quality of the product and support tools, level of training and especially the ongoing support on a one to one basis that my mentor provides. I do not believe there can be many franchises out there that still have the ability to pick up the phone freely and speak to a mentor with any kind of issue from how to complete accountancy and marketing to how to deliver a particular story in the most effective way. Everyone I speak to is amazed I can contact Head Office so freely and even my accountant said he thought the value for money on the franchise and level of support was excellent.

Kirsten Reeves, Worcestershire, Since 2013

What did you do before becoming a Debutots Franchisee?

Having been a primary school teacher, then an Assistant Headteacher and SENCO for 15 years I found that I was struggling to maintain a good work/ life balance and give enough time to my two young children. I also found that as I climbed up the career ladder, I was doing more office-based work and less hands-on teaching with the children, the part of my job that I was so passionate about. These two things made me question what I wanted from my career and look for alternatives, which is when I started considering setting up my own business.

I wanted to continue working with children and had a real passion for language development as in my SENCo role I was coming across more and more children who had a severe language delay.

Initially I thought about setting up something myself from scratch but then I came across a number of franchises that I was interested in and decided to investigate this route in more detail.


How did you come to make the final decision to start your business with Debutots?

I looked at a number of franchises and spent a long time reading up on them, researching them online and talking to Head Offices, my decision took nearly a year I think by the time I signed on the dotted line.

Once I had decided that Debutots was the one for me and having already read the prospectus in great detail, I then had a number of conversations with Head Office where I was given the opportunity to question them and be questioned. This helped to iron out any concerns I may have had and also talk about the real nitty gritty of running a franchise and in particular Debutots. It also gave me more of a ‘human’ feel for the franchise and the story behind it which you can’t get from reading or researching!

I was put in touch with other franchisees and given the opportunity to talk to them about the day to day reality of running and being part of  Debutots. This was extremely beneficial as they shared lots of real experiences, tips and ideas with me and also gave me very positive feedback about Head Offices’ involvement and how supportive they are.

It was also lovely to hear that the franchisees are very much ‘a team’ who are there for each other and always offering help. This took away the main concern that I had that running a business could be quite lonely as I had always been used to having lots of colleagues.

Finally I was invited to a very informal two way interview which was a great opportunity to meet in person, ask more questions and actually show what I could do in terms of delivering the Debutots product and ultimately make sure that it was right for me and I was right for them.

How did you know that Debutots was the right franchise?

I researched  a number of different franchises but when I came across Debutots their whole philosophy and ethos just blew me away. I had many very long conversations with Charlotte at Head Office and found her passion for Debutots infectious. She was also very much in tune with my approach to teaching and education and believed so strongly in the power of imaginative play as a tool for child development.

There was no hard sell or pushiness at all and the fact that they spent so long questioning me too and making sure that I was the right person to be part of Debutots showed me that it wasn’t just about getting as many franchises sold as possible.

It was a very easy choice for me in the end because it just felt 100% the right thing and I didn’t have any doubts whatsoever.


What advice would you offer to anyone who is thinking of taking on a franchise?

I would advise you to really take your time and do your research. There are a lot of franchises out there who seemingly offer similar packages but there are vast differences when you start digging deeper.

The main thing is to find the franchise that is 100% right for you., one that has a product that you are passionate about, one that you totally believe in and ultimately one that you are prepared to invest a huge amount of time and effort into to ensure its success.

I would also say that it is hugely important to know that you are going to be able to work well and closely with Head Office, to know that they are going to be there for you to support you and that you feel confident that you are going to get on well with them and develop a strong, positive relationship with them. When starting a business and even 8 years down the line like I am, I would hate to feel like I was doing it alone.

Finally I would say that  if you are able to tick all of the boxes above,  go for it! Becoming a Debutots franchisee was a game changer for me and my family. It allowed me to be the mum I wanted to be again, whilst pursuing my passion for education and making a difference to hundreds of lives.

Steve Rawlings, Brighton and Hove/West London, Since July 2019

What did you do before becoming a Debutots Franchisee?

Having started off as an English Language teacher after leaving university, I worked in several different countries including Spain, Greece, Korea, Kuwait and China and worked for the British Council in teacher training and with overseas Ministries of Education helping them to develop a more communicative English language curriculum at secondary level. With the intention of settling down and having children, the itinerant life of a global English teacher gave way to doing an MBA which in turn led to becoming involved in international student recruitment and marketing for universities in UK, North America and Australia. Promoted to senior management level, I found myself further and further away from the coalface of the classroom. In 2018, I had a serious health issue diagnosed which forced me to re-evaluate what I wanted to do, what I enjoyed doing and what I was good at. The net result was a decision to leave the corporate world and get back into the classroom. My initial plan was to go back into secondary school education when an advert for a Debutots Interactive Storytelling Franchise popped up in LinkedIn. In addition to my career in education, I had always performed in musical groups and the opportunity to combine performance with education in a business that is passionate about the importance of developing imaginations at a young age appealed enormously to me. When one of my two daughters was 3 or 4 years old, she was painting a tree and had chosen the leaves to be blue. Her teacher at the time told her that it was lovely ‘but trees aren’t blue’. The lack of encouragement to think creatively and the suppression of the imagination rankled and Debutots serves a critical role in giving confidence to children to experiment with ideas and ultimately become more fluent and effective communicators. And after I’d handed my notice in to the corporation I was working for, 11 months later I discovered that the disease I had been told I had was in fact a misdiagnosis

How did you come to make the final decision to start your business with Debutots?

My decision to sign up to Debutots was down in no small measure to the passion, vision and commitment demonstrated by one of the founders of Debutots, Charlotte Salter. We communicated directly and Charlotte was quick to put me in touch with existing franchisees. The willingness of those initial franchisees and every other franchisee who works with Debutots was incredible. The support and the openness of colleagues to answer all and any questions was amazing and incredibly powerful. There was nothing but support from all quarters and that continues to this day.

How did you know that Debutots was the right franchise?

Debutots is an amazing set up and there is a tangible Debutotsness to all the franchisees across the country. I felt that I had met my tribe and Charlotte helped me over the line by recognising the skills that I brought to the table and giving me the confidence to believe that I could actually do this. Charlotte’s words - which to a great extent typify the openness of Debutots - still ring in my ears. When I expressed concerts that I might not be the man for the job, she said ‘Believe me, if I didn’t think you could do it, you wouldn’t be a franchisee’. There is a lovely undercurrent of mischief throughout all that we do which is coupled with professionalism and passion everywhere. It wasn’t a hard decision to make to become a business owner with Debutots.

What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about taking on a franchise?

From a personal perspective, I love being my own boss and taking on responsibility for all aspects of the business. My intention was to manage a multi-region operation from day one, so bringing people on board and training them up to my expectations was liberating. I don’t know whether or not I would recommend taking on a franchise per se, but I would totally and whole-heartedly recommend taking on a Debutots franchise. It is important to understand how much support you are going to get. It is also important to understand just how much (or little) flexibility there is in your ability to put your own stamp on the way that a franchise does its business. Debutots for example has products, structures and processes but the emphasis highlighted again and again by Head Office is that each franchisee delivers with their own personal stamp.


Bristol: Due to relocation of the franchisee, the Bristol franchise is now available. With an existing client list this is a wonderful opportunity for the right person.

Southampton: Due to a change in personal circumstances the Southampton franchise is now available. With an existing client list this is a wonderful opportunity for the right person.


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