Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Sophia Baker-Richards –The 21st Century Woman

Published:Saturday | December 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey
Baker Richards with her two children
Sophia Baker-Richards is poised to make all sets out to do a reality.
Mr and Mrs Richards with their son.
Baker- Richards hard at work.

Mandeville, Manchester

Traditionally, quite a number of women in their early adult years dreamt of becoming the ideal housewife - managing the home and tending to the children. However, over time, mindsets changed and women saw how powerful and dynamic they were and that they could handle several roles and do each well, much like our 21st-century woman Sophia Baker-Richards.

At 32, Baker-Richards is married with two children, is the owner and operator of a day care and pre-school called 'Brighter Future Child Care Centre', temporarily located at 3B Gibson Close. She is also student, furthering her studies in early-childhood education.

A nurse by profession, Baker-Richards started her trend of excellence when a window of opportunity opened up to her.

"I was working at the hospital as a practical nurse temporarily. While there, I continued my education in the field and received my licence and qualifications equivalent to an enrolled nurse. Though I had no major problems with my job, I knew I wasn't permanently employed and I was always looking for something more secure. I realised that some of the doctors and nurses had to take their children to work due to the shifts and so the idea to start my day care came about."

With no real business experience, Baker-Richards had many down days, but was persistent in her endeavours.

"I started with one child and it gradually grew. Today, I can say about 100 children have registered in one sitting but over time the number may dwindle due to the economic climate. There were times when I was on the verge of closing, but every time I felt that way, something happened and it gave me hope."

She said she is able to balance family and work by being open to learning everyday

"At times, I burn myself out and realise I need to pull back ... but there is no guideline. I just have to make it work. There is no one way of managing the rigours of my day. I must thank my husband, though, for being as supportive as he is. He is understanding and where I fall short, he picks up."

With so much more on her list of things to do, Baker-Richards is eager to make it all happen now as she is hoping for an early retirement.

"A few years ago, I got a book and in it I wrote everything I wanted to achieve - I called it a 'book of possibilities'. Today, I have completed that book and I am on to book two. I know things may not happen the way I want them to, but at least I have a guide to work with. I'm doing all I can now because I want to retire and go easy in my 40s."

Describing herself as a go-getter who prefers to lead, this entrepreneur said her inspiration comes from her children and her mother.

"My mother was an office attendant (cleaned offices) but she ensured all her children went to high school. Her wish was for us not to suffer as she did and I truly appreciate her efforts. The ambition she instilled in me, I want to instill them in my children."

She added, "I was once told that excuses are monuments for nothing, so whatever it is that I want, I just go for it and I advise people to do the same. I can't afford to let down the persons who depend on me. Nothing good comes easy, so when the trying times come, I'll just have to push through it. After all, God is on my side; He is leading."

Baker-Richards, upon completing her studies, hopes to add to her services a 14-24-hour after-care service.

"I have some plans in the pipeline and it's going to be bigger and better for 2016. I'm just a phone call away, for those who need my services - 253-2969 or 784-8297."