In order to provide a childcare service which offers what families need, and will keep them happy during a stay at your hotel/resort, the service must be able to provide flexibility with age appropriate care and activities.
The term ‘age appropriate’ is used often in childcare but;
What does it really mean?
How can it be achieved successfully?
Age Appropriate =
Childrens’ abilities + Childrens’ ages + Appropriate facilities + Appropriate staffing + Appropriate activities + Appropriate equipment
Your setting should provide sufficient space for the number of children expected to use it, with appropriate areas for their age group. It should be accessible and usable for children with additional needs to ensure that your childcare setting is inclusive. The primary questions for providing an appropriate setting should always be – Who is this facility for and what are their needs
In order for this equipment to be used successfully and activities to be carried out efficiently the correct childcare team need to be implementing the childcare service. The childcare team need to be highly trained in understanding the needs of the child and their families. The staff will need to have specialist training, qualifications and experience in order to be able to understand the importance of their role. This training needs to include the promotion of appropriate language, methods of childcare delivery, activity planning and communication with parents.
In order for these childcare team members to be effective their also needs to be specific policies in place ensuring there are enough of them to take adequate care of the group of children. This includes having strict staff: child ratios ensuring all the children get the necessary care and constant supervisions for their age group.
Childcare team members will need to be able to communicate with parents in a confident manner. The team will need to ensure that parents feel comfortable leaving their children in the childcare setting so that they can fully relax and use the other facilities available in your hotel/ resort. This can be achieved through the correct implementation of the childcare on offer and with the correct delivery.
It is imperative to provide the correct activities to appeal to the children in your care, and to capture their imaginations and provide a stimulating environment. Activities need to be an appropriate length to ensure the children don’t lose interest, have breaks with appropriate snack and drinks, and include alternative options as not all children might want to take part.
In order for childcare to be ‘age appropriate’, the setting must be able to offer equipment and resources which are suitable for that age group and their needs. Required equipment and resources varies between age groups and abilities, because children have different wants and needs as they reach different stages of development.
Megan Wilson, Operations Consultant, <span class=”notranslate”>Worldwide Kids</span>