Creating & launching a new childcare brand? Designing & constructing a wonderful brand new spacious, welcoming & stimulating childcare facility? Purchasing an abundance of high quality, durable, age appropriate equipment? Creating a fantastically imaginative and educational concept? It’s all well and good to invest in the hardware of a childcare service but hotels must invest in the childcare teams to roll out this service to the standards that guests expect. It is the dedicated childcare team that ensure the children are having fun in a safe and stimulating environment – not the toys or the facility itself.
Childcare is a very important and specialist service and as such should be managed independently from, but in line with other departments. Childcare is as important for children as the spa and restaurants are for adults: the success or failure of their holiday hinges on the excellent service and facilities provided by the hotel. It is imperative that as much focus is given to the childcare department as that of other departments. The key to the success of the childcare department is how it is managed and by whom. There should be a dedicated childcare manager and childcare team to ensure the right level of service is provided and as a minimum meet guest expectations but preferably exceed them by providing an age appropriate, safe, stimulating facility, activities and level of care. The childcare team should possess the relevant childcare qualifications and have continuous training and development on an annual basis to ensure best practice and minimise staff turnover.
It is not sufficient to have someone from another department, e.g. F&B, to manage the childcare department as they simply do not have the required childcare knowledge and cannot give enough of their own time and resources to manage the childcare department effectively.
To optimize the guest experience, hoteliers should look to create a childcare team comprised of long-term, qualified & knowledgeable employees that express dedication to the hotel’s brand & ethos. If guests (children and adults) do not have their needs met it will significantly detract from their brand loyalty and willingness to return in the future, and could potentially deter other guests with unfavourable reviews. Repeat guests will be reassured and have more confidence in staff they know from previous stays.
Investing in your childcare team, as you would in any other department, will also minimise staff turnover which will reduce HR and training costs. Staff will be happier and create a more vibrant environment which the children will thrive in.
Lal Askar, Operations Director, <span class=”notranslate”>Worldwide Kids</span>