Adventures Day Nursery

“I am a working mum with 2 children, one with additional needs, meaning I often need extra support to help me have a good work-life balance.  Working for a company with strong Family Friendly initiatives is essential for me.  The most important initiatives for me are Term Time and Shift Changes.  These initiatives help me to balance school holidays and appointments without losing salary. Adventures Day Nursery is an amazing place to work. I feel respected and supported in my role, both as an employee, and a working parent.”

Frances McMullan, Nursery Assistant

In what way do family friendly initiatives benefit your organisation?

As a day nursery, our goal is to support families by providing the highest standard of childcare, enabling parents to work without worrying about their children.  Many of our staff are working parents themselves, and understand the pressures that this brings.  Over the last 5 years we have introduced numerous initiatives to ensure our staff have the best possible work-life balance, and we actively encourage our staff to suggest initiatives they feel would benefit them.  Using questionnaires and 1-2-1 meetings we have been able to identify that our initiatives have improved morale and satisfaction rates, lowered sickness and absence rates, and resulted in a very low staff turnover rate.  Our staff are happy and committed to providing an excellent service to our customers.  This in turn has led to high customer satisfaction results, and a waiting list for children to join us in Adventures.

How has Employers for Childcare helped you/your organisation?

Over the years Employers For Childcare has proven to be an excellent source of advice and information, not only for our staff, but also for our customers.  They have been instrumental in helping to promote the benefits of the Childcare Voucher Scheme to government.  The advisory service has helped many of our customers identify which childcare scheme suits their needs and financial circumstances best.  The Employers For Childcare staff are friendly, approachable and knowledgeable, and we enjoy working alongside them.

Why did you decide to apply for the awards?

I firmly believe the awards are an ideal way to showcase the range of family friendly initiatives we offer to our staff.  The recognition we get from applying for the awards has helped us in our staff recruitment and retention practices.   This in turn helps us to attract customers to the nursery, as they can see the importance we put into offering an excellent working environment for our staff.

What did it mean to you winning this award?

We have been finalists in the Family Friendly Awards over the last number of years, so we were absolutely delighted to win in the 2017 awards.  As a small company it is difficult to afford many of the initiatives that we would like to put in place for our staff.  However, with a bit of creative thinking and team work, we have been able to put an impressive number of initiatives in place for our staff.  Our staff and customers were thrilled with the nursery winning the award, and we are extremely proud to display the award in our entrance hall.  We see winning as a validation of our on-going commitment to our staffs health and well-being at the nursery.

What did you enjoy most about the awards ceremony?

Unfortunately we were unable to attend the 2017 ceremony as we stayed at the nursery to enable some of our staff to attend their own children’s school meetings.  It was disappointing not to attend, but I feel that it demonstrates our commitment to supporting our staff’s work-life balance. Having attended previous ceremonies I feel the most enjoyable part of the ceremony is listening to the many initiatives that other companies have put in place.  This always generates fresh ideas for us to discuss with staff afterwards.  It’s also a nice change to get dressed up, and have lunch in a beautiful setting.  And obviously, winning an award is a very enjoyable part of the ceremony!

What do you hope to achieve in the future regarding family friendly policies?

Introducing new and exciting family friendly initiatives is always firmly on our planning agendas.  We have seen the benefit of our policies on our current staff recruitment, retention and morale.  Our staff’s needs and priorities are constantly changing and evolving as they grow older, get married, have children (and in some cases, grandchildren).  We fully intend to support our staff through all the changes they experience with new and evolving family friendly initiatives. This will help us continue to be their preferred employer.