John Cook, is the co-managing director/co-owner of Care for Kindies. We sat down with John to find out more about his role at Care for Kindies. We learnt what he loves about his job and fatherhood, plus what he thinks are the most important considerations when choosing childcare.
What do you enjoy most about being a Father?
Everything, even the challenges. Children are constantly teaching us something new. I can’t help but appreciate how ‘in the moment’ children are – Something we adults can definitely learn from.
What does it mean for you to work in your family owned business?
I grew up with Care for Kindies being such a large part of my life. Whether it was helping dad renovating the centres in the early days or cleaning the centre on the weekends while is was at school and uni, I was always involved. Even in my former life working in construction management I was still actively involved with Care for Kindies in my spare time. We’re still very much a family business, Simone (my sister), my wife and I actively run the business, and Mum and Dad are never far away from the action.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love seeing lots of learning activities and projects displayed within the centres. It’s no accident our centres are full of displays and projects which showcase a learning journey, and this is so important to us. Children love to be kept busy, so we’ve made learning something that is fun and this is really beneficial to the children. That’s pretty rewarding.
Why did you decide to send your own son to Care for Kindies for childcare?
We’re so lucky to have the most amazing educators and honestly I couldn’t and wouldn’t have sent him anywhere else.
What is your favourite event in the Care for Kindies calendar?
I’d have to say our staff Christmas parties, they always throw up a few interesting surprises. Other than that, I personally enjoy in-service nights where we generally invite a guest speaker. In most cases the guest speaker we choose will come from parent feedback or questions we’ve received from parents at the centre
What are you most proud of at Care for Kindies?
Our team, honestly I’m in awe of every one of our educators. We work really hard to maintain great trusting relationships with our staff. As a result we’ve got many loyal staff who’ve stuck with us and have been with us for a long time. Unfortunately there are times when staff leave for their personal reasons, i.e having children, family needs, moving etc, but even in these cases we try and maintain an ongoing relationship which is why you’ll regularly find former staff popping in to say hi or working casually from time to time. We always say that when staff join us they’re joining our family.
What is the most important thing to consider when deciding on childcare?
Staff. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how flashy a child care centre looks on the surface, it’s the educators that matter most. Children don’t educate and care for themselves, so I always advise parents to ask how long have the educators been at the centre or with the company, try to get a feel for how passionate the educators are, look at how the education program is implemented (if at all) and ensure that children are enjoying their learning – a good program should be very visible through the centre. Above all though, the children should be happy – full stop.