Kids R Us was founded by Sharon Ball, who happens current Director – Poppy’s mum (me!). She stumbled across an opportunity to take on a small village after school club. Having had experience running youth groups, playgroups and a nursery it was a new challenge. This was when Kids R Us Milton was formed and has since then grown to be a well- loved and nurtured breakfast, after school and holiday club. I was a child, volunteer and subsequent employee, deputy manager there. I’d learnt so much in the space of 7 years and the club was doing well, we decided to open another club when the opportunity arose.
That’s when Kids R Us St Matthews was formed, in 2011. The biggest of the clubs, employing 15 staff and taking over one hundred children daily. We ran the club together building its reputation and growing alongside the school. In 2013, I stepped in to manage St Matthews and Sharon Managed Milton. In 6 years the capacity had increased by 180%! We were very proud and received offers to go into some new settings. Sharon handed over the reins to me in 2017 and I have loved every moment.
After working at St Matthews and Milton for the past 13 years, I decided to let the long-standing employee’s take over the day to day management of the clubs and showcase the knowledge they had learnt. I spent time training the staff, learning about how we can strive to improve and developing my knowledge in all areas. We then opened St Laurence in 2018, our smallest club with a wonderful homely atmosphere. This is when we incorporated the clubs to company status so we could share the ethos of inspiring and engaging others to share our passion for good quality wrap around care. It was within this period that we developed out key themes ‘Play. Create, Engage. Inspire’. Our clubs have self- led play at the heart of their planning strategies, we follow the play work principles and believe children can learn a great deal through the various types, areas and themes of play. We make sure that every session at club has each type for children to choose from. We hope this encourages the staff and children to be creative, engaged and inspired.
In 2017, I made a plan that Kids R Us would have 5 clubs in total within the next 5 years. I aspired to build 5 clubs that would provide the care the child want to come to, rather than have to come to, a place parents feel secure in sending their children to. In 2019 Cambourne and Fulbourn were set up, both in their own locations with their own private indoor and outdoor areas. Astonishingly, this happened within 12 months. I now spend my days visiting, assessing and training the five clubs that make up our Kids R Us family to ensure we meet our expectations. With everchanging guidelines, practices and legislation we continue to develop and improve our service.
If you see me around to clubs please pop over and say hello