LagosMums has an interesting interview with Mrs Itoro Ugorji, who leads the Kidzdom Team, which comprises of knowledgeable and inspiring childcare professionals. She discusses on the creche’s curriculum, staff and niche.
Please introduce yourself and your background?
I am Itoro Ugorji, a seasoned Early Years Practitioner, with several years of experience in Child Care. I worked for two of Nigeria’s leading banking institutions (GTBank and Access Bank) for over 6 years in positions of increasing responsibility, before leaving to pursue my passion in Child Care.
My hands-on experience as an Early Years Practitioner includes international exposures in Nursery Hill Elementary School and Smart Kidz Academy, both in Columbia, South Carolina. I have under-taken several skills & competency-based trainings in the field of Childcare. I hold a Diploma in Children Studies and is pursuing an M.Sc program in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Administration, Management & Leadership. I am a member of the U.S. National Association for Educating the Young Child (N.A.E.Y.C) and the World Forum Foundation, both international networks of Early Year professionals that promote an on-going global exchange of ideas on the delivery of quality services for young children in diverse settings.
My core competencies are employer sponsored crèches. She have designed, set-up and managed work-site crèches for TOTAL E & P (Nig), Access Bank Plc. and MTN Nigeria.
How/why did you decide to start a creche?
I was working in the Bank when I had our son. And being our first after several years, I was very reluctant about leaving the baby at home for so many hours with a nanny. And home was a commute from work so the option of “dropping in” to check on him was not really an option. And so our search for a professionally-run Crèche started. I did not imagine it would be as difficult as it turned out to be. And no, I am not “the finicky mum”. I just want the “basics” – a clean, hygienic, well-lit, safe, stimulating, homely play & learning environment run by professional careers. Care had to be a critical, focal point.
And then I thought if only my office had a small space/”corner” to keep him…Alas! The idea of employer sponsored/worksite crèches was birthed. But it took several years, before our first project took off. It was a tough sell and who would have thought so. What with the statistics of women with infants & toddlers in high-pressure work environments.
What is the name of the creche and when was it founded?
Kidzdom Junior Concepts was founded in 2006 as “an answer to a working mother’s prayers”. We provide quality childcare in a homely, safe and hygienic environment within your work place. We therefore ultimately provide convenience and peace of mind to the working mother. One of our core competencies is employer-sponsored crèches (work-site childcare centers). For this niche, our range of services includes:
The Baby Room: This caters for infants aged 6 weeks through 9 months. Nursing mothers find this service truly invaluable.
The Toddler community: Here the toddlers (from age 10 months to 2years) learn school-readiness skills such as colour recognition, numbers, social skills etc. as they prepare for the formal school. The kids learn through constructive and self-initiated play activities. We strive to be a leader in providing quality childcare and learning in a safe, homely and stimulating environment for pre-schoolers and school-age children.
Please give details of your staff/administration?
The Kidzom team are about 7, made up of Crèche coordinator, early care lead and early care assistants and support staff
- The Kidzdom team has progressively and consistently enhanced its competencies in childcare through professional development trainings (in relevant core childcare courses). And this has invariably impacted on the quality of its service delivery, driving quality care and learning for the children in its settings.
- The Kidzdom team would be credited with putting in place, structure and a process flow that accounts for the seamless running of the crèches it has managed.
- The Administrator, a creative, innovative and resourceful professional, manages the crèche facility with planned schedules and a full-year calendar of activities (prepared in advance). She maintains a clean, hygienic, safe and stimulating environment that has become a “home away from home” for all the children their crèches has catered for.
What is the curriculum/teaching methodology?
Ours is a rich blend of a number of Early Years programs. We use the EYFS curriculum with Montessori resources to teach our children school=readiness skills. We focus on care and (proper) development of our children. Daily Reports, which are basically a snapshot of the child’s day is given to parents at pick-up. These reports articulate the child’s feeding routines, diaper change/toilet routines, sleep routines, mood patterns and activities of the day. Developmental milestones checklists are given to parents periodically, as we track the children’s development to ensure they are not lagging behind any milestones (or detect any “red flags”) in any of the development domains. We capture these priceless moments in pictures and videos that we share with parents for their family archives. Notes are sent out to parents by way of reminders on the child’s upcoming immunizations, as the fall due.
What is the ratio of teacher/nanny to children?
We run the “Key Person” model and a ratio of 3:1; this implies that one nurturing adult is responsible for a small group of three children. This adult knows virtually everything about these three. We try to ensure little falls through the cracks. We are totally passionate about the families we serve. And we have a track record and testimonials to attest to this claim.
What is the admission process?
Our admission process is a simple subscription to our service. A duly filled registration package with the requisite documents. Give us a call and we would e-mail you a pre-registration slip replete with all the information. A space would be reserved for interested parents who send back their completed forms. Group Discounts of 10% would be given to groups of 10 or more mothers from the SAME organization.
What makes your creche different?
Ours is Childcare professionally done. We run in line with best practice and global trends. So we are constantly evolving and on the road to continuous improvement. I believe Childcare is an ultra-sensitive service that should be done only by seasoned professionals in the field who have garnered experience and established a proven track record. This is our core competence. While a lot of learning goes on in our environment, we are not a school. Our services provide real solutions to the market we serve; we run extended hours of operation (7a.m. to 7p.m.) and we are open all year round, except on major public holidays
How can parents contact you for more information? Or to schedule a visit to the creche?
Parents can call us or send an email. Our contact details are on the e-flier. 08120796722 and [email protected]