Great service and great resources make all the difference.
Bringing together the latest purpose built design, quality new resources and an experienced management team has seen Kids Korner Ropes Crossing take off from day one. The childcare centre was at 80% capacity after just three months. The long day care is licenced for 138 places catering from 0-5 years of age. A smaller proportion of 28 places is allocated to after school care.
Director Chris Gialamas explains, “We are ideally located in the commercial hub of Ropes Crossing. The local public primary school is adjacent to our centre and we have many children who have siblings at the school.”
Chris found the project to be most exciting and is very satisfied with the overall result. The external appearance of the centre reflects the commercial surroundings however the internal layout and fitout is consistent across all four Kids Korner centres located in the western growth areas of Sydney.
Three months before the scheduled fitout, Chris briefed Dan Kennard from STE Early Learning Resources on the Ropes Crossing project. STE Products had previously supplied toys and equipment for the Kids Korner Cranbrook Centre.
“More than anything I was pleased with Dan’s service, I thought STE were more receptive to meeting our requirements than some of the larger players. Obviously they gave us a good deal, but importantly they went the extra mile as far as setting up a centre was concerned.
“If we didn’t know exactly what product we were after, we’d let Dan know what we were looking for and its purpose. He then gave us options with his recommendation. When you’re setting up a new centre you need to work closely with the supplier to ensure the best fit with your philosophy and ideas. STE were a pleasure to work with.“
Chris goes on to say, “STE really do care for their customers, we’re not just another number to them. The man hours they put in to help our staff set up all of the equipment was quite substantial.”
Kylee Walsh who is supervisor of the Ropes Crossing centre experiences everyday the quality equipment and toys supplied by STE. Having 10 rooms that cater from babies to school age children involves a wide range of resources.
“It was quite a shock when all of the equipment arrived, it was such a big delivery. STE were really good sorting it all out. It took a load off our minds as they assembled all of the large items like tables, cots, mobile bookshelves and home corner furniture. It meant we could focus on how we wanted to arrange the rooms.”
Kids Korner has a strong emphasis on play-based-learning and STE’s products facilitate stimulating and fun ways to play – from role-playing toys, construction toys, shape matching boards, books and puzzles to the outdoor stilts, the large parachute and bikes. “The children love the fine motor activities like Mobilo and construction toys, some of the outdoor favourites are the trikes as well as the sand activity buckets and spades,” said Kylee. A room dedicated to after school care children has been setup with age appropriate toys that have proven very popular.
Even in the relatively short time the centre has been open, Kylee has received such positive feedback from parents when their children go home and talk about their great experiences. “Some of our parents asked where they could find the giant animal cushions STE provided so they could buy them for home use as well. We have the whale, the bee, the butterfly and quite a number of the jumbo coloured cushions in the centre here.”
Since the initial setup there have been minimal issues and Kylee explains they have been resolved quickly and usually within a week. “STE always let me know who is coming out and we have the same installer each time so all the staff recognise him – and that’s important. He is always polite and friendly and when furniture has to be assembled, he checks where the best place is to set up so as not to disturb our normal daily activities.”
“Overall it has been a fantastic experience, STE have provided great service,” says Kylee.
Chris similarly has found STE easy to deal with. He remarks, “I like the fact that I am able to talk to the principal of the business. The size of the company means we talk to people who know us and know our centre and they respond very quickly. I would naturally go back to them for more equipment down the track.