Q3 2020

18 | Q3 2020 Jul20495 Family-Oriented Care Childcare companies provide an intimate service to families. They are heavily relied on, and when done well, can come to feel like part of the family. One childcare company, Ice Tickles Childcare, have done just that, and we investigated what made the company tick, and how they go about shouldering the large responsibility. Ice Tickles Childcare is spearheaded by CEO Iesha Notice, who has built the family-oriented business into what it is today: a caring and nurturing place for children to be cared for. Her vision has always been to give a level of care and dependable service that makes the company indispensable to the families it aids. The company is a 24-hour childcare provider that offers wraparound childcare. They specialise in day care for early years children, holiday and weekend care for children of all ages, and before and after school care those old enough to be attending school. No longer after starting the business, Ice Tickles upgraded to offer its 24-hour service. It very quickly became apparent that their services were required at all times of the day and night. Clients were asking for weekends, late nights and overnight care, so the service expanded to offer more. Often, the clients that use Ice Tickles Childcare service are small families that have no support from extended family. They can be single parents or families who have moved from abroad, or from afar with no family in the area to help. Caring for a child without outside support can be incredibly difficult, and Ice Tickles is there to help out and provide the missing support system. Often, this goes above and beyond what would normally be expected of a childcare service – many clients remain in contact with Iesha and the team, even when their service is no longer required, they truly become a part of the family. As such, they offer a holistic approach to childcare. The 24-hour service includes everything in their fees from nappies, formula , local outings and all meals. One impressed parent commented that the “menu choices for the kids are really good, they get healthy homecooked meals.” It is not just the children who get cared for in the company. The staff are offered flexible and comfortable working conditions, and together, they grow. The CEO is on hand to help sort any problems that the staff may have, and the company focusses on continuous professional development for its employees. They also have a good level of mental health support and awareness. The staff are the pillar that holds the company up. Of course, it takes time and effort to create a team of employees that work together to provide exceptional care. This starts with Ice Tickles’ very thorough recruitment process. They strive to have all staff members trained to the standards held by Iesha, the CEO, before the work begins. They also set out a career path to ensure new recruits are confident about the journey they are about to embark on. And, of course, whenever the safety of children is involved, there are a long line of criminal checks and references that are carried out at the highest level. The future looks bigger for Ice Tickles. They are looking to expand their capabilities so that they will be able to offer their services to more families and increase their support of school-age children. In 2014 the company extended their business when they introduced a social enterprise business called “Ice Play ent”, a community based entertainment business for children’s events, community events, party decor and planning. For many years, Iesha had been hosting seasonal events such as Easter, Summer fetes, Halloween and Christmas fetes to bring children and families together. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with many clients saying they were happy that they can take their children on affordable outings which all members can enjoy and SEN children can feel comfortable enjoying the events. Furthermore, their mentorship programme that helps people ages 7-16 begin their own journey to entrepreneurship will soon be kicking off. Of course, it isn’t just the parents who are big fans of Iesha and her team. One client said, “Since Iesha became her childminder, my daughter now considers me boring and often tells me what I should be doing to be like Iesha.” Company: Ice Tickles Childcare Contact: Iesha Notice Website: www.icetickleschildcare.co.uk