Business Excellence Awards 2023

Acquisition International - Business Excellence Awards 2023 43 While they say that learning is lifelong, it’s often said the early years are the most important to establishing foundational behaviours that carry on for the rest of your life. TOPP KIDS endeavours to deliver truly best in class quality of care when it comes to offering a nourishing environment that encourages children to, in a word, thrive. We took a closer look at this exceptional enterprise on the back of its recognition in the awards programme. Feb23222 OPP KIDS has long enjoyed a sort of ‘open secret’ approach to its work and reputation. After all, it is known for establishing best practices in the otherwise highly competitive out-ofschool education landscape, and delivering care that few can match. Established by Leslie Topp after 25 years working in the field of early learning and development, TOPP KIDS was a passion project designed to inspire children to “Play, Grow, Laugh, & Learn” in a safe environment. The ELCC & Community Development initiative grew from this starting goal, satisfying a clear need for a hub of resources and learning opportunities for childcare professionals. Today, this initiative has exploded across Alberta without losing that foundational focus – to provide a community of care to families, children, and educators, creating opportunities for youth in the community during the critical afterschool hours between 3pm and 6pm. TOPP KIDS runs a variety of programmes that explore how children can express themselves, through social and emotional literacy as well as exploring what it means to be a community citizen. Combined with the important work being undertaken at ELCC & Community Development, the team work tirelessly to improve the standard of care and resources for the entire early childhood education sector. The expansive nature of TOPP KIDS’ purview, especially when combining the Out of School Clubs, Kindi-Care Clubs, and Summer Camp with the ELCC & Community Development initiative, allows it to function as employer of choice, lead in quality programming and culture standards, and maintain its family feel. The innovative approach that characterises the programmes for the children also applies to the training and support structures that have allowed the organisation to build its capacity at such an impressive rate. Employee retention is demonstrably higher as a result of this approach, meaning the focus can remain squarely on providing the best possible care, experiences, and opportunity for the kids. With the early childhood education sector frequently seeing changing opinions and trends, the approach taken by TOPP KIDS has been to T Best Out-of-School Club Operator 2023 - Greater Calgary capture new ideas from around the globe, with a network of experts to assist in implementation. The curriculum is constantly updated to meet best practice within the industry and the last two years have seen innovations including the growth of the STEM, STEAM, and STREAM aspects of programmes. Ultimately, as TOPP KIDS looks to the future, the company recognises that the time has come to separate the ELCC & Community Development initiative from TOPP KIDS Out of School Clubs, with the goal of obtaining not-for-profit status. This would open up new opportunities for funding that are currently closed to ELCC & Community Development. In the long run, the intention is to reach beyond the physical education centre, towards an online system, engaging people who can’t attend due to time or geographic boundaries. The hope is to eventually become the go-to option for training outside of postsecondary. As ever, community remains at the heart of the company and building this for both aspects of the business is of the utmost importance. For TOPP KIDS, the next five years will hopefully see the doubling of the services it offers in Calgary, with more social and community projects taking centre stage. The ideal situation would be the ability to provide no-cost care, thus removing any barriers between families and children who need quality care programmes. Company: Topp Kids Out of School Clubs Address: #425 78th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2V 5K5 Telephone: 1 (403) 710 - 8384 Website: “Our collective vision is to be recognised as outstanding childcare programmes that create society’s next generation of leaders through play, exploration, and coaching.”