Global Excellence 2021

90 Acquisition International - Global Excellence 2021 Acquisition International - Issue 7 2021 9 Company: TOPP KIDS Out of School Club / ELCC & Community Development Contact: Cody Topp Email: Website: Developing ‘TOPP KIDS’ he focus of TOPP KIDS is on providing a play-based curriculum with educational developmental benefits to children of all age groups, while also placing emphasis on providing safe, affordable, accessible, high-quality care. Meanwhile, ELCC & Community Development is designed to be a hub for resources for families, early childhood educators, and childcare programmes in Calgary and the surrounding area. It hosts professional development and seminars presented by community partners, agencies and industry professionals, as well as sources and builds customprofessional development events. Its hedgehog concept is simple: it grows people. It focuses on providing opportunities for growth and education for professionals and children sector-wide. Its evolution into providing professional development has been possible because it has set the standard for early childhood learning in school age care in Alberta, and has the capacity to advocate for higher quality training and education industry-wide. TOPP KIDS’ families, aka clients are mixed between those who are seeking care and those who want their children to learn life skills or be part of a club with their peers. It differs from its competitors in the way it delivers programming; it is not just childcare, but a blend of care, recreation, education, and mentorship. Again, it grows every individual that walks through its doors. Kids and team members alike! Owner and operator, Cody Topp’s role at TOPPKIDS is the spearhead. It’s his job to dream, innovate and celebrate. He is fortunate enough to steer the group into new areas of growth and find ways to continue ensuring that it is involved with the larger community and sector, and maintaining the development of best practice and innovating new programmes that others in the sector can follow. However, every day is a new challenge for TOPP KIDS, and being forced to shut down from March 2020 for six months was its first. By September 2020, it was itching to get back to supporting its families. Now that TOPP KIDS has championed the last year, things are changing dramatically within the childcare sector, with the announcements of universal childcare on the horizon with the federal government. The entire funding model, specifically for private organisations will be a challenge to adapt to, but necessary to help families to be better supported for childcare costs. TOPP KIDS is also still facing the ever-changing landscape with COVID-19. It has developed a lot of specialised training for its teams T on trauma informed care as every child and family were impacted during the shutdowns and the company wants families to be able to turn to it for support and resources. Funding from governments has been a main challenge, being as TOPP KIDS lost just over half of its participants this year but still needed the same amount of staff to operate cohorts. This meant that funding for wage supports as well as for PPE and other expenses usually covered were a challenge to learn and secure. Now, with the rapid changes in the landscape with vaccines and schools, it continues to learn how to adjust, develop new strategies and continue to lead with best practices in the sector. TOPP KIDS was fortunate enough to help many other childcare providers develop policies like its own for their programmes as well, acting as a leader within the sector. In terms of finding new advantages, TOPP KIDS is definitely taking forward what it has learned with new emergency and health policies, making its programmes safer than ever. The support systems it has created internally will also remain and it has become stronger for it. TOPP KIDS is now looking forward to continued success within the industry. This next year, it is releasing its LIFE SKILLS curriculum which will focus on honing in and developing the life skills that children don’t typically learn at home or in the traditional education setting, covering everything from financial literacy to citizenship to leadership skills to social emotional development. The focus is to better prepare each child for life, giving them practical skills they can use and so they can develop into true ‘TOPP KIDS’. TOPP KIDS Out of School Clubs is a blend of childcare, recreation, and education delivered first by building positive relationships and mentorships between participants, educators and communities using its PLAY, GROW, LAUGH and LEARN model. It serves 10 communities across Calgary, hosting 13 Out of School Care and KindiClub enrichment programmes during those ‘critical hours’ before and after school, and through the summer for children aged 5-12. Recognised as the Most Outstanding Out of School Clubs Operator 2021 – Canada in this issue of Acquisition International, we dive in and explore what makes the company so deserving of this award. May21393