16/01/2020 - 15:36

Dockers play in childcare space

16/01/2020 - 15:36

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National childcare provider Insight Early Learning has formed a partnership with Fremantle Football Club, placing physical health and wellbeing at the forefront of a new childcare operation known as Freo Kids.

Dockers play in childcare space
Fremantle Dockers players Kate Flood (left) and Aine Tighe interact with a child enrolled at Freo Kids Port Coogee. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A new model of childcare is emerging in Perth, with a distinct focus on health and wellness.

National childcare provider Insight Early Learning has formed a partnership with Fremantle Football Club, placing physical health and wellbeing at the forefront of a new childcare operation known as Freo Kids.

The Freo Kids model, which caters for children aged zero to five, was developed by Insight Early Learning’s Sam Day, a former Swan Districts WAFL footballer and real estate professional who has been working in the childcare sector since 2013.

Mr Day said he had built upon a similar operational model developed by the Greater Western Sydney Giants, which partnered with NSW-based Oxana Education to develop a childcare operation focused on fitness, nutrition and wellbeing.

Australia’s childcare sector, Mr Day said, was an extremely competitive space dominated by a number of national providers with similar operational philosophies in terms of curriculum and languages on offer.

“To differentiate ourselves we thought going down the healthy, wellness, active lifestyle road was a really interesting way,” Mr Day told Business News.

“Fundamentally it’s really around kids’ health, wellness and an active lifestyle. The age from zero to five is critical in terms of the growth and development of children, particularly around their affinity to exercise and play sports.

“If you can create that affinity early, it will lead to lifelong benefits.

“There is extensive research around that, to do with their ability to concentrate, socially interact, there are numerous benefits. That’s a key differentiator that we think is really valuable to the children.”

Freo Kids is expected to open three Perth centres by the first week of March, located in Port Coogee, Kelmscott and Joondalup.

Insight Early Learning is also gearing up to launch a similar partnership with the Port Adelaide Football Club, known as Power Kids, while also considering its options in Queensland.

In Perth, Mr Day said he worked closely with the Dockers, analysing the football club’s membership base to determine the best locations to launch the centres.

“From a property perspective it was interesting sitting down with Freo and working out exactly where their membership is and where they are growing,” he said.

“Getting that data and helping us work out the best locations gives us a lot of value.”

Mr Day said he would like to increase the footprint of Freo Kids to 12 locations over the next three years, with the CBD, the eastern suburbs and the western suburbs considered priority locations.

“They are all greenfields sites, so we can sit down and design playscapes and activity rooms that really work with this philosophy from the ground up,” he said.

“The good thing is being able to design them from the ground up so you have a really unique offering.

“Lots of the centres you find in childcare are really cookie cutter type stuff, particularly in growth corridors; that’s what we are trying to avoid in favour of something that’s unique and really does differentiate itself through built form as well as the curriculum.”

Fremantle’s sports scientists and nutritional experts will provide input into the programs on offer at Freo Kids, while regular player and mascot appearances, personalised membership packs and ticket offers will provide unique experiences for children enrolled at the centres.

Fremantle Football Club chief commercial officer Scott Gooch told Business News the partnership was a natural alignment for the club.

“Fans and community are at the core of the club’s existence and we see our partnership with Insight Early Learning, through the Freo Kids centres, as an exciting opportunity to encourage active and healthy participation in physical movement activities among young children,” Mr Gooch said.

“We expect this to carry on through their childhood and beyond, including being involved with and participating in sports clubs.”

He said the partnership would not only enhance the club’s community engagement initiatives, it would provide it with opportunities to grow its membership base.

“With the three centres being positioned across the metropolitan area, it gives the club a chance to reach families in each of these areas and raise awareness, not only of the club and our on-field pursuits, but also to demonstrate the club’s on-going commitment to its community and supporting the next generation of Fremantle fans and members,” Mr Gooch said.

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