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ETHA TREZISE: KIDS CLUB ORGANIZATION: A CASE STUDY FROM CAMBODIA

natisni E-pošta

 

Abstract
In the 19th century, day care started to appear and provided a solution for helping parents take care of their children, especially for working parents.

Since then, a lot of research and studies about child care have occurred. Child care service formed as day care increased all over the world, especially in Western countries, but not Asian countries so much because of the cultural perspective. Over the past several decades, day care was established not only for the service objective, but also for its objective to grow into a business, known as kids clubs. Kids clubs started to be discovered in developed countries and have been one of the industries that has kept growing and is still searching for ways to enter into other countries. Unfortunately kids clubs became more commercial rather than focus on child care as well as child education. This article is an introduction of child care, day care and kids club with a case study of the "Lucky Kids Club" organization that took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Lucky Kids Club is not like typical kids clubs. LKC combines the best of both worlds of child care

Keywords: Child care, day care and kids club, and profit as business organizations

INTRODUCTION
Having educated help for child care is very helpful especially for working parents. This article explores the role of child care, day care and kids clubs. Before I start I will briefly describe the difference between child care, day care and kids club. Child care is the caring for a child or children by parents, nanny, caregiver or extended family. The service offering child care outside from home during the day is called day care. Day care services that have been extended into a business are called kids clubs. The purpose of day care is to provide a place where children can learn and have fun at the same time in a safe and healthy environment and facility, with qualified and trained supervisors and also to provide the service of child care to parents. Different from day care, kids clubs have a purpose aimed more toward profit and commercial goals; although still have the same concepts and service which is child care. Kids clubs typically are commercial clubs for children that offer activities and entertainments. The study case of this thesis is a Kids club in Phnom Penh Cambodia called "Lucky Kids Club". Lucky Kids Club combines both concepts of day care service and profit for company.
Since the end of World War II, "typical" family life has been changed considerably. The number of women entering the workforce has been increasing. With economic necessity mothers no longer stay at home with their young children. Accordingly, parents have created a demand for day care services. Economic issues within the family are not the only reason for increased the day care demand. Over the past several decades the research of publicly funded programs discovered that high quality early education is very important for the early years of a child life (Essa, 2011). Day care provides qualified caregiver with a standard knowledge for child care and education. It is very important for parents to choose which child care system is the best for their child because child care has a huge effect for child development in long term life. Vandell has performed 20 years of research addressing questions about the effects of child care quality on children's development. Vandell noted that children appeared happier and were securely attached to caregivers and children were also rated as cognitively competent during free play in a day care setting that offered more opportunities for art, blocks, and dramatic play, and settings in which caregivers had college degrees and specific early childhood training (Vandell, 2004). Similarly, Sims reported that children in quality day care presented improved social competence (Sims, 2003).

2. CHILD CARE
There are two types of child care providers: center based care (professional day care) and home based care (relatives or nonrelatives) (Smith, 2002). These two types of child care are different in every country according to its culture, economic, study and research.
In many Asian countries, a nanny's wage is very low and a family member is normally free of charge because taking care of children culturally counts as a "favor" (Hermalin, 2002). Another reason why Asian people are not choosing professional day care service is because of lack awareness of study and research about child care. Parents do not know the importance of high quality child care, and the good effects it can bring for a child development in the long term. Additionally, the lack of professional day care centers available contributes to its non-use.
Different from Asia, working mothers in America and Europe need day care center services for their children since the economics, culture, study and research in the West are very different than in the East. It is very expensive for Westerns to have a nanny and not many people can afford one. As the culture goes, it is not often possible to take advantage of grandparents to take care of the children every day. Another reason is that Western people understand the quality of day care from all the studies and research. America has recognized the situation where a caregiver with low pay may have poor education and minimal or no training (Helburn, 2003). Also, the ease to find day care in the area becomes one of the reasons Western people seek day care rather than hire a nanny.

3. DAY CARE
A study by the U. S. Department of Education found that the percentage of children age three to five enrolled in center based care keep increasing (Missouri youth initiative research, 2002), its proven that every year the demand of day care becomes larger and larger. The United States census report noted more than 8 million children under the age of five spend some part of their life in the day care center (Connell, 2005), however the emotional attachment between mother and child is not affected by having child in the day care (Connell, 2005), which is a good thing.
In the U.S. in nineteenth century and the beginning of the twenty century, help for child care problems needed to be addressed. The government recognized it and took a more active role in child care matters. In 1990s the U.S. had an economic expansion that created an increase demand for employers to offer services as an employee benefit. Employers were aware of the need to deliver high quality service to satisfy their employees including providing child care service. A program called Employer-supported child care was established. It is a program that delivers a win-win solution for both employee and employers to solve the child care problem. Smart companies are realising that providing day care can be good for business. The benefits aren't just for parents, but also for companies. Organisations are finding that day care can become much more than an expense. Diverse strategies provide different benefits for employers and employees. Day care centers for this program are operated by corporate child care institution such as Bright Horizon Family solution based on Watertown Massachusetts, specializing in high quality and employer-sponsored centers (Helburn, 2003).

4. KIDS CLUBS
As I mentioned above in chapter 1.1 Basis of the thesis, a kids club is an expansion from day care service in the business world. Kids clubs are easily described as a clubs for children. Kids clubs have wide variations in form, depending on concept, function and purpose. A kids club is normally involved with advertisement, membership, and promotion and marketing.
The type of kids club that has been popular among children and parents is kids club developed by corporations as a way to communicate with and maintain an on-going relationship with children, such as McDonalds, Burger King and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) (Stuart, Helen, and Gayle Kerr, 2004). This kind of kids club is established to support the company, in a way to provide benefit for customers for their loyalty.
Building a kids club organization requires staff that is strong, highly educated and knowledgeable in child care to provide a standardized and regulated system. Unfortunately kids clubs these days are less focused in child care as they are focused in a commercial way. What do I mean by that? It means that a lot of kids clubs these days forget the point that child care is very important and kids clubs are basically established simply for profit.

5. PUT KIDS CLUB ON THE MAP
The case study of this thesis is kids club in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh. And the Kids Club name is Lucky Kids Club (LKC); it is a Kids Club of a fast food company called Lucky Burger, which is one of the departments from the Lucky Market Group Ltd. Lucky Market Group is a Family owned businness, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is a large company with many of branch departments.

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In year 2011, I was very fortunate when my idea of Kids Club in Phnom Penh was accepted and reviewed with positive support from Mrs Heng, the Vice president of Lucky Market Group Ltd. She was Cambodian who was raised in United States and her acceptance for the project is based on her knowledge of the growth of the kids club industry in the United States and other developed countries. She had full trust in me to take charge and manage the Kids Club project from ground up.
With this great opportunity, I took the best of both worlds as a concept for LKC; good child care services that day care provided and profit to attract customers for business. I wanted to make LKC not like any other kids club, where LKC really cares about giving the best program and have equal focus between child care and profit.
In order to reach the purpose above, the highest priority of this project was to attract the children and keep them coming back to the club by making them happy.
By that, the concept of kids club was:
• Providing an interesting, safe and clean space for children to play and learn
• Providing fun and educated classes for children to play and learn
• Providing a library for children to read
• Providing events including competitions and/or entertainment for children
• Providing qualified staff for taking care of the children
• Providing space and service for celebrate children birthday party
The main purpose of LKC was to provide a Kids Club for Lucky Burger customers as a child care service provider and a benefit for Lucky Burger customers through their children. The main goal of the Kids Club establishment was to accompany the Fast Food growth by using children as an additional market target.

6. TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
LKC was not only provided day care service with qualified caregivers and children friendly facility, LKC was also offered other additional services for its members such as: Birthday package, monthly special events and kids meals.

7. THE OUTCOME
The end result of LKC was clearly a success, proved by the dramatically increased in members only within a couple of months from the grand opening of LKC, as well as the high interests from customers for additional services that LKC offered. This situation was without question brought the satisfaction for the Lucky Market Group Ltd. That satisfaction leads to the decision from the company to expand the Club and open another Lucky Kids Club in different area.

8. CONCLUSION
The need and demand for day care service has been increased since nineteenth century. Despite the difference of quality and concepts from each day care, the concept of day care really is helping parents with child care, while helping children develop.
While Western countries have an abundance of day care services, unfortunately Asia still lacks the availability and knowledge of day care.
Lucky Kids Club (LKC) with the concept of day care service merged with commercial goals was the first kids club in Cambodia and possibly in Asia. Even though we needed time to build LKC with "bumps and bruises" along the way, the end result was very satisfying and successful.
The best part is that the success was from both perspectives; customers (both children and parents) were happy, children learned positive things and Lucky Burger's profits were increased.
9. LITERATURE

1. Connell, Linda H. 2005. The Child care Answer Book. Naperville, IL: Sphinx Legal.
2. Essa, Eva. et al. 2007. Introduction to early childhood education. Vol. 304. Clifton Park, New York: Thomson Delmar Learning.
3. Helburn, et al. 2003. America's child care problem: The way out. New York, N.Y: Palgrave Macmillan.
4. Hermalin, Albert I. 2002.The well-being of the elderly in Asia: A four-country comparative study. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
5. Missouri youth initiative. The growing need for child care. 2002. Columbia, MO: OSEDA, vol 13, no.42.
6. Sims, M. 2005. Are we asking the right question when we ask 'is child care bad for children? Australia: Edith Cowan University. http://ro.ecu.edu.au/era2010/70/.
7. Smith, Kristin E. 2002. Who's Minding the Kids? : Child Care Arrangements, Spring 1997. Washington, DC: US Census Bureau.
8. Stuart, H. and Kerr G. 2004. Marketing to Children: The Premium Effect. UK: Bio Med Central, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
9. Vandell, D. and Wolfe, B. 2000. Child care quality: Does it matter and does it need to be improved? Vol. 78. Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty.