Getting to Know You: Eleni Kanina – Childcare Manager
You have worked extensively in the hospitality industry within wider childcare roles, most recently in Greece. What attracted you to Columbia Beach Resort, and the position of Childcare Manager?
I have always worked with children – aged from just six weeks up until the advent of their teenage years at 13 – and I’ve come to appreciate just how much of an impact quality care from a young age can have on the future successes of a child. After all, the main focus of childcare is on the development of the child, emotionally, psychological, and even sociologically. It’s the reason I love my job!
What attracted me to Columbia Beach Resort was that it is a safe and welcoming space for families, and I felt that I would be able to share my experience and my passion in a five-star setting that is receptive to how important childcare is, even whilst on holiday. The facilities here are amazing: any child would love it!
What is your understanding of what children need in the creation of an exciting and enriching holiday experience? And how is Columbia Beach Resort positioned to deliver this to its younger guests?
In my experience, the creation of an exciting, enriching and overall outstanding family holiday is dependent upon one thing: fun! Besides a swimming costume, all children really need is a professional kids club where they can try new activities and meet other young travellers (not to mention giving their parents and guardians a little rest!), and a dedicated kids menu brimming with their favourite foods (ice cream comes to mind). It’s such a simple combination, and yet so few places manage to achieve this through their offerings.
At Columbia Beach Resort, we’re proud to offer a fully staffed kids club that aims to both educate and engage children, whether for just a short, two-hour period, or for the whole day, depending on parents and guardians’ needs. Children who attend The Den Kids Club are entertained in a playful, dynamic and stylish environment with a wide range of activities available, such as arts and crafts, music and dancing, cookery, experiences in the resort’s stunning natural surroundings, and language and sports lessons.
Indeed, how do you feel children benefit from targeted, child-centric activities within a resort setting?
It all comes down to the opportunity to explore a new environment, and enjoy new experiences that they wouldn’t necessarily get back home. No one sees the world like our little travellers do!
One of the main benefits is the long-lasting social aspect. Most of our younger guests make a holiday friend, whom they will see again on their next holiday, or even stay in touch when back home, especially if the parents have become friends as well by the end of the stay!
And, of course, regular, scheduled activities mean that children pass their time fruitfully without getting bored. We’re also mindful of how a child’s day is structured, which is especially applicable for younger children. Parents won’t have to worry that their young child’s schedule of eating, playing, and napping will be disrupted too much, which any caregiver knows can give rise to erratic behavior at the end of the day, so it’s very important that this is maintained.
Based on your interaction with – and thus insight into – travelling families, what do you feel is the key to a successful family holiday?
The key to a successful family holiday is making it memorable for both parents and children. And I truly believe that children-centric activities and dedicated childcare spaces are vital to this end: it gives the children a little independence and sense of adventure, and parents get to relax in luxury!
And with a demonstrative passion for working with children, what has been one of your most rewarding experiences as a childcare professional within travel and tourism?
It is very important (and, of course, requires a lot of hard work) to ensure that parents feel safe entrusting you with their children, especially if it is the first time that they have left their children in the care of somebody else. Inspiring this trust was, is, and will always be my main aim. And, in fact, once achieved, it is my biggest reward.