Getting to Know You: Valentina Charalambous – Kids Club Supervisor
What attracted you to Columbia Beach Resort, and the position of Childcare Manager?
The name “Columbia” and its long-standing stellar reputation are what attracted me. Having honed my skills as a primary school teacher for 10 years – working with children aged from 4 months to 11 years old – my career had reached a level where I felt I had two choices; one, to keep the knowledge and skills I had gained over the years with the same children going over the daily standard curriculum, or two, share this knowledge and experience with children from all over the world in more creative ways, which at this point in my life is more exciting- so I opted for choice 2! Columbia Beach Resort has given me the perfect opportunity to accomplish this through The Den Kids Club and Cub Life Crèche. I believe that every Childcare Professional must always be aware of what a responsibility it is to ensure children feel safe, and to enrich their experiences, even if it is a short holiday experience.
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?
The experience of just being on the Resort is exciting, with ample facilities, however, as Childcare Manager of the Den Kids Club and Cub Life Crèche, my responsibility is to ensure that our little guests have a fantastic time in a safe, happy, and friendly environment with many activities to keep them occupied. I believe that our team accomplishes this as children return repeatedly to Kids Club sessions.
Indeed, how do you feel children benefit from targeted, child-centric activities within a resort setting?
The child-centric approach gives the children the opportunity to decide which activities suit them best. Our activities are all targeted to provide a combination of learning, fun and socializing with other children. My aim is for the children to be equally as happy within the Den & Crèche, as they are when spending time with their parents around the resort.
Based on your interaction with – and thus insight into – travelling families, what do you feel is the key to a successful family holiday?
I believe that quality family time is the key to happiness and time spent away from the routine and stress of work and school, is a precious commodity. The key to a successful family holiday is all about balance; as every family requires holiday time to appreciate each other, they also need their own time, with their own interests catered for – so by leaving the little ones with us for a few hours, occupying them with creative, fun activities – the grown-ups can relax and enjoy the resort’s facilities. Ensuring that the whole family create holiday memories that last a lifetime.
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?
I love working with and supporting children from all different backgrounds; it’s fascinating to see how different yet similar they can be, though I do believe that every child is unique in their own way! One of the most rewarding parts of my job is witnessing the joy, the creativity and the friendships that are made whilst our dear little guests are in my care. By genuinely caring for every child as if they were my own, the children warmly reciprocate and though our time is limited to a few hours or days, this for me, is pricelessly gratifying!