Toe taps and elbow bumps
“Many people have been working this way for an extended period now in Victoria. We hope this provides employees and their families a little relief.” - Kathryn van der Merwe, Group Executive Talent and Culture, ANZ
“What am I going to do with the kids?!”
School holidays can be hard for parents at the best of times, finding activities to keep children entertained and engaged and avoiding the constant repetition of ‘I’m bored’.
These school holidays are presenting some added complexity with COVID-19 restrictions seeing school holiday programs at a standstill in metropolitan Melbourne.
ANZ Group Executive Talent and Culture, Kathryn van der Merwe says many families, particularly those in Victoria, don’t have the same level of support they may usually have and aren’t able to go on holidays during this break.
“We know it has been hard for many of our people juggling working from home and remote learning and in some cases also caring for young children. Many people have been working this way for an extended period now in Victoria.” she says.
Usually, ANZ would offer school holiday programs for its staff across office locations, but due to the pandemic, like everything else in 2020, it has had to turn virtual.
Fun at home
ANZ customer, KidsCo is an interactive educational program that pushes the boundaries of holiday programs to ensure they’re exciting, accessible and fun. Usually delivered face-to-face, the program has now too gone online to deliver a range of live educational sessions to children aged 5-12 years.
Led by qualified primary school teachers, the program is designed to support families by creating an educationally enriched, but most importantly fun day for children delivered in a unique way.
These school holidays, family members of Victorian-based ANZ employees are able to take part in the program which Kathryn hopes will provide employees and their families a little relief.
“During these challenging times, we asked our employees what would help. They suggested ideas including offering a virtual school holiday program. This inspired us to partner with one of our customers, KidsCo, and together we turned the idea into action,” Kathryn says.
“KidsCo transitioned very quickly through COVID to help provide a virtual school holiday program option, to continue supporting the integration of work and family life. We know by providing our programs, parents and guardians will have one less thing to worry about in knowing that their kids are being taken care of,” says Jeff Teale, KidsCo Director.
“Each day we have a different theme that sets the stage for the day's activities - it really never gets boring. My personal favourite themes include Hanging' with my gnomies, Shrektacular and Alien Invasion.”
The personalised resources and activity kits are sent directly to the family home to complement the online activities and enable the child’s interaction with the program. Children just need access to a computer, laptop, or tablet, and the internet to participate.
“I have two little girls aged 5 and 6 and it has been a long time in lockdown for them, missing their friends and family. They were lucky enough to attend yesterday’s session and had an absolutely fantastic time. It was so easy for us as parents to set them up and the facilitators did a great job,” – Sandra
“My two boys, Will (6) and Lachie (4) were so excited to receive and open the box from KidsCo. We’ve been in lockdown for in Melbourne for over two months now and it’s been extremely challenging juggling childcare and home schooling responsibilities whilst both my husband and I have been working.
It’s a relief to know the kids are engaged in fun activities for three hours of the day for the school holidays, rather than stuck in front of the TV mindlessly watching the screen.” – Mel
COVID-19 takes flexible working mainstream