We are choosing to say YES!
One of the gifts we have tried to say YES to has been the gift of presence.
I employ staff who have heart. My belief is you can teach skill but you can’t teach heart.
When you have staff with heart…amazing things happen.
Her heart for children is brobdingnagian ( which means gigantic )
They were a family who had moved to Tasmania.
Struggling, broken, pounded on every front.
Life was hard.
They found their way into Kids Paradise one morning at the invitation of a friend.
Before they knew it they were surrounded by community.
Invitations to meals, friendship and belonging.
There came a moment when love needed more than a play ground.
Where love and the gift of presence needed beds for kids whilst momma was in hospital.
Giving presence was a needed hand with meals, school runs and housework.
I watched my staff give the gift of presence over weeks.
What I love about the gift of presence is that it doesn’t think about love, it doesn’t talk about love, it doesn’t simply agree with love … it is love doing.
We haven’t always got it right but we have tried to give the gift of presence to our community for years.
The gift of presence is not just an individual story of how staff have loved.
It has also been our business story.
We have tried to be present to families. Understanding the struggles of families and responding to those struggles with positivity and hope.
To practice the gift of presence we have made decisions around:
We have kept admission prices the same for over 15 years! We know how expensive it is when you’re raising kids and we have tried to run Kids Paradise on fumes to keep the admission price down. We wanted to be present to you in your financial stretch.
To go to a similar venue on the mainland would cost you:
Children under 2 are $10/hr or $25 unlimited p/child
Children over 2 are $12.50/hr or $40 unlimited p/child
Weekends and Public Holidays:
Children under 2 are $12.50/hr or $37.50 unlimited p/child
Children over 2 are $15/hr or $50 unlimited p/child
Who else has kept their admission pricing the same for 15 years in Launceston?
Last year, Family Pass Holder’s received over $30,000 in free admissions and discounts! We implemented the Family Pass so that we could again be with families. We recognised families who were on tight budgets and couldn’t afford to go to places. We wanted to give families one place where they could go.
When we hear the comment “Its expensive!” I have to be honest I scratch my head,
“Where else can you take your family for 8 hours, unlimited days in the year for $90 annually?”
Sponsoring Broken Kids
We love creating events for kids that bring joy, whimsy and magic into their life. We know some kids can never get to those experiences unless they are sponsored.
We give $8,000 a year to sponsoring families and kids a year.
This past Friday we gave $4000 worth of Family Passes to help agencies support parents with big hearts doing a tough job with kids broken and damaged. It takes a tribe to raise a child. We can’t turn our head the other way and go troubled kids are not part of our heart, our world and our responsibility.
Implementing a Work with No Barriers Program
This started with a heart to simply employ young people. To be a place of first time employment. But over the years we saw there were many individuals experiencing barriers to the work environment. In a world wanting perfect service it has not been an easy decision to implement our Work with No Barriers Program. But we met many families loving their kids who simply wanted their kids to have a chance. We wanted to be with families in their hope. As other hospitality businesses said when we asked if they would partner with us, “We can’t employ people like that…it will cost us business.”
In 15 years of operation Kids Paradise has never made big profits.
Some comments we have read and heard over the years have been painful.
We have chosen to ignore them, to stay silent and to keep practicing our desire to be present.
Trying to give the gift of presence.
But lately with a spate of vandalism, false accusations, raids on our Facebook page, break ins and theft by guests I guess we feel we need to champion some of the hidden work we do at Kids Paradise.
To place value on our work and our heart.
We have decided that now is the time to say yes!
Yes to increased security.
Yes to more staff who will be in the playground to engage with your kids.
Yes to more imagination and imaginative play, parties and events.
Yes to more of our heart…more of the gold within our staff.
The budget just wouldn’t stretch unless we increase admission.
Other costs over the past 15 years have increased but not our admissions.
To pay our way we have made compromises along the way.
We can’t keep doing this.
After 15 years there will be an increase to admissions of $2. This will be effective from August 1st 2018.
Toddler entry will now be $7
Junior entry will now be $11
January 2019 the Family Pass will Increase
- 6 monthly Pass will be $75. If you renew within 1 month of expiration of your family pass will be $59.
- 12 months Pass will be $125. If you renew within 1 month of expiration of your family pass will be $109.
With every $1 you spend on a Family Pass you get $1.30 back in benefits.
I look back over the past decade and I see so many wonderful hidden moments and I wouldn’t change the choices we have made.
We are choosing to say YES!