Forward-thinking ‘Kids club’ at Bedfont® Scientific Ltd., helps maintain a healthy work-life balance

Second generation family business, Bedfont®, shows it has family values at its core with their progressive kids club for employees

Bedfont®, based in Harrietsham, is a small family-run business that specialises in the design and manufacture of breath and gas analysis monitors for medical application. For 3 years now, Bedfont® has provided employees with a ‘kids club’ that has been helping their staff to maintain a healthy work-life balance; a factor which makes the small company of 39 a very progressive and desirable company to work for.

Bedfont’s latest statistics show that 73% of the workforce consists of members aged 35 and under, meaning a high majority of staff are parents with young children.

Jason Smith, managing director, says, “On a few occasions half the business needed time off to look after their children during the holidays, meaning holiday was being used solely to take care of children instead of being used for other leisure. This meant that at times business would be an operational nightmare but so would people’s work life-balance; parents had to alternate weeks off from work and therefore the time allocated for them to spend together as a family is seriously diminished, additionally the added pressure of trying to balance work duties whilst trying to find the time to look after your children during the holidays is something I know all too well as a parent of 2 myself. We decided to allocate an annual budget for the kids club, whereby staff can bring their children to work for one week in each of the school holidays and then Bedfont® funds the requisite number of professional DBS checked nannies required. To start, my own home was used as their operating base but now we have part of the Bedfont® premises converted for these weeks, however they actually spend much of their time in the locality at various low-cost attractions such as Leeds Castle, Kent Life, Adventure Kids, Whitstable and much more.”

Claire Dadswell adds, “All the children are cared for by DBS checked nannies with myself in charge; I am NNEB trained with paediatric first aid and have over 23 years of experience as a nanny. We try and do one trip out alongside lots of arts and crafts which all the children love. The youngest child is 1.5 years old and the eldest is 12, so we find activities that are fun, educative and suit all ages. We also provide all children with healthy snacks and lunches, plus we are lucky enough to have a gymnastics coach on our team who will occasionally teach a session with kids to keep them active.”