Business Case Study - Willowbank Early Learning
A Modern Uniform with care and professionalism
Willowbank Early Learning Centre (ELC) is located in the beautiful townships of Gisborne and New Gisborne, in regional Victoria.
The centre was purpose-built a little over four years ago, to offer the community a modern, fun and engaging space for the children which encourages their curiosity, imagination and play-based learning. It's also the only privately owned and operated early learning service in the local area.
The team at Willowbank ELC consists of almost 50 staff, each with their own strong connection to the local community. That strong community connection means that Willowbank's reputation for professionalism and high quality is even more important to the team. "After all, we live within the community that we service." explains Jamie Vella, Willowbank ELC's Company Director.
"We pride ourselves on being able to adapt to the needs of our families, and we all genuinely want to be known as the best childcare centre in Gisborne."
Why is the team uniform such an important part of Willowbank ELC?
There are a number of reasons why the uniform is so important - firstly, a great uniform gives your team a sense of pride and helps them feel that they belong to our wonderful, supportive team.
Secondly, we feel it's important that our team of early childhood educators are easily recognisable for all the children and parents at our service - the uniform makes them stand out clearly, in a positive way.
Thirdly, engaging the children in creative activities can sometimes be a messy job!
A well-chosen uniform that meets the needs of the day-to-day activities in our service means that our team of staff feel adequately clothed for the tasks at hand, such as working with art supplies, doing gardening activities with the children, working out in the sunshine and so on.
How did you decide on the key elements of the uniform?
Firstly, I knew I wanted the staff to represent the philosophy of our centre in every way, and I wanted them to stand out as different from the competition.
The uniform needed to be modern and fresh - I didn't want to see our staff in a typical brightly coloured polo top.
I wanted to make sure the uniform we chose ticked the practical boxes, but just because our team works closely with children in what can sometimes be a messy environment, that doesn't mean they have to sacrifice style for practicality.
Why did you choose Cargo Crew?
I came across Cargo Crew online, and I felt that the suite of uniforms for the early learning sector on their website aligned with our philosophy of being fit for the nature of the job, whilst also looking stylish and modern.
They have managed to create a range that is fashionable and serviceable, without looking tacky, and that really appealed to me.
We're extremely happy with the end result - the team enjoy wearing the uniform as it contributes to their sense of professionalism and being part of a team. Parents have also commented that the girls look smart and professional.
What advice would you give to someone else looking to refresh their team uniform?
Aside from the obvious practical elements and “wear and tear" requirements of a good uniform, I would recommend taking into account the look and feel of the uniform and the "out of work" test - if your staff are proud to be seen in their work uniform before & after their work day, that's a great outcome.
Listen to your team - we rely on feedback from our staff to ensure they are comfortable with the uniform and it meets their needs.
We try to do bulk orders, including extras of the most common sizes to have as spares.
ADVICE FOR A UNIIFORM REFRESH
- Practical wear & tear tested
- Your staff feel confident wearing it outside of work
- Listen to your team & their feedback
- Order in bulk so you have common sizes on hand
We highly recommend Cargo Crew as a uniform provider. My goodness - I had trouble choosing our uniform because I loved everything in their online store! Honestly, I would wear the Cargo Crew uniforms day to day, without even going to work!
But on top of their gorgeous range, they offered a fantastic service from start to finish. They were very helpful and accommodating to our needs.