Meet The SHEROES: Puja Das and Abhisha Shrivastava Of Sandbox; A Daycare Centre With A Difference!
Sandbox, offering day-care with a difference, opened on the 26th of June, in Chandivali, Mumbai. Owned by two personable young women, Puja Das and Abhisha Shrivastava, it promises peace of mind to working parents of young children. Although in the hurly-burly of pre-opening, they were happy to answer our queries about the uniqueness of their services.
Excerpts from the interview -
Two IIT alumnae running a child care center? How did it happen?
90% of the child's brain develops by the age of 5. During this [period], the environment the child is exposed to plays a crucial role in his / her development. Most of these [daycare] facilities only take care of the childcare aspect but have little or no focus on the development of the child. This motivated us to build a daycare setup to help the working parents specially mothers to have the child taken good care of in a homely and stimulating environment while she can focus on climbing up her career ladder.
What made you want to collaborate with Eklavya?
Eklavya School, based in Ahmedabad is ranked 1st in Gujarat and 13th in India. We saw a lot of synergies in our ideologies. In close collaboration with Eklavya School, we have developed… an innovative learning environment through our well researched curriculum spanning all areas of learning (motor skills, cognitive skills, language-communication, socio-emotional skills and creative skills) and all three learning styles (looker, mover, listener).
How is Sandbox different from other day care centers?
Our ideology! We believe that as caregivers we get a unique and brief opportunity to create a long lasting impact on a child's life. Hence, we support parents in childcare just like their extended family would do.
How do Puja and Abhisha complement each other?
Both Puja and I love children which motivated us to start this venture at the first place. Puja (MBA from ISB Hyderabad) plays a very strong role in all the business related decisions. With my previous experience in Education and people management, I look into product development and day-to-day operations.
What is the base level qualification of your staff and what special training do they receive?
Our team consists of Educators, Nannies, Maids and Admin staff.
Educators, responsible for imparting learning, have a background in Early Childhood Care and Education and previous work experience in pre-schools. Nannies, responsible for childcare, have had a minimum work experience of 5 years in handling children and [they] speak English.
Maids are responsible to keep the centre clean throughout the duration and also have experience of minimum of 5 years.
The entire team has received training at Eklavya School.
What is the male- female ratio of the staff? The attendant - child ratio?
The entire staff is of females. We maintain an adult to child ratio of 1:2 for toddlers and 1:6 for elder children
What is the one thing you tell your staff is 'not negotiable'?
Attention on each child during her stay at our centre. Our entire team has been trained to be vigilant and aware of every child's needs throughout the time.
What kind of clientele do you expect?
Working couples who absolutely do not want to compromise on child care. Parents who want their child to be engaged in learning as well as fun activities while they can get couple of hours off for themselves.
What is the age group of children you would admit and timings?
We start from 1 year onwards. Timings would be 8 am to 8 pm.
Could you list a few features of Sandbox that kids will enjoy?
We follow a play based approach. Sandbox is full of joyful play activities which will keep the child engaged and interested.
Playful moments are really learning opportunities in disguise. It promotes problem solving and creativity, it helps build attention span and encourages social development.
[Also] as our name suggests freedom to explore!
We have been receiving a lot of inquiry calls since we started our promotions. We will start our admissions from Sunday, 26-June onwards!
Puja, Abhisha, the entire team of SHEROES wishes both of you all the very best!!