Kids Time – a place that helps children to become more creative, improve problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence. Kids Time is currently the largest after-school program brand initiated in Bangladesh, and second largest overall (Aloha – the Malaysian franchise is the largest). Light of Hope Ltd. owns the brand.
Kids Time, about 2 years ago, started as a result of a curious conversation. In Dhaka, children don’t have many places to go for entertainment other than the restaurants. What will happen if we offer a 3-hour craft session for children and parents in a restaurant during the evening? They will also have food and all. But they will spend some amazing time making different types of crafts.
Tahamina Rahman Sathi, currently the Programme Head of Kids Time, proposed the idea to give it a try. We all got to work and organized a series of such workshops in different restaurants of Dhaka. It was a huge learning for us. Parents were asked to run it for a longer period of time. We listened.
In May 2017, we started our first month-long crafting course during School Summer Break. This time, it was 4 classes on 4 Fridays. We got an amazing response. We converted one office room into our first Kids Time center. It was in Lalmatia.
Now first forward in July 2018, we are running 4 centers in Dhaka and 1 in Chittagong. We developed a year-long curriculum focusing on creativity, problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence for 4-8 years old children. We partnered up with Aavishkaar Box – the Indian robotics kit company to start offering a robotics course for children. We are planning to open 20-25 more centers in next 3 years in Dhaka and outside of Dhaka.
On Kids Time website, we regularly publish articles and blogs for parents on how to improve children’s creativity, problem-solving skills, and overall mental and cognitive development. The website is the most visited website by parents who have children between 3-10 years old in Bangladesh.
Different companies invite Kids Time to organize special creative sessions for their children, they design various contents and materials for children that are used by thousands of children around the world.
These are not small feats for a startup. Creating a brand takes a huge investment and careful nurturing. But Light of Hope did it without any external investment. It was possible only because of three things.
Stay true to the cause:
From the beginning, we wanted to create Kids Time as the place where children would love to come. Thinking like children themselves – what they love, how they work; and design our program based on that. Despite all the struggles at the beginning, we stay committed and provided the best value for children.
Never compromise with the quality:
Quality comes at a cost. Parents who enroll their children pay BDT 2000 tk per month. Every month, every child get 4 classes. All the materials are provided from the centers, parents don’t need to buy anything. We don’t take more than 20 students in a batch and we keep 4 facilitators for one batch. The average Student-Teacher ratio is 5:1; the lowest in the world. Every center has a library from where children can issue storybooks. Plus there are other values provided inside and outside of Kids Time centers for children and parents.
Provide values as much as you can:
Kids Time is like any other after-school program brand. The engagement for children and parents doesn’t end in the centers itself. We regularly publish valuable contents for parents so they can aware and educate themselves. We have a separate youtube channel for Kids Time where we regularly publish crafting, creative design and other learning videos for children. So that when kids go back home, they can work with their parents to develop their skills further. We are partnering up with restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and resorts where Kids Time children can show their membership card to get a discount for their families.
Interested parents can get access to articles from here: http://kidstimebd.com/articles/
Because of these 3 strategies, Kids Time gains the trust from parents a lot quickly. Children love to come to our centers where they can truly express themselves. And we focus on how we can improve our children’s future skills – creativity, problem-solving, emotional intelligence.
It’s a journey we are taking with parents and the children. We are learning new things every day and bringing those into our activities. It’s only a matter of time that we bring Kids Time beyond Bangladesh – making it the first after-school brand to franchise globally.