We asked families what makes a business family friendly, and they gave us a large collection of ideas, divided into four broad categories and described below. We encourage business owners to have a look through the ideas. Once you’re ready to submit your business, head over to the simple form or check out the directory of businesses already participating.
This category refers to items provided for the benefit of the care provider. Often these items are a choice the business can make. For example, a chair with a solid back is more child friendly than a chair with an open back. Other examples from this category include change tables, stools to reach the sink for hand washing, soap and paper towels at child level, high chairs and booster seats, offering a children’s menu, creating aisles a stroller can fit in, choosing an easy open door, offering a quiet place to feed a baby, or offering stroller parking.
Items from this category are provided for the entertainment of the child and are sometimes provided in a contained areas, such as a play area with toys. Other examples from this category include offering colouring sheets and crayons, providing stickers or other small giveaway items, and planning special in-store events for children. Another way to provide activities to families is to sponsor recreational activities in the community such as family fun days or sports teams.
How staff interact with families is critical. Families want patient, friendly, understanding service from people who take the time to greet and acknowledge their younger customers. As a part of development, children want to feel included and important, and staff who take the time to say hello to the whole family are appreciated. Families are more likely to stay in the business shopping if they know their children are welcome.
Here are some additional resources on creating family friendly businesses.