The annual awards is a Communities for Children initiative that recognises businesses within the City of Onkaparinga who support children and families by creating innovative environments and practices that welcome and respect everyone.
Communities for Children began working with businesses and local business associations in the Onkaparinga area in 2005. They were designed to help promote child friendly communities and focus on the importance and benefits for businesses to create innovative and sustainable family friendly environments. Since 2005, there have been 102 Child Friendly Business Award winners.
This year we received a whopping 503 community votes, which revealed six stand out ‘Excellence’ awards winners, as well as 14 businesses who walked away with ‘Encouragement’ awards.
Congratulations to all our award winners and thank you to community members who provided nominations and cast votes.
The following comments on each business have come from a variety of sources including community nominations, community votes and from the businesses themselves.
Excellence award winners
“Kids are so welcome in the salon. It’s a nice feeling of welcoming and friendliness knowing you can have your hair done and the kids are entertained by toys and the friendly staff interact with them. They are breastfeeding friendly and great with kids. Not many salons even allow children these days. My children were always welcomed when I have had appointments and they are calming and fun when it comes to cutting toddlers hair. Absolutely a beautiful salon – I see kids in there a lot and the staff are always beautiful to them and treat them with kindness and respectfulness.”
“A fantastic centre with families and community at their heart. They have been teaching my son with special needs how to be safe in the water since he was a baby – nine years now. Their teachers have been fantastic with him and been able to adapt lessons to his individual needs. Each and every instructor at BD practice have the most amazing customer service. They go above and beyond. A wonderful group of people with children’s learning at its heart. Our kids have loved being a part of this swim centre. They take the time to get to know the children and genuinely care for them. I have very rarely come across this level of care and attention.”
“Boars Martial Arts is a family run gym that has been running for 26 years. We are all about safety and self-defence for the whole family. Our classes include Junior Martial Arts and we are particularly proud of our parent and children classes where parents can train with their children.”
“Boars Martial Arts is a fantastic family-oriented club. Very friendly and patient with children of all abilities and ages. My daughter Isabelle has epilepsy & became a member of Boars martial arts over two years ago. No matter how bad of a day she was having with seizures nothing was too much trouble for the Boars team. They went above and beyond to support her every time she attended a class. Thankfully her epilepsy is under control now. She is still a member there and the Boars team continue to support her and all the kids that come to training.”
“The idea of First Senses was to bring the community together and offer affordable classes for families across Adelaide. We have achieved this by working with many community organisations such as teen, young family projects, child care settings, voluntary organisations [we have offered our services for free] and working alongside disability charities too. We also haven’t increased our prices in two years even though costs have gone up. We are here for the families.”
“Fantastic community service, affordable to the community, run by a passionate and highly qualified team. Emma is an amazing person. Beautiful inside and out and has a true passion for what she does which shows!”
“The staff always greet children with a smile. They provide kids’ shopping trolleys and actively work towards creating a love for fruit and veg with kids. Free slices of Fritz at the deli and a free piece of fruit at checkout cap off the experience too. The only place I prefer shopping with kids than without. The fruit at the end of a shop is always ‘awesome’ as my kids would say!”
“Radicool Reptiles does so much great work in the community from children through to aged care homes. Nadia and the team are amazing at introducing our reptile friends to everyone with care, love and appreciation. Super special to witness this with the kids when their fear turns to intrigue. The group that run Radicool Reptiles were so knowledgeable and took so much time to explain to the children and parents about how to handle them and care for them. Five stars in my opinion.”
Encouragement award winners
“I live around the corner and they let locals take in kids to use the facilities: the pool, bike track, mini golf, blow-up water slides and jumping castles, flying fox, those big inflatable pillow things and more. There is a small charge but that’s very fair. Most caravan parks won’t let you do this. With most things for kids being out north or the bay, we love this as a close to home option.”
“At Bright Star we strive to better the community and constantly improve how we support the amazing children we support. We are a disability and mental health service. It was my little boy that gave me reason to start this journey with Bright Star and help others as I have helped him. We believe in supporting not only the child but the whole family.”
“This centre goes above and beyond to help families. They don’t over charge and also help families in need. They have things for kids that parents otherwise couldn’t afford. We especially love the hands-on approach for learning, play and interaction, and the unique style this particular centre provides the community.”
“Very warm friendly welcoming staff. Indoor and outdoor spaces with toys for children, footballs to kick, hanging swing seats, chalk board. Simple food with great options for children – just the best place for a family outing.”
“Everything about the venue is appealing to families with young children – the grassed area outside has tables, chairs, beanbags and an array of ride-on toys and static toys, as well as a giant sandpit with all the necessary play items. There is a children-friendly menu and the staff are welcoming and accepting of young children who may not fit the ‘sit in a chair quietly so others can dine peacefully’ mould. Our family love going there.”
“All of our classes are family friendly. We have a reception area full of toys and a colouring station as well as a viewing area for parents to watch their children training. So whether it is our junior classes where siblings are being entertained while the parents watch, or where children of our adult students can play or do homework while their parent trains, all of our classes welcome the whole family.”
“True Heights Dance is child friendly as it promotes dance for all abilities and age groups. It has terrific teachers who promote health and wellbeing for all participants and gives them a chance to be creative by performing on stage.”
“We realise the stresses of shopping with children. We provide a chalk board to entertain children and the ever-present slice of fritz. We are a small shop but staff are always aware and there to open the door to facilitate entry and exit if required as well as carry bags for the customers.”
“My little sister and I go here every second Friday before school to have a little coffee date/sister bonding time and the staff there are so kind and amazing, it’s shocking. They always have smiles on their faces and they have even remembered our order off by heart. Honestly I feel like they deserve this because you don’t find many people like this that actually care for their customers!”
“Home Grain Bakery is incredible with children of all ages. Going there feels like visiting family. My daughters organised a coastal clean-up a few weeks ago and asked local businesses to donate cans and bottles to donate for the bushfires. Home Grain Bakery already donate their cans to charity and said they appreciate my girls’ initiative in this community work, so they still gave my daughter’s a free donut each!”
“Every time I have been into this little crystal shop, the ladies have been so warm and welcoming. Especially to my toddler – keeping him engaged while I look around and shop. They really talk to him and make conversation. The shop has lots of delicate crystals and they just keep him engaged and happy. I have now noticed they have child friendly materials – things to buy for little ones, colouring in, audio-music CDs for children’s meditation. They also run monthly meditation crystal-healing sound-bath workshops solely for the children. My sons love going into the shop. I have never been into a crystal shop like it. The children always come out so calm and relaxed too!”
“Tanya and Mark, the owners, are community centred putting children and their families at the heart of everything they do. Beautiful family-friendly place, always warm and welcoming to children and families, and very generous to the kids.”
“Our main focus has been on creating a family-friendly local. The biggest thing we did was remove the pokies four years ago. We also made sure our beer garden was a safe place for kids and recently added a kids zone with large outdoor chalk board and kids’ play sets. We offer healthy kids’ menu items and encourage families to dine with us with ‘kids eat free’ on Wednesday night. One of the most important things we do is help kids break away from screens by giving them crayons to draw on our table paper. We welcome kids of all ages and go out of our way for kids with special needs. We want them and their families to feel safe and welcome when they want a night out.”
“Their focus is on the customers’ needs and is always at the forefront of their work. Very friendly staff who are happy to talk with kids. Has the bumpers on the bowling lanes for the little kids. Also an arcade with prizes available. Always a fun time out here bowling.”
The Child Friendly Business Awards is an AnglicareSA Communities for Children Onkaparinga initiative, funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.