Providing facilities for even the teeniest of tots has always been important to us, ever since Billy recognised that child care facilities were hugely important to families, just after the end of WWII.
During the 1940s the attitude towards child care and holidaying as a family was very different to today. Parents would often prefer for someone to look after their children for a couple of hours whilst they enjoyed some time to themselves, a rare thing in these times.
Recognising this and hoping to create a solution, Billy asked one of the team, Anna Hayter, to organise child care for children aged between 2-5 years and with that the first nursery centre was created at Clacton in 1946. The nursery scheme was such a success that Anna was asked to roll this out to the other camps and by the 1950s all camps had a nursery.
The nurseries of the 1950s weren’t dissimilar to day nurseries as we know them today. Children could play with other children of the same age, and their parents were reassured that they were being well looked after by a dedicated team of nursery nurses. Being able to put your child into a nursery was a revelation for most parents, as this was not something commonly available at home.
Additional facilities designed to relieve pressures of parents with young children were bottle preparation, infant feeding centres (where well-loved baby foods were provided), playrooms, pushchair hire, and even a nappy washing service – a luxury for parents in a time when disposable nappies weren’t available!
Another service welcomed by parents of the 1940s & 1950s was the baby listening service. If Mum and Dad wanted to enjoy an evening out watching a show in one of the Gaiety Theatres, they could sign up to the service allowing them to leave their baby tucked up asleep in their chalet.
Nurses patrolled the chalet lines during the evening listening out for crying babies. If a nurse heard a distressed baby she would locate the parents, who could then return to comfort the baby.
Today we no longer have nurseries on resort as we understand that families needs have changed. We still believe that catering for teeny tots is equally important and that’s why we have created Just for Tots and Teeny Tots breaks, designed with little ones in mind. Just like in Billy’s day, there is a whole host of activities available, all suitable for younger children. From fun activities such as Play-Doh craft sessions to swimming lessons dedicated to introducing babies to the water for the first time. When it comes to eating, we’ve thought of that too. We have recently partnered with Ella’s Kitchen to provide a delightful range of healthy baby foods which are 100% organic and contain no added salt or sugar.
Our Just for Tots breaks run throughout the year. To find out more visit Butlins.com