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How To Make Sure The Clubs Your Grandchildren Attend Are Safe

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posted September 17th 2018

As the summer holidays have come to and end and our grandchildren are busy settling back in to the school routine they will soon be starting their local clubs for the Autumn. Swimming, karate, singing, you name it, there are classes for everything these days and that’s great.

The huge benefits of clubs and classes for children are well documented. We know that taking part in such clubs can really impact positively on children socially, developmentally and in terms of physical and mental health and well-being. And with worries about children’s lack of time outdoors and addiction to computer games being constantly in the press so we want to support our grandchildren to get up and about and active.

However, research carried out recently by the not-for profit, expert-led Children’s Activities Association (CAA) along with What’s On 4 Kids – the UK’s leading online activity guides for children – suggests that we could be unintentionally failing to address important questions around the safety and quality of the activities our grandchildren attend.

Did you know that there are no official regulations for children’s clubs and classes? Many children’s activities run across the UK completely un-monitored with no registration and no mandatory checks regarding issues such as the staff coming into contact with children, first aid provision, insurance, training/qualifications or health & safety checks of the premises or location.

It’s vital therefore that we do some checks before they start so we know that we are leaving our grandchildren somewhere they will have fun and more importantly be safe. But how many of us know where to start? Fortunately since the establishment of the CAA, the solution is very straightforward, as Dr Amanda Gummer, Founder and Director of Fundamentally Children, the CAA’s independent accreditors confirms….

‘Until the CAA came along this was always the position – the onus was always on parents and carers to ask the right questions and get the reassurance they need about these crucially important issues. One of the biggest problems, as we have seen, is that so many parents wrongly believe that children’s activity providers must surely be vetted and this is simply not the case. Now, all parents need to do is look for the CAA logo to know that their chosen club or class has signed up to a robust accreditation check covering all those issues important to parents – and more!

What I would say to parents is that if a provider is not a CAA Member or is not Ofsted registered then it’s really worthwhile asking them why. Then PLEASE carry out your own checks. We are so lucky in this country to have a wealth of exceptional activity providers enriching children’s lives but assumptions should never be made when it comes to children’s safety and the quality and standard of their experiences.’

So next time you drop them of to their favourite club, it might just be worth asking if they are CAA or Ofsted registered – it will give you peace of mind.

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