Summer holiday playschemes: advice for keeping children safe
Summer holiday playschemes aren’t just fun for the kids – they also provide essential childcare for working parents.
If you’re running a summer holiday playscheme, safeguarding should be a key consideration.
Here’s our advice for keeping children safe at summer holiday playschemes:
Summer holiday playschemes and DBS checks
It’s absolutely crucial to make sure any staff or volunteers working at your playscheme are suitable to work with children.
Any employee or volunteer working in a childcare role will be working in ‘regulated activity’, and should therefore undergo an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s barred list.
An enhanced DBS check will show whether the applicant has any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, as well as any other relevant information held by their local police force.
The children’s barred list check will show whether the applicant has been barred from working with children. It’s an offence to employ someone to work with children if they’ve been barred from doing so.
Adopt safe recruitment practices
When recruiting staff and volunteers for summer holiday playschemes, it’s a good idea to interview applicants before appointing them to help ascertain whether they’re suitable for that role.
It’s also good practice to check their qualifications and references. A simple phone call or email from two referees should be enough.
Update your safeguarding policy
Make sure you have a solid child safeguarding policy in place.
Your policy should outline your commitment to keeping children safe, and detail what you will do to protect children.
It should state the steps you’ll take to safeguard children, and include clear guidelines on how to respond to safeguarding concerns. It should also include a list of procedures to support those aims.
Make sure all your staff and volunteers are familiar with your safeguarding policy, and make it available to parents and other members of the public.
Having a robust policy in place will show that your playscheme is serious about keeping children safe, and help demonstrate your credibility.
Conduct staff training
All your staff and volunteers should be able to recognise the signs of abuse, and should know what to do if they’re concerned about a child’s safety.
Consider organising safeguarding training for your employees and volunteers to help ensure your playscheme is as safe as it can be.
Encourage children to communicate
The children who come to your playscheme – and their parents – should feel able to communicate freely and openly with all staff and volunteers.
Let children and parents know that your staff and volunteers are there to help with any issues they have, and encourage them to speak to staff about their concerns.
Fostering this culture of openness will help children feel safe and protected whilst at your playscheme.
If you’d like to know more about DBS checks for summer holiday playschemes, give us a call today on 0300 140 0022 – we’d be delighted to help.