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According to the government’s 2023 budget, there are ambitions that by 2026, all primary schools will be obliged to provide wraparound childcare between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
In this article, we take a look at the statutory requirements involved in caring for children at before and after school clubs and the steps needed to get set up.
For parents, wraparound care provides a vital solution for busy work schedules. With children able to be dropped off from around 7.30 am and picked up again at 6 pm parents can complete a full workday knowing their children are in a familiar and safe environment.
For children the benefits are endless. Participating in a stimulating activity before or after school can dramatically improve a child’s cognitive function, engagement and confidence. Add physical activity into the mix, and the service provided by a wraparound care program can also put your child’s energy to good use, increasing fitness and exercising the brain outside of academia.
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast club options have been proven to contribute to academic performance in school, improving concentration, memory and emotional and behavioural regulation.
In 2022 however, it was reported that 2.7 million disadvantaged children could be missing out on breakfast.
Wraparound care that offers a breakfast club can drastically reduce this figure by providing a nutritious meal to set children up for a successful school day.
To implement a wraparound care scheme and reap the benefits that come with it, you’ll need to complete the daunting task of Ofsted registration.
Each UK country has its own regulatory board with its own legal requirements, however, one thing they have in common is the need to register wraparound childcare services, holiday clubs and after-school clubs as a legal requirement – you may even face prosecution if you don’t.
Extra-curricular activities that develop a particular skill or support school learning do not have to be registered.
The registration process in England differs from the other UK nations as it offers two separate registers.
This register is for those caring for children aged from birth to the 31st of August after the child turns five. Under this register, your provision will be governed by the Statutory Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
In cases where the children in your care are between September after they turn five to eight, then you need to register on the Childcare Register.
This is the register that applies to most wraparound care services, breakfast clubs and after-school clubs that exist in a primary school.
If you run an activity-based club for children over 8 years old in England you may register voluntarily even if you’re not legally required to.
You’ll need to register with Ofsted via a Government Gateway Account and have enhanced checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service as well as an EY2 form for everyone involved. At this point, you’ll receive a Unique Reference Number in the mail.
For the Early Years register you’ll be contacted by Ofsted to organise a pre-registration visit.
If you live in Wales and the children in your care are with you for over two hours a day, then you’ll need to register your out-of-school provision with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).
You can register through their online service as long as you already have your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate.
If you live in Scotland, you’re legally required to register with the Care Inspectorate if you provide daily childcare for children up to 15 years old in non-domestic premises for more than two hours.
This usually includes wraparound care provisions, as well as breakfast clubs and holiday clubs.
In order to officially register, your facility will need to be inspected to assess whether it meets the registration criteria against the Health and Social Care Standards. Once officially assessed, you can register via their website.
In Northern Ireland, your wraparound service must register with the Early Years Registration and Inspections Team office of your local Health and Social Care Trust (HSC).
The register applies to all out-of-school provisions for children up to 12 years that offer full-day care, pre-school sessional care and out-of-school clubs.
To register, fill out the HSC’s online form and provide the necessary documentation.
So you’ve registered with Ofsted. But how do you train your staff to ensure that you’re achieving best practices?
A clear safeguarding policy will keep both your staff and the children in your care safe. Here are some of the things it will be required to include:
For clubs and services registered on the early years register, you must also follow all of the safeguarding and welfare regulations listed in the early years foundation stage (EYFS). Providers must take necessary steps to keep children safe and well. Some of these steps are having a set of policies and procedures, risk assessments, adhering to staff: child ratios, and promoting good health of the children.
We’re not surprised if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all. Registering with Ofsted and completing the preparations that come with it is a long process that can take months to complete, and that’s not to mention the subsequent training staff might need to take.
The good news? Premier Education provides Ofsted-registered wraparound childcare, allowing you to offer working parents before and after school clubs without the burden of additional admin for your school.
You can even generate additional income for your school thanks to the school hall hire fees – which can total up to £10,000 a year.
This means you can provide pupils with a stellar wraparound care service without the logistical headaches that come with it.
With over 20 years of experience offering premium childcare provision, Premier Education has worked with thousands of primary schools across the UK.
Applying its nationwide network of fully qualified activity professionals, Premier Education delivers wraparound childcare, as well as curricular and extracurricular sports coaching, wellbeing and school holiday camps.