School breakfast clubs
School aged children need safe care before and after school right through primary education and often into the first couple of years of secondary education. There are now increasing numbers of after school clubs, sometimes called kids clubs, in the UK. These are usually based on the school premises, youth or community centres.
Some nurseries offer after school care too. A play worker may collect the children from school and take them to the after school club, although some nurseries expect parents to arrange this transport. The child is signed in and out when collected. The afterschool clubs are open from 3pm-6pm (check list as some may vary) and some offer breakfast club facilities from 8am-9am for parents who need to start work before school hours.
Choosing childcare is a big step for you and your child. Ask about opening hours, price, and age of children and if there is a space for your child. It can be a good idea to take your child with you to see how staff talk to him or her. Try to go when children are there so you can see if they are calm, happy and busy.
What to ask for?
Here are some suggested questions to ask when you visit. Add your own questions as well:
- How long have you been working with children?
- Have you undertake any training for your job? Any qualification?
- Does your setting have a safeguarding policy in place?
- Do you enjoy being with children and why?
- Can I look around the building to see the rooms and outside play space? If there is no outside play space - how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?
- Where will my child rest?
- What kind of food and drink will you give?
- What will my child do all day?
- How do you encourage good behaviour?
- How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?
- Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?
What to look for?
When you visit possible childcare options, look for these quality pointers. You could add your own as well.
- Are the children calm, safe and happy?
- Do children play and talk together?
- Are the staff listening to children and answering them carefully?
- Are the staff friendly and proud of their work?
- Are the staff joining in with what the children are doing?
- Are there lots of fun activities planned to help children learn and play? Can children plan some of these themselves?
See a list of Breakfast and After School Clubs.