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Questions to ask activity providers and settings

For many parents the summer can be a time when they book their children into summer camps, activity days and child-care settings. It's important to make sure the provider has all the relevant insurance and qualifications that will keep your child safer and protected should anything go wrong. 

Questions to ask include:

  • Have staff and volunteers undertaken DBS checks? How recent were
  • the checks?
  • Will any adults besides the instructor be present at the venue while my child is there? If so, will they be there on a regular basis?
  • What training have staff had?
  • May I have a copy of your child protection policy?
  • Who is your designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and what training
  • have they had? How recent was this training?
  • My child has Special Educational Needs and / or a disability (SEND). What steps will you take to accommodate this?
  • My child needs help with: using the toilet; changing; feeding; their medication, etc. How will these personal care needs be addressed?
  • How are you securely storing the information you hold on my child? Who has access to it and are you giving it to anyone else?
  • Is my child allowed to access the internet unsupervised?
  • Do you have filtering and monitoring systems in place? What are they?

You will notice that we ask providers similar questions as part of our SEND Local Offer criteria. To browse services who have answered these questions, visit the SEND Local Offer.

Below are 'Red Flags' that indicate the setting/activity provider will not be suitable for a child: 

  • Staff are not DBS checked
  • No child protection policy
  • Signs of abuse on other children who attend the setting, for example, unexplained bruises
  • Provider unable to name a designated safeguarding lead
  • The designated safeguarding lead has not had relevant training
  • If the OOSS allows children access to the internet, no filtering or monitoring systems in place
  • Dangerous physical environment e.g. loose wires, damp, no fire escape, no first aid kit
  • No designated first aider
  • No parental consent form or requirement for emergency contact details
  • Other adults coming into the out-of-school setting who are not staff members / a lack of clarity on the roles of different adults in the setting
  • No health and safety policy
  • No fire escape plan

If you are concerned about the practice of a provider working with children or vulnerable people, please contact us on 0800 587 8191.

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