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Finding out the legalities surrounding opening up an after school club can be challenging (or just downright boring!).
At Kids Club HQ, we are all about making the back end of running your business as smooth as possible. We provide a hassle-free admin system to help you book kids into after school care, handle payments, and track attendance rates.
We have put together this essential guide to help you navigate the legal requirements of running an after school club. Additionally, we have provided information on what early years qualifications your staff should have to stay within the law, and more importantly, keep the kids in your care safe!
Early Years Qualification
To work with young people and children in the UK, you and your staff need to have specific qualifications.
According to the UK Government website, any staff member who holds the appropriate level qualification (see ‘Qualification Requirements’ for full details) can be counted as part of the official EYFS staff: child ratio. Meeting this ratio is necessary to pass your Ofsted inspection.
If you are still in the process of setting up your after school club, this comprehensive article on qualification and training will be useful in discovering what requirements and qualifications your staff need to meet.
Along with appropriate early years qualifications, all staff and volunteers need a DBS check. A DBS check is essentially a government-issued report that gives the employer access to the individual criminal records to check they are safe to work with children. They cost £23 per form.
Never Stop Learning
Of course, it is always a good idea to provide all your staff with continuous professional development opportunities. This can allow your staff to feel more confident in the workplace, provide a better standard of care to the children you look after and help when you are inspected.
After School Club Legal Requirements in the UK
It is standard for after school clubs to register with Ofsted and adhere to the Government guidelines when looking after children. To operate your after school club within the law, your business should typically be Ofsted registered and understand the rules surrounding GDPR.
Ofsted Requirements for the Childcare Register
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) in the UK is in place to keep children safe and hold education systems accountable for their care and teaching standards.
Ofsted requirements after school clubs that provide childcare need to know about:
- A kids club typically needs to be Ofsted registered as an Early Years or Compulsory Childcare Register. If you are not registered and supposed to be, you could face serious legal action. Registration may take up to 25 weeks, so do not delay! Read this article to find out more about whether your after school club should be registered with Ofsted.
- The requirements to meet before becoming Ofsted registered will vary depending on the service you provide and the age of the children.
- Typically there needs to be a minimum of one staff member per every eight children under eight years old.
- You must have someone on the premises with a 12-hour paediatric first-aid certificate and an appointed lead practitioner who deals with child protection.
- Have a written document providing details of all the details of the childcare, the activities you run and your hours of operation.
- Once registered, display your Ofsted approval certification so parents and guardians can see it clearly on your premises.
- When you are Ofsted registered, you must file reports on any incidents or complaints that happen to children during your care (no matter how minor they may seem).
Please visit the official Ofsted inspection details for early years and childcare providers on the UK Government website for a comprehensive list of the requirements for afterschool clubs.
Note: The four nations in the UK have different regulatory bodies for out of school provision that may contain different conditions to the ones put forth by Ofsted, so make sure to do your own research if you’re in the following places:
- Northern Ireland: Local Health and Social Care Trust
- Scotland: The Care Inspectorate
- Wales: The Care Inspectorate Wales
Since 2018, all organisations must follow the guidelines for General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The Government instructed these recent regulations to give more structure and limitations to how organisations can process and use personal information. Although playing with kids is much more enjoyable, it is important you understand the guidelines for GDPR as an after school club.
As a Kids Club HQ customer, we can assure you that the online systems we use are secure and compliant. Our platform allows you to get on with the more important tasks of running your kids club with the peace of mind that we can keep your data safe.
What is the Risk of Hiring Unqualified Staff in Early Years?
It is never worth risking working with under qualified staff in the early years care sector.
Not only could an under qualified staff member put your children at risk of being hurt, but you could also risk your business being inspected by Ofsted and having your childcare registration removed. Having properly trained staff is also something that parents will notice, which may affect your reputation as a local business.
The Department of Education estimates that more than 600,000 children are under surveillance from social care services. Therefore, sadly there is a high probability that your staff could be working with vulnerable children in your after school club. This makes it even more imperative that you and your team are well equipped to deal with any situation that may arise.
Additionally, you may find that hiring an underqualified staff member could cause other staff members to compensate for their lack of training in other team members. This can cause unnecessary stress to your staff and may result in a high staff turnover, which is detrimental to your business’ success and the happiness of the children in your care.
How to Run a Hassle-Free After School Club
This article has covered the fundamentals of running a before or after school club, including the legal requirements in the UK and what early years qualifications your staff should have in order to run your childcare safely.
Now you know about how to run your kids club legally, it’s time for the fun part, getting down to business and taking bookings! Fortunately, Kids Club HQ makes the process of taking bookings over the web, receiving payments and organising your registers easy.