Choosing a Centre

  • What is an after school club?

    An after school club is essentially an out of school provision that provides childcare sessions after school and also during school holidays. They offer a chance for children to learn and play with other children.

    Are after school childcare providers registered and inspected?

    Childcare is regulated and inspected by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). This means Ofsted ensure that a set of standards have been met by carrying out an inspection and or other checks in order to determine that a childcare provider is suitable to look after children.

    This gives parents assurance that the club is meeting appropriate standards of care with suitably qualified staff. Out of school provisions can be on either one of two registers; Early Years Register or the Childcare Register.

    What is the Early Years Register (EYR)?

    The Early Years Register is for all providers working with children aged from birth to five. Providers must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which brings together care and learning. Typically this will be full day care, preschools, childminders and some out of school provision (holiday schemes or after school clubs).

    What is the Ofsted Childcare Register (OCR)?

    The Ofsted Childcare Register (OCR) is not as intensive as the full Early Years Register. The OCR is divided into two parts:

    The compulsory OCR: this is childcare for children aged five to seven. Typically this will be childminders and out of school providers (unless they are exempt).
    The voluntary OCR: this is for providers who are not required to register, but can choose to do so. Typically this will be nannies, activity based settings, short term care and care for children aged eight and over.

    Choosing the right club!

    • Visit the after school club and if possible take along your child to see if they like the setting too. This is an important factor when selecting a centre – it seems an obvious thing to do, but unfortunately due to individual circumstances and time constraints this is overlooked.
    • Does the out of school provision have a welcoming and friendly feel?
    • Keep an eye out for the sort of equipment and facilities on offer. Is there a variety of activities that your child could potentially engage in if they enrolled, such as arts & crafts, games room/play area, ICT facilities? If so, are these areas safe and kept to a high standard.
    • Is the centre adequately staffed and are the staff well trained and qualified?
    • The safety of a child is always a top priority to any parent therefore it is important for childcare provisions to have measures in place to ensure this concern is met. Ask about the practices that are adhered to in relation to safety. What would happen in an event of an emergency? Is there a visitor control system in use? What safety measures have been put in place?

    Finally, have a good look around and ask your child for his/her thoughts; as it will be them spending the time at the centre, so it is important that they are happy. Ask yourself: Will my child be happy here and feel welcomed?

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Raising Explorers, Carlisle Business Centre, Carlisle Road, BD8, 8BD

01274 493 034
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