Easter is just around the corner, and with it comes the promise of chocolate, spring weather and – for some of us – Easter holiday playschemes.
Easter holiday playschemes provide invaluable childcare for busy working parents, at the same time as providing an enjoyable and rewarding experience for children.
If you run an Easter holiday playscheme, protecting the children you work with should be a top priority.
Here’s our advice for safeguarding children at Easter holiday playschemes:
DBS checks for Easter holiday playschemes
It’s vital to ensure that any staff or volunteers who will be working with children are suitable to do so.
Any staff or volunteer working within a childcare setting is required to undergo an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s barred list, as they’ll be working in ‘regulated activity’.
The enhanced disclosure will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has, as well as any other information held by their local police force that is considered relevant to the role they’re applying for.
It will also show whether the applicant has been barred from working with children within the children’s barred list search. To note, it’s an offence to employ a barred person to work with that specific vulnerable group, or even to use them as a volunteer under any circumstances.
Safe recruitment practices
As well as carrying out DBS checks on staff and volunteers, it’s good practice to interview applicants before appointing them to make sure they’re suitable to work in that role or place.
It’s also a good idea to check qualifications and ask for references. Carry out a simple phone call or even an email to help ensure you are recruiting the right staff. Two referees should suffice.
Consider arranging safeguarding training for your staff and volunteers to ensure they’re able to recognise the signs of abuse.
Make sure all staff and volunteers know what to do if they have concerns about a child’s welfare.
Have a robust safeguarding policy in place
Your child safeguarding policy should set out your commitment to protecting children and the steps you’ll take to keep children safe.
It should include clear guidelines on how to respond to safeguarding concerns, and a list of accompanying procedures that support the policy. Make your policy readily available to all staff, volunteers and parents.
Having a solid policy in place will not only help to keep children safe – it will demonstrate that you’re serious about safeguarding, and communicate your playscheme’s credibility.
Foster a culture of openness
The children who attend your playscheme should feel able to communicate openly with all staff and volunteers – as should their parents.
Encourage children and parents to speak to your staff about any issues they have, no matter how big or small.
Again, it’s essential that all staff and volunteers know what to do if they have concerns about a child.
CRB Check Online is one of the UK’s leading providers of DBS checks. Please feel free to give us a call on 0800 197 8858 to find out any further information, or get started now to open an account in order for us to start requesting your DBS checks.