Are you thinking about running a summer playscheme?
There are lots of things to think about when running a summer playscheme – but protecting the children you work with should be one of your top priorities.
We’ve answered some safeguarding questions below to help make sure your playscheme is as safe as it can be.
How can I ensure staff and volunteers are suitable to work with children?
It’s absolutely vital to make sure any staff or volunteers you appoint are suitable to work with children.
Interview applicants before appointing them to help ascertain their suitability and to get a sense of who they are.
Once you’ve appointed your staff and volunteers, carry out the appropriate background checks on them before they start work.
Any staff or volunteers working in a childcare setting will be working in ‘regulated activity’, and will therefore be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s barred list.
The barred list check will reveal whether the applicant has been barred from working with children. It’s an offence to employ a person to do work which they have been barred from doing, even as a volunteer.
As well as carrying out DBS checks, it’s good practice to check your applicants’ qualifications and references. Remember, you can’t be too careful when employing people to work with children.
How can I make sure staff and volunteers know how to handle safeguarding concerns?
A robust child safeguarding policy is a must when running a summer playscheme. It should set out how you will keep the children in your care safe.
Your policy should include clear guidelines detailing how staff and volunteers should respond to safeguarding concerns, and any procedures they should follow. Make sure all your staff and volunteers are familiar with it.
If possible, it may also be a good idea to provide safeguarding training for your staff and volunteers to help ensure they’re able to recognise and respond to the signs of abuse.
How can I work with children and parents to improve safeguarding?
Make sure children know they are able to talk to your staff and volunteers openly, and encourage them to tell you if they have any concerns or issues.
Communicate regularly with parents throughout the playscheme. Keep them informed of any changes or updated information, and again, encourage them to talk to you if they have any questions or concerns.
Running a summer playscheme: a conclusion
Summer playschemes are great fun for the kids, and can be a welcome relief for working parents. If you’re running a summer playscheme, safeguarding should be one of your first considerations.
One of the most effective steps you can take to protect children is to make sure your staff and volunteers are suitable to work in those roles. DBS checks play a key part in this.
We are one of the UK’s leading providers of DBS checks. Give us a call on 0800 197 8858 to find out more, or get started now to register with us and start requesting checks today.