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The law on ... After-school clubs

Basic issues

After-school clubs usually provide childcare facilities for children before and after school and often during school holidays. These clubs offer children the opportunity to play, read and interact with other children in a safe and stimulating environment. Children are exposed to other religions, languages and cultures, offering a diverse education outside of the school environment.

All after-school clubs must be registered with Ofsted and ensure that they meet the requisite national standards. Registration is a requirement if the club caters for children of eight years old and under and runs for more than two hours. If the club runs for less than two hours, then registration is not necessary. Clubs that are registered with Ofsted will be regularly inspected.

Any disabilities andor special educational needs of children should also be considered and catered for.

To ensure the safety of the children who attend, children must be registered with the club and collected by parents. It is good practice for there to be procedures to deal with collection of children that are agreed and communicated to all parents.

There should usually be one adult to eight children with a minimum of two adults at any one time. All equipment should be provided, taking account that the ages of children will vary.

What to watch out for

School managers and parents should ensure that carers looking after the children have had police checks. All relevant certificates of registration of the club and insurance documents should be on display.

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