Providers of after-school clubs are often approached by schools or parents to ask if they will extend their service to provide care during the holidays as well as during term time. This article looks at some of the issues you should consider.
If your setting is currently registered with Ofsted to provide after-school care, you do not need to register with them separately in order to provide care during the school holidays. You do, however, need to contact them in writing (by email) to let them know that you will be increasing the number of hours and number of weeks that you will be open. You do not need to wait to receive approval or acknowledgement of such changes: you can begin operating for the additional hours or weeks straightaway.
If your club is Ofsted registered, the statutory requirements for staffing ratios and the qualifications needed by your staff are the same as those for your after-school club.
More on staffing ratios >
More on qualifications >
If you need to recruit additional temporary staff for your holiday club, you must use the same safe recruitment procedures—DBS checks, references, employment history, identity verification, etc—as you would for employing permanent staff. This applies to voluntary helpers as well as to paid staff.
Don't forget to leave sufficient time for the DBS check to be completed before the new member of staff is due to start work.
More about DBS checks >
Policies and procedures
Most of your existing policies and procedures will probably be equally applicable to the holiday club, but you will need to:
- review your existing policies to ensure that no issues specific to the holiday club have been overlooked, and amend them if necessary
- draw up a new fees structure to cover the holiday period, including drop-off and collection times and any fines for late collection
- create a new registration form specifically for the holiday club: this will ensure that you have up to date contact and medical information for all the children, even those that usually attend during term time
If you will have external organisations delivering some activities, you might want to draw up a policy for how you will deal with them. For example it would a good idea to:
- meet with those delivering the activity in advance to go over the details
- check that all staff are DBS checked and are suitably qualified to deliver the activity
- check that the providers are appropriately insured
- decide on whether a member of your staff always needs to be present at the activity
Insurance, marketing and activity planning
For more information about running your holiday club, including insurance, ideas for marketing and tips for activity planning, see the Holiday club tips page.