Who is best to advise you of the right class or club for your kids?Fellow parents and carers? Maybe not……..
Often we’ll get fabulous recommendations for stuff to do with our kids from other mums and dads during those chats in the playground, via our social media or at coffee mornings and playdates etc. It’s also lovely to join friends at groups and activities. A regular, weekly ‘meet-up’ is very positive and a great way for babies and children to establish friendships and learn to look forward to regular contact with their buddies.
BUT, are other parents always going tell you everything you need to know about a group or class?
The answer is a simple NO.
Of course they can tell you it’s fun and they have a good time. But, unless they have been very thorough in their research will they be able to advise you whether the teacher is qualified and their level of experience? What about safeguarding and child protection? Does the class leader or any of their team have any convictions or a criminal history? Are they insured? Are they trained in first aid? What’s their policy on accidents? Health and Safety? Risk assessments? What if your child or you were injured in the class? What would happen? Has the venue and their equipment been checked and then assessed on a regular basis? Will your and your child’s details or identity or images - including photographs and film - be made available to any 3rd parties or even made public? Can they explain the structure of the class and the class objectives?
The thought of a child being harmed during any activity is extremely upsetting but knowing they were only there on the recommendation of a friend who didn’t do their research is even more distressing for all involved.
The problem is ANYONE can set up a children’s class or activity, without qualification or training – it’s a real mine-field and parents understandably DO make assumptions that surely all this must be in place for the class to be allowed to run.
Now the solution is very simple. Of course, seek recommendations from friends and other parents for great activities and classes. And then, all you need to do is to ask the provider if they are a CAA member. If they are NOT there might be a very good – or very bad – reason why. So just ask before you commit.
You are just one question away from peace of mind regarding your children’s activities – regarding who they come into contact with, what they do and how it’s done – and that’s got to make sense.