Are Kids’ Clubs Abroad Safe?

Are kids clubs abroad safe? In theory holiday hotel kids’ clubs sound like a great idea. Your children get to have a few hours a day of organised fun, doing everything from arts and crafts to sports, while socialising with other children under the watchful eye of a trained professional. And you get to spend some time relaxing in the sun with some peace and quiet to enjoy a cocktail or read a book.

But handing your children over and into the care of strangers can be worrying. So how can you ensure that holiday kids’ clubs and their employees are safe? Well, there are a number of checks you can make. 

Laws and Regulations

In Britain, all organisations that allow their employees to have unsupervised regulated activity with children must comply with the Children’s Act 1989, most are monitored by Ofsted and all staff are required to have a DBS check.

But abroad, the rules will differ from what we’re used to here in the UK and they may fall short. However, if you are staying at a hotel run by a major UK travel operator you can assume that kids’ club staff have had the same training and background screening as they would require to get a job in good old Blighty.

But even if you’re holidaying with Thomson, Thomas Cook or any of the other big brands, it may be worth running checks to give yourself peace of mind. Here’s what to research:

Staff Qualifications – Anyone working in a kids’ club should hold a National Nursery Examining Board Diploma (NNEB), a level 3 or above Cache Diploma in Nursery Nursing, an NVQ or BTEC. There must also be a designated first aider.

You may have to do a little internet research to find the foreign equivalent if employees are not from the UK.

Adult to Child Ratio – The staff to child ratio varies dramatically depending on each situation, but according to the EYFS Statutory Framework and the Requirements for the Childcare Register, clubs with no connection to a local school should adhere to a 1:8 ratio. However, this should be reduced to 1:4 if it will involve children under the age of 3.

The Premises – A kids’ club should have a designated room in the hotel where children can play safely away from other guests. And if the children are taken out for any period of time you should be made aware of where they will be at all times.

Background Screening – All staff involved with the kids’ club should have had a criminal background check during the recruitment process. These are run through a company like ours, who will check with the DBS Updating Service to see if an individual is legally safe to work with children.

Consider the above things when holidaying abroad and you can be sure you’ve done all you can to ensure your children’s safety. But if you’d like to learn more about childcare checks here in Britain, you may like to read some of the following blog posts:

Shall I Run Checks on My Babysitter?

From Ofsted Regulations to DBS Checks: Sports Club Safeguarding

Do I Need a DBS Check to Volunteer in a School? 

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