Many of the UK's leading children's activities providers have joined forces to put in place an official Code of Practice to help raise the standards of safety and quality in this burgeoning industry.
Until now, no such guidelines have existed and anyone is free to offer classes for children without any form of accountability or control.
Activities, classes and clubs are a valued and much-loved part of most children's pre-school and extracurricular leisure and learning time, but until now, there has been no formal guidelines for providers to benchmark their provision, or indeed for parent or carers to feel assured about how to invest their time and money.
The Code of Practice has been set out by the newly formed Children's Activities Association (CAA) which comprises members such as Water Babies, Baby Sensory, diddi dance, and Tumble Tots to name just a few.
Providers signing up to the organisation, agree to follow the guidelines, and in turn, can display a membership ‘badge' and receive ongoing support from the CAA.
Parents will know that activities and class providers who are members of the CAA have undertaken to follow the robust and thorough guidelines when it comes to safeguarding, training and health and safety as well as quality of service.
Dr Amanda Gummer, a leading research psychologist specialising in play and development commented: "The explosion of activities for children means that parents can be bombarded with information and not know where to turn. To have an independent accreditation system with the aim of promoting accessibility and awareness of great children's activities will be hugely beneficial for families across the country".
For more information, please visit the CAA's website www.childrensactivitiesassociation.org