Primary schools should provide access to high-quality childcare, 8am–6pm, five days a week, 48 weeks a year, based on community need. Secondary schools do not need to provide formal childcare but their activity programmes before and after school need to provide a safe, supervised place to be.
Corbridge Kids Club
Corbridge Kids Club was set up in September 2008 at Corbridge Middle School and since it first opened its doors has been running from strength to strength.
The thorough planning and consultation undertaken by the local Extended Services team and the ongoing work to ensure the project is meeting young people’s needs are two areas that have been highlighted as particularly good practice contributing to the success of the Kids Club.
When reviewing childcare in the Corbridge area Hexham Extended Services Partnership highlighted a gap in provision for Middle school pupils. Corbridge Kids Club was already successfully running on the first school site with pupils from both the first and middle school attending. However through consultation with pupils it was highlighted that the older pupils would prefer separate space away from the younger pupils with a range of different activities. It was also identified that there was a demand for childcare for those middle school pupils who weren’t currently accessing anything before or after school.
Hexham Extended Services worked with the Middle School, Sure Start and the local council to ensure that the new provision was set up following all the guidelines and ensuring it met the needs of parents, pupils and the community. A mobile classroom in the school yard was identified as a venue and a ‘safe place to be’ model was implemented with toilets, kitchen, computers and work space being added and CCTV to monitor the outside of the building.
Young people now have the option to access the Middle School Kids Club from 7.30am for breakfast and after school until 6pm. Pupils in Year 4 at the First school also have the option of attending the club at the Middle School as part of the schools transition strategy, supporting them to make the move to a new school. The flexibility of the setting allows young people to participate in after school clubs then use the Kids Club, complete their homework, watch TV, play a wide range of games and have a healthy snack.
Regular consultation is undertaken with young people on the activities which they’d like to participate in through producing wish lists and informal chats. Parent’s views are also collected through discussions with staff when they come into the club to collect their children. In conjunction with Extended Services there has also been an annual review undertaken to ensure that Kids Club is still meeting the needs of the young people, parents and the local community.
The Extended Services team’s close involvement and consultation with parents, children and the community has meant that the club has gone from strength to strength with ever increasing numbers and children even wanting to access the centre when their parents aren’t at work.