5 Top Tips on choosing a holiday course for your child
With the summer holidays fast approaching and the new academic year hot on its tail, there are a multitude of children’s courses to choose from but how do you choose? And how can you be sure that you’re leaving your child in a safe and secure environment?
As a mother-of-two, I know how difficult it can be. Firstly there’s the task of choosing an appropriate activity and then ensuring I’m leaving them in good hands.
After over 21 years of running Perform, here are my 5 Top Tips for things to look out for when booking holiday courses and after-school activities for your own little ones:
1) How will it benefit your child?
Any after-school, weekend or holiday club should support your child’s learning and development. Of course, you want it to be fun but how else are they benefitting from it? It might be teamwork and sportsmanship at football or athletics, strength and discipline at ballet or confidence and communication at Perform classes. Whatever the activity, make sure the organisers can tell you how it will be good for your child.
2) What qualifications and certifications do the teachers hold?
It goes without saying that you wouldn’t send your child to school without being sure that the teachers were well qualified in their field and that they hold an Enhanced DBS certificate. Before you sign up to an activity, have a chat with the organiser and find out about how they recruit their staff and what checks they have in place. At Perform, all of our Teachers and Producers have professionally trained in drama, dance and singing at leading drama schools and universities for a minimum of three years. Many of them continue to work as performers in theatres and on film alongside their work with us. It is also a requirement that they hold an Enhanced DBS certificate and our Producers are trained in Paediatric First Aid, meaning there is always at least one first aider on site at any Perform class. We also host regular Refining Trainings in everything from safeguarding to fun and discipline to ensure our team are the best they can be. Make sure the provider of your child's holiday course takes a similarly strict line on skills, training and credentials.
3) What is the company’s attitude towards health and safety?
One of my recurring nightmares when my children were younger was one of them ending up going home with the wrong parent or running out of a club on their own and nobody noticing I wasn’t there. At Perform, there’s no fear of that! We are incredibly strict with our tick-out process and have clear policies and procedures available for anyone to read. They state what would happen in the event of an emergency or an incident. In line with this, we require at least two emergency contact numbers for every child in our care and are, of course, insured with Public Liability Insurance. A certificate can be seen at all our classes and courses. This is a minimum standard at all child-centred activities but it's not nearly enough in itself.
Plus, in light of the current pandemic, you should look at how the company has responded. It is still imperative that organisations have clear safety measures in place and keep up to date with the latest Government Guidelines. You can read how we’re keeping children safe here.
4) What are other parents saying?
Whether looking for a new restaurant to try or the best kids clothes, personal recommendations and testimonials from others are the best way to find out whether something may be suitable for you and your family. Speak to other parents or seek out reviews and find out what people are saying before you book.
5) What happens if you miss a session or your child doesn’t like it?
So, you’ve chosen the activity, you’ve signed your child up and suddenly they’re ill or your circumstances change and they can’t attend. Then what? Find out from the provider what happens in this instance. Can your child attend a make up class to cover the one they missed? Do they offer refunds or credit if you cancel? At Perform, we ensure our friendly customer service team can answer all these questions quickly and simply so you understand exactly what the terms are.
With all this in mind, I hope you’re able to find the perfect activity for your child. The feedback we most enjoy receiving is how much a child’s enjoyment of a holiday course can delight their parents as they know they are in safe hands and having the best fun of the holidays. What more can we ask for than that?
Perform holiday courses put child development at the heart of the sessions. Through confidence-building fun, we develop the social skills through laughter. It’s the best way to learn! Find out more about the Perform 4 Cs here.