Play Policies

Play Policy

Play is an essential part of a child’s life. The Cambridge Kids Club takes children’s play seriously. It is the role of the playworker to offer a wide range of play opportunities that enable children to play freely and be the masters of their own play.

All children and young people need to play; the impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, a psychological and a social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well-being of individuals and communities. Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.

The prime focus and essence of play work is to support and facilitate play.

To play is to allow one to freely explore and make sense of the world, experiment, and express things without fear of judgement.

The Club’s equipment and resources reflect positive images with regard to culture, ethnicity, gender and disability.

To best facilitate children’s play
• The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
• The environment will be set up prior to children arriving and will include a range of play opportunities.
• Children will be confident in making requests for other equipment. Equipment may be used in conjunction with other equipment.
• Children are not required to be occupied at all times. They are free to decide what to do.
• The play worker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound and up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.
• Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.
• Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.
• A record of activities and play opportunities will be kept and reviewed to ensure that appropriate ranges of play types are offered.
• Playworkers recognise that children need to put their own creative style and ideas into their creation such as cooking, arts, crafts, sports and gardening.
• Children will be involved in planning activities so that the programme reflects their opinions. Activities will be carefully planned to allow children to build on the natural curiosity, advance their thinking and use their imagination.
• Children will be given notice when their play must come to an end. If a play request is refused an explanation will be given.

Outdoor Play
• Children will be offered access to outdoor play every day, with the exception of severe weather conditions.
• Any outdoor activities will take place in safe, appropriately supervised spaces.
• Before any outdoor activities commence, safety checks are carried out.
• Activities will be evaluated by staff and children regularly so play experiences and activities can be improved.

Risk in Play
The Club will facilitate and encourage play opportunities for children, which are deemed to be risky. We recognise that risk is different for individuals, eg a four year old may deem it a risk to walk along a plank 30cms off the ground, whereas a seven year old may not deem that to be a risk unless the plank was considerably higher. We support the need for risky play and recognise that it is an important aspect of child development.

Children often crave risk when playing; they want challenge and excitement in their play. They need to experience challenging play opportunities in order to develop in their daily lives more effectively. However, opportunities for children to take such risks are often limited due to our risk-adverse culture and a preserved increase in health and safety constraints. Practitioners however need to reflect on whether they have a genuine reason to stop risky play, or if they are simply intervening out of habit or due to their personal limitations.


We will provide a wide range of resources and equipment in order to offer a range of play opportunities and activities and enhance children’s play experiences.
Resources will, whenever possible, show male and female figures in a variety of roles and jobs, and people with different abilities being both active and creative. Examples of every day life will portray people from a variety of family groupings and cultural backgrounds in a range of non-stereotypical roles.
We provide a selection of books. The selection will always include reference books, dual language books and a range of age-appropriate formats. Staff are encouraged to select books that reflect a multicultural society and challenge stereotypes.

2.1 Activities and Play Policy

We believe in providing children with a wide range of differing activities, which regularly challenge them.
The list of activities, which is not exhaustive, will include: –

• Art and crafts involving both creative and tactile skills (For example, sewing, modelling, printing, collage, and many more);
• Reading;
• Drama, dressing up and role-play;
• Cookery;
• Drawing and painting;
• Music, singing and dancing;
• Storytelling;
• Discussions and issues;
• Regular outdoor free play;
• Organised outdoor games and sports;
• Projects and outings;
• Story-writing & poetry;
• Occasional use of broadcast media such as radio, TV and Video / DVD;
• Nature trails;
• Construction;
• Rest periods & quiet time;
• Board & card games; and,
• Larger indoor games;

We believe in promoting participation from all children to create the atmosphere and environment that they will gain the most satisfaction from, in particular:
• A child’s opinion is always taken into consideration;
• We always give children choice and the chance to make decisions;
• We listen to children;
• We observe body language and behaviour;
• We involve the children in drama and role-play;

Children develop their own plans each week, choosing the topic and many of the activities they wish to take part in. This is closely guided by the staff who allow
children’s natural curiosity, imagination and positive social relations to develop. Plans are displayed on a board and are evaluated after they are carried out. The activities are planned taking into consideration the children’s ages, interests, backgrounds and ability. They are modified by staff to allow the children to develop and explore at their own personal level.

Staff will support, recognise and promote achievements by all the children. The club recognises that learning is a shared process and that children learn most effectively when, with the support of a knowledgeable and trusted adult, they are actively involved and interested.

2.2 Involving and Consulting Children Policy

We believe that actively promoting the participation of children in all aspects of the club is
beneficial to children, staff and the club as a whole. It enables children to have a sense of
ownership of their club.
Involving and consulting children helps them to develop new skills such as negotiating,
sharing and understanding the perspectives of others. It helps them to understand how
decisions are made and recognises their opinions are important.
Children are regularly involved in creating wish lists for new equipment. They are also
responsible for creating their own activity plans for the after school club and their ideas are
used to plan the holiday programme.
All children will be listened to and consulted actively. This will be done in a number of ways
• Listening to what they say in speech and other forms of communication;
• Observing body language and behaviour;
• Drama and role play;
• With the use of camera or video recorder to find out what the child like and dislike
Age, maturity and the type of decision to be made will determine the extent of the children’s

2.3 Physical Environment and Equipment Policy
The club’s premises are safe, secure and adequately spacious for its purpose. The
environment and atmosphere of the club is welcoming to children and offers access to the
necessary facilities for a broad and varied programme of activities.
The club is committed to taking every possible step to ensure that all children have equal
access to the facilities, including children with additional needs.
The playleader is responsible for ensuring the club’s premises are clean, well lit, adequately
ventilated and maintained at an appropriate temperature. This is done through daily risk
assessment and daily temperature recording.
Children have access to all the equipment possible in accordance with setting environment.
All children have adequate space to play and interact freely.
There is storage space for the club’s equipment both indoors and outdoors. It is all securely
locked when not in use.
The kitchen is for staff only.
There is a club mobile phone which is carried by a member of staff at all times.
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The outdoor area is checked before the children are allowed outside and all gates are closed.
These are monitored when children are in the playground. The grounds are well maintained
and any rubbish is cleared away by the staff.
Staff ensure that children have access to drinks of water at all times.
All furniture, toys and equipment are kept clean, well maintained and in good repair. The
equipment and resources available to the children reflect positive images with regard to
culture, ethnicity, gender and disability.
Inventories of club equipment are periodically carried out and any damaged or unsuitable
equipment is disposed of or repaired. The club has a wish list for new equipment which the
children and staff add to. All new equipment and resources are chosen with care and are
suitable to meet the needs of the children attending the club.

2.4 Settling In Procedure
The club encourages the child and parent/carer to visit the club before their start
The whole family will be introduced to the staff team as much as possible due to staff rota.
The parents will have the arrivals and departure routines explained to them. Children will be
shown the club and how it operates.
On the child’s first day the children’s agreements of the club are explained and fire
procedures are carried out. The child will be allocated a ‘buddy’, who will guide the child
through the routine and introduce them to the other children (to be judged by the playleader
according to age and needs).
Parent/carers have the opportunity to stay for their child’s first session(s).
Staff will ask on a regular basis how the child is feeling and if a child is in the EYFS group the
key worker is allocated to them. If the child is struggling to settle the playleader will contact
the parents and the child should participate and have the chance to explain their feelings.
Staff will always be available to discuss any concerns or issues with parents. A meeting with
the senior playleader or co-ordinator can be set up with notice.

2.5 Visits and Outings
Before taking children out of the building you must check we have the parents’ consent forms
signed. Registers must be taken before leaving the building. A list of who has left the building
and where you are going must be given to the playleader. Co-ordinator or in case of absence
the director must also be informed that a group is going on a trip and how many children and
adults are going. A register (tablet) must be taken with you and kept safe at all times. Within
the group someone must be carrying a mobile phone the number of which is known to the
head office.
If travelling in a vehicle seat belts and appropriate child seats must be used. An adult (parent
or staff) must accompany the children at all times.
The outing checklist must be checked before leaving the building.
Children should be talked through any potential hazards and told to remain with staff at all
times. They should be involved in planning their behaviour on the trip. If the outing involves
livestock a talk about hygiene must be given to the children. Adults must make sure children
do not put fingers in their mouths and they must wash their hands immediately after handling
animals or the animals’ environment.
A risk assessment must be carried out before any trip.

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During visits and outings the staff to children ratio will be 1 member of staff to every 6
children, always subject to the nature of the activity and risk assessment.
The children will remain under close supervision at all times. They will all wear a reflective
jacket with company number on it. The playleader will ensure that a full first-aid kit is on hand.
Regular head counts will be taken in addition to the register.
It is compulsory for each staff to wearing the CKC polo shirt. This is for 2 main reasons, to be
recognised by children when on outing and also as advertising for the company.

2.6 Risk Assessment
Information relating to the working practices of the clubs is held at each of the premises. The
document provides information, instructions, precautions, codes of practice and rules for safe
working. The risks from new or existing activities will be assessed and reviewed, and
additional information necessary to ensure safety will be obtained by the Director.
Precautions specific to that activity will be put in place at each site. Additionally, general and
specific health and safety information is circulated as is appropriate.
Specific risk assessments will be carried out for young workers (younger than 18 years of
age) for pregnant workers and new mothers working at the clubs, and for any member of staff
or children with any special needs (e.g. a bad back). Playleaders must tell their staff to (and
must themselves) report pregnancy so that a suitable risk assessment may be carried out.
A visual inspection of both the equipment and the entire premises, both indoors and outdoors,
will be carried out daily. This will, ordinarily be carried out by a designated member of staff on
arrival at the club.
During the session staff will be vigilant and continuously aware in a process of dynamic risk
assessment so that any potential risks to health and safety arising from the club’s
environment both inside and out, all surfaces and all equipment used by staff and children are
continuously assessed in a fast changing environment used by children.

2.7 Site Security
Safety and security procedures are reviewed regularly with the Playleader and premises
All staff are authorised with an identity badge.
All staff and parent/carers are told how to access the building when they join the clubs.
Children are never left unsupervised at the club and staff follow a ratio policy of 1 adult to
every 8 children aged 4-7 years old and 1 adult to every 10 children over 8 years old.
Visitors must sign in & out on the visitor’s book; they must give the following information:
• Their name
• The date & time of arrival
• The reason for visit
• Departure time when leaving
Visitors will not be left unsupervised with the children at any time.
If an unwanted visitor is in the club, question them about their intentions and ask them to
leave immediately explaining it is for the safety of the children. If the visitor refuses and will
not be escorted off of the premises you must telephone the police immediately.
Report the incident on an incident report.

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2.8 Additional Needs Policy

All children with special educational needs have a right to:
• Access our services
• Take part in activities that promote their welfare and development
• Have their special educational needs addressed
As a company we are fully committed to ensuring children with special or additional needs are
able to access our play provision alongside all the children. We will adapt activities or the
setting as best we can to enable full access.
The club is proactive when identifying the individual needs of children, and we will work with
the parents and outside organisations when necessary to ensure all children can access the
play provision.
The co-ordinator is a trained SENCO and we will work towards having a trained SENCO
within the organisation who will work together with the club to manage the provision for
children with additional needs.
The SENCO’s role includes:
• Working alongside staff to ensure they are aware of legislation, regulation and other
guidance on working with children with extra needs;
• Ensuring staff have adequate training to enable children with extra needs to access
the play environment;
• Helping staff to make detailed observations of the child’s behaviour;
• Reviewing the Additional Needs Policy and changing it as necessary;
• Assessing children’s needs and supporting staff in monitoring these;
• Adapting the club or supplying new equipment to meet the needs of the children;
• Liaising with the parents and outside organisations involved in the child’s care,
including training opportunities, extra funding etc;
• Ensuring children with special educational needs are supported and included in club
activities; and,
• Ensuring the child or young person with the additional need is fully consulted and that
their independence is fully encouraged wherever possible;
If a child starts at the club and we identify a possible special need we follow the following
• Monitor the child and write a daily diary;
• Speak to the parent regarding concerns
• As a team, set development or behavioural targets and discuss these with the
• If we feel unable to manage the special needs we will contact the CAF team and ask
the parents to complete a referral form so the team can help us provide appropriate
If we need additional staff or equipment we will ask the CAF team to help us make a claim.

2.9 Behaviour Policy

We aim to promote acceptable behaviour and encourage respect for others by pointing out
unacceptable behaviour thus developing the child’s social skills, confidence and self-esteem.
Under no circumstances must a child ever be subjected to any physical or corporal
punishment while in our care. This is, in any event, against the Law.
We believe that it is important to encourage positive behaviour, and it is to be reinforced and
praised wherever possible. We also encourage sharing, negotiation and responsibility. This all
provides a positive atmosphere and should make unwanted behaviour less likely.

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Children have worked with the staff to produce a short set of ground rules for positive
behaviour. The ground rules should apply equally to the children, staff and parents within the
club and should be displayed for all to see. This will be reviewed regularly but should include:
• Always think about other people.
• Treat the books, toys, cushions and games with care.
• Share
• Remember that all children have an equal right to play and to be included.
Positive behaviour should be praised and negative behaviour should be dealt with in a calm
and positive manner.
Staff should work as a team by discussing incidents and resolving to act collectively and
consistently. For those children who need support in order to behave in an appropriate
manner, staff will investigate strategies and offer consistent care whilst at the club.
Staff will be invited to attend behaviour management training sessions to ensure a consistent
approach and to gain more information about types of behaviour.
When confronted with negative behaviour, staff will be clear to distinguish between
‘disengaged’, ‘disruptive’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour:
• ‘Disengaged’ behaviour may indicate that a child is bored, unsettled or unhappy. With
sensitive interventions, staff will often be able to re-engage a child in purposeful
• ‘Disruptive’ behaviour describes a child whose behaviour prevents other children from
enjoying themselves. Staff will collectively discuss incidents and agree on the best
way to deal with them.
• ‘Unacceptable’ behaviour refers to non-negotiable actions and may include
discriminatory remarks, violence, bullying or destruction of equipment. Staff will be
clear that consequences will follow from such behaviour, including in the first
instance, temporarily removing a child from the activity session.
Should unwanted behaviour occur, there is a series of steps to be taken: –
• Staff shall aim to be aware of when unwanted behaviour may occur in order to
prevent situations from developing. This can be done by distracting the child with the
offer of an alternative activity, or by changing practices, so that the initial cause no
longer exists.
• If unacceptable behaviour persists, staff will follow the flow charts below:
• In case a child makes inappropriate physical contact with a member of staff, student
or volunteer, this will be recorded fully in the Incident Form and the Child Protection
policy will be followed (see pg16).

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Flow chart for Minor behaviour incidents Flow chart for Major behaviour
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Physical Intervention
This will only be used as a last resort and if there are reasonable grounds for believing that
immediate action is needed to prevent a child from significantly injuring itself or others or to
prevent serious damage to property. All incidents of physical intervention must be recorded
on an incident form and signed by parent/carer.
Before this happens staff must have used all possible non-physical actions. The child should
be warned that physical intervention will be used if they do not stop their behaviour. Staff
must make every effort to avoid physical intervention if they are alone with a child or children.
Only use the minimum force necessary to prevent injury or damage and never use physical
intervention as a punishment. The force of physical intervention will depend on the child’s
age, size and strength.
As soon as it is safe, the physical interaction should gradually be relaxed to allow the child to
regain self-control.
If the staff feel they cannot carry this out successfully a playleader, coordinator or in extreme
cases the police may be called.
If a staff member commits an act of violence towards a child which is not seen as appropriate
physical intervention, disciplinary action will be implemented immediately and the staff
member should be reported to Ofsted and, if appropriate, the police.
If unacceptable behaviour persists more serious action may have to be taken in accordance
with our Suspensions and Exclusions policy.

2.10 Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Bullying is the repeated harassment of others through emotional, physical, verbal or
psychological abuse, for example:
• Emotional – Unkind words, tormenting, excluding;
• Physical – Using any form of violence against another person;
• Verbal – Using words to threaten attack or insult; and,
• Psychological – Causing fear or anxiety to others.
The staff should promote a caring and safe environment for the children. Staff should ensure
parents and children are aware that bullying is not acceptable at the club.
If bullying does occur then it must be addressed immediately in a sensitive manner.
Children are encouraged to report bullying and staff must take this seriously. The playleader
must inform the Co-ordinator if bullying occurs.
The child who has been the victim of bullying will be closely monitored and given full
Bullying is a form of unacceptable behaviour and our behaviour policy would be followed. If
the bullying is persistent then we would revert to our Suspensions and Exclusions policy.
Parents of all children involved will be immediately informed of a bullying incident and staff will
handle the matter sensitively.
Bullying will be recorded on an incident form.

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2.11 Suspensions and Exclusions

See our Behaviour & Anti-Bullying Policies above.
In those exceptional cases where unacceptable behaviour persists on a long-term basis, a
meeting with the parents will be called. All meetings must be documented and records kept at
the club. If suspension or exclusion is a possibility the child will be warned of this beforehand.
This may not happen without a discussion-taking place between the playleader and Clubs Coordinator.
Details of all warnings, suspensions and exclusions will be recorded and kept at the club and
staff should be made aware of any such warnings.
Suspensions and exclusions should be seen as a last resort as well as consistent, fair and
proportionate to the behaviour concerned. Decisions to suspend should take account of the
child’s age and maturity as well as any other relevant information.
When a suspension has taken place because of unacceptable behaviour a discussion will be
held between management, staff, parents and the child about conditions for their return.
Staff must inform parents of their child’s behaviour on a regular basis. Staff recognise that it
is as important to pass on instances of positive behaviour as it is the negative behaviour.
In the case of serious or dangerous incidents happening the child will be suspended
immediately. In these circumstances the child’s parents/carers will be contacted immediately
and asked to collect their child. The child will not be allowed to leave the setting without a
parent/carer collecting them.
After an immediate suspension has taken place because of seriously unacceptable or
dangerous behaviour a meeting will be arranged with management, the child concerned and
their parents/carers to discuss the incident and decide if it will be possible for them to return
to the club. All incidents must be recorded in the incident book.
Where unacceptable behaviour is persistent, then staff will follow the special needs

2.12 Partnership with Parents and Carers

We recognise that working in partnership with the parents and carers is vital. It helps to
provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children, meeting their needs as best as
The staff should have daily contact with the parents ensuring that they feel welcome and
valued at the club and the staff shall spend time developing relationships with the parents.
If a parent has a concern the staff should take time to listen and respond as best they can.
The concern should be passed onto the playleader and Co-ordinator and dealt with promptly.
All parents should receive copies of our policies and procedures when their child joins the
club and should be advised as new policies are added or existing policies amended.
Parents should have access to all records and information kept on their children, unless it is
under investigation by the police or other statutory agencies.
Parents should be asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey once a year. They are
also encouraged to offer feedback whenever they wish.
A newsletter should be produced at least half-termly to inform the parents of changes to the
club, events and tax benefits etc. There is also a parents’ notice board which should be kept
up to date with information for the parents.

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Any parental complaints are to be dealt with in accordance to our Complaints Procedure
We will, when necessary, produce our written information in large type or different languages.

2.13 Threatening Person Policy
What is classed as threatening?
• Belittling;
• Confrontational language;
• Shouting;
• Confrontational physical gestures;
• Physical abuse;
• Threatening behaviour or carrying out an action with a weapon; and,
• Drunken abusive behaviour;
Any of the above may be linked
If any person is mildly confrontational:
• Remain calm;
• Refuse entry to the club if you can;
• Do not get drawn into an argument;
• Ask them to leave and return when a senior member of staff will be available to
discuss the issues with them;
• Ask them to contact or call in at head office, ring and let head office know as soon as
• Call the police if necessary;
• Inform whoever is on duty on the premises (e.g. caretaker, secretary) of the incident.
• Fill in an incident report sheet.
Procedure for severe cases
If faced with a situation where you feel compromised or the children or staff are in immediate
danger from any person or situation the following procedure must be followed.
• If you feel a situation is evolving with another adult that you feel is threatening you
should inform other adults by passing round the password “Italy” ensuring the
message is passed around the whole club. This should start an emergency
evacuation of the area. All staff must already be aware of the evacuation point;
• Do not enter into any verbal or physical interaction with the person;
• Keep calm and do not panic the children, give clear instructions at all times;
• As quickly and as calmly as possible evacuate the children from the room and close
the doors behind you.
• Call the police and whoever is on duty on the premises.