Why I’m backing the Children’s Activities Association (CAA)

August 27, 2015 Published by

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There has been a huge rise in the number of extra curricular activities for children both in pre-school and primary school age groups. What really surprised me was finding out that there is currently no standardised quality assurance for childrens activities. I, like many parents, had wrongly assumed theyd be subject to Ofsted scrutiny, and was concerned when I discovered that they are not.

Parents are being faced with increasing choice and very little objective, independent guidance to help them make informed choices about the quality of the activity clubs and classes that their children may attend.CAA-LOGO-2

The Children’s Activities Association (CAA) is aiming to solve this issue and give parents an easy way of checking that the activity providers have met appropriate standards in a range of areas. Members will not be able to display the CAA logo unless they have demonstrated compliance across legal and Health and Safety standards, have the appropriate insurance and effective policies on safeguarding and data protection etc. This gives parents who see activity providers displaying the logo confidence that all the appropriate legal and safety standards are in place without needing to examine the documentation of each individual provider themselves.

The CAA will support members in gaining full accreditation across 4 additional measures – programme content, programme delivery, training and customer service and each area will be represented by a star on the logo giving parents an easy, at-a-glance way of understanding the strengths of different providers. The CAA is a Community Interest Company – not-for-profit but for the benefit of parents and providers to encourage ‘best practice’ across the children’s activities industry. The CAA accreditation is designed to work alongside industry specific accreditations (e.g. the ASA for swimming lessons) and focusses on the developmental relevance and quality of the activities.

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With my Good Toy Guide and Good App Guide hat on, I know how much parents appreciate independent expert opinion and accreditation of products and services they buy for their children so I was delighted when Sam Willoughby, founder of the popular Whats On 4 approached me and asked for my help with developing a robust accreditation procedure. I have been heavily involved in helping the CAA develop the accreditation and Im surrounded by amazing talent and expertise that has pulled together to become the Founding Members of the CAA.  The founding members are leading activity providers from across the spectrum of childrens activity providers and all have been involved in making the CAA useful, robust and effective, regardless of the size of the organisation or the type of activity being provided.

Im thoroughly enjoying working with some of the best activity providers in the country to help formulate the CAA, all under the excellent leadership of the Whats On 4 Team.

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This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer

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