The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Wraparound Care

Published on isbi School News dated Thursday 8th of October 2015

Traditionally, schools were centres of learning which focused exclusively on the educational experiences of children and young people. Today, the role of schools has grown to encompass a range of other services and activities that benefit parents. Included within this range of services are breakfast clubs, afterschool clubs and holiday schemes which are often referred to as wraparound childcare provision. In today’s society ever increasing demands are placed upon adults in their working life and the expectation that a child can be dropped off at 9am and collected at 3.30pm is not realistic or feasible for many parents. For many parents there is not the option of being able to rely on extended family members living close by to help them out with childcare. In addition to the hours of schooling, parents are increasingly looking towards schools providing care before and after school and during the school holidays. For some, this is an important factor in their selection of a school. Providing out of hours care within a school can have enormous benefits; intellectually, creatively and socially. The children are already familiar with the setting and as long as there is a clear distinction between the "school” day activities and those offered before/after school hours, providing a child with a safe and familiar environment - a "home from home”. Opportunities for them to develop their social skills readily present themselves in this type of setting. By having the opportunity to mix with other children of different ages, it provides a larger social group for them to interact with and the chance to practise skills such as sharing and cooperation. At Kent College Preparatory our wraparound care provision is an important aspect of our school. The girls experience an educational setting where they feel valued, supported and encouraged not only academically but also in the less formal wraparound provision provided by well qualified and familiar staff. Cost is an important issue and we provide after school care until 5.40pm each day for girls aged 3-11 years at no extra cost. If parents require their daughters to stay on after time (until 7.30pm at the latest) then charges apply. Mornings are often a rush and a time of tension to ensure that everyone is ready by a certain time. At Kent College, our girls can take advantage of breakfast club where for a small charge they can have a choice of hot/cold breakfast and eat with the boarders in a family setting, taking time to digest their food and talk to their friends before the start of the school day. This enables their parents to make their journeys to work at a time convenient to them. At the end of the day, the girls at Kent College come under the supervision of a well established team of staff who oversee the girls’ activities in a familiar setting, but ensure that there is a different ethos from the one that pervades during the school day. Here, our younger girls have access to a range of play equipment and are closely supervised by a number of our regular teaching assistant staff. After 5.40pm girls who wish to stay have supper with the boarders in the dining hall and then they move to the junior boarding house under the supervision of a regular member of Prep School staff until 7.30pm. Our provision offers parents flexibility and they are only charged for what they use. Child care for the school holidays can also be a major headache. This year at Kent College we are introducing additional holiday care for our Early Years pupils during the first week of the Easter and summer holidays. We are already fortunate that Camp Beaumont use the school for 4 weeks of the summer holiday. This type of wraparound care within a school offers a number of advantages for parents such as the convenience of education and care taking place in one setting, consistency of staff and care, and a range of social and educational benefits for their children.
Wraparound Care - Photo 1
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