- Why Barracudas?
- Work for us
The welfare of your child is our primary concern. Before our childrens camps open we make sure the venue is appropriate for the care of kids aged between 4 ½ and 14 years old. On-site risk assessments are completed and staff are trained in all the necessary policies and procedures. This training includes health, safety, hygiene, safeguarding, first aid, managing children's behaviour and much more. We also train staff to deliver a variety of different activities, always making sure they're safe and fun.
Whilst your child is at Barracudas Activity Day Camp the staff monitor the activities daily to check they are safe and running in accordance with our codes of practice. Staff also complete daily welfare reminder checklists for various childcare routines such as hygiene, healthy eating, emergency evacuation, sun protection and toilet trips. Children are continually supervised by staff throughout the day including break and lunch times. (Please note, only 11-14 year olds are allowed to go to the toilet in same gender pairs without supervision, all other ages are supervised.)
On camp, the Designated Safeguarding Lead is the Early Years Manager should you wish to speak to them. We also have a company Designated Safeguarding Lead available at our Head Office.
At the end of each day our staff will follow our secure collection procedure as children leave. If you'd like any feedback on your child's day please just ask during this time and we'll arrange for your child's Group Leader (also known as their key worker) to speak to you.
We understand that parents can feel a little nervous when sending their child to a multi-activity camp for the first time. Our caring staff will make sure that you're quickly put at ease and your child is settled in smoothly. Barracudas is here to provide you with a high quality kids holiday activity camp, a responsibility we take very seriously. Staff support each individual child during their first time at camp by making sure they're familiar with the venue, staff and how the programme works and what they should expect during their day.
Further reassurance is provided through the group staff who quickly get to know your child and their individual needs and interests. Each child will be assigned a Keyworker, also known as their Group Leader, during their time at camp. Buddy systems are used to pair children with a friend so everyone feels included. 'Name' and 'Get to know you' circle games are played during the registration period in the base room so children are immediately involved in a group activity. You'll be amazed at how quickly the children settle in and make new friends.
Yes, each child will be assigned a Keyworker, also known as their Group Leader, during their time at camp. They will be responsible for your child's welfare at Barracudas. You'll be notified of who this is when you arrive at camp. You can speak to their Group Leader at any time, just contact the camp directly to arrange this.
There is a swimming section in the Essential Information form.
We ask if your child can swim 25 metres. If you say ‘No’ your child will be given buoyancy aids in line with their age, height and the depth of the pool and only be able to swim in the shallow end.
If you say ‘Yes’ they'll need to demonstrate their ability to the lifeguards by confidently swimming 2-3 widths of the pool. If they put their feet down or display a lack of water confidence, they will also be given buoyancy aids for their session in the shallow end.
All children under 8 years old are only permitted to swim in the shallow end of the pool. We'll supply all buoyancy aids needed.
We send reminders about this in our Essential Information reminder before they are due to start at camp.
All our Lifeguards hold valid Lifeguard qualifications and must also perform a competency test with us before working on camp. The staff to child ratios during swimming sessions is 1:5 for under 7 years and 1:10 for 8 years and above. There will be a member of staff in the water at all times for under 7's.
When you arrive at camp follow the signs and bunting to the registration area.
You will have had to complete the Essential Information form ahead of camp.
We now have contactless check in. You will receive an email with a QR code for each child which will be scanned to check your child in. You can present the QR code on your smartphone from this email or print it out and bring with you.
For the best experience we advise downloading our new parent app where you can also find the QR code plus lots of other helpful information relating to camp.
From this point a member of our staff called a 'runner' will take your child from the registration area, along with all of their belongings, down to their base room. On arriving at the base room your child will be met by their Group Leader who will sign them into their group and record your child's time of arrival.
Yes - please tell us anything we need to know about your child's health when you make your booking e.g. diabetes, epilepsy, serious allergies and so on. In some cases we may need to send you some more forms and get additional information from you about your child's needs. The more information you provide us with the better quality of care we can provide for your child. If your child needs medication at camp, you must let the staff know and complete a medication form available at registration.
At least one member of the Barracudas staff team at each camp will be trained to administer an Epi-Pen in an emergency situation. Parents must inform the camp if their child carries an Epi-Pen.
For the safety and welfare of your child/ren, we need a completed Essential Information form for every child on camp. This form can be found under the 'Bookings' tab once logged into your account online. Please complete details in full before your child's first day each season. You can also access this and fill it in via our parent app. Please note: Each and every child that attends needs to have a completed Essential Information form; we cannot accept children onto camp without this.
We recommend children wear comfortable clothing and closed toe footwear. We suggest you don't send them in new or valuable clothing as they will be involved in activities such as field sports and art and crafts. All children will need a long and sleeved top, trousers and ankle socks for certain activities like *archery, *motorsports, *fencing and *giant inflatable assault courses.
Swimming kit should be brought in every day for all water activities, although it may not always be needed. Where we have outdoor swimming pools and aqua parks/slides, please provide your child with an additional t-shirt to protect their back from the sun.
During warmer seasons please provide and apply sun protection cream each morning, we ask that you show your child how to do this before they attend camp. Spray on sun lotion is a good option for younger children as the staff can do this for them and the children can then rub in themselves. Staff will remind children at break times to apply sun cream and help younger ones if needed. It is also a good idea to send a broad-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears.
All children should bring a lunchbox to camp. Barracudas doesn't supply any food and nor is there the option to buy food on camp. Children should come with a balanced packed lunch including a snack for your child to select during the morning and afternoon breaktimes. As we do not have refrigeration facilities at the camps, we suggest you provide a small cool bag (lunch box size) containing a frozen carton of juice or a small ice pack. This will keep the contents cold until lunchtime. Barracudas has a no nuts policy. Please make sure there are no items containing nuts in your child's packed lunch.
Football camps: Children should wear trainers or astros and shin pads.
Please make sure all clothing is named and that your child brings home all items at the end of the day. It's very difficult for us to locate lost property once children have left camp.
*Not available at half term camps.
It's important that your child has enough energy to get the most out of a fun day at camp. Please bear in mind that as children will be active and with us for longer they will need more in their lunches than for a typical school day.
Here are some suggestions for a healthy and tasty packed lunch they'll love:
Sandwich Bagel, wholemeal pitta/wrap, pasta/rice/cous cous salad, cooked meats, cheese, Quorn, hummus, tuna, egg, salad, pickles
5 a day:
Apple, satsuma, banana, pineapple, carrot batons, grapes, cherry tomatoes
Yoghurt, fromage frais, milk, cheese, cheese spread
Water, sugar free squash, fruit juice
We have a ‘no nuts’ policy on camps so please avoid foods like peanut butter etc.
We strongly advise that children don't bring mobile telephones*, watches, computer games, ipods and such like on to camp. There's no real use for these items and they are often mislaid as children are busy and excited doing other things. Staff are trained not to put themselves in a difficult position by taking care of such items and we cannot accept responsibility if they are lost or stolen. Neither the Flex cover or our insurance cover such items.
*Mobile phones: Although we understand the need for older children who make their way to and from camp to have a mobile phone, they're not allowed to be used once on camp, during break times or for photographs. They must be kept in personal baggage at the risk of the owner at all times. Please make sure your child is aware of this.
Due to health and hygiene reasons, we are unfortunately unable to allow any birthday cakes (or any other food treats) to be brought onto camp to be shared with the groups.
We have a ‘no nuts’ policy on camps so please avoid foods like peanut butter etc.
If at the end of the day, you would like to speak to the Group Leader of your child's group, please just ask. As long as they are still on shift they will be happy to come out to the collection area and chat with you about your child's day. If the timing does not suit your arrangements, simply ask for an appointment, our staff consider each child individually and are only too happy to share all the amazing things their groups have been up to!
No, there's no need for children to bring any money to camp as there is nothing to purchase.
You'll be amazed at how much your child's confidence will grow at Barracudas. Time and time again parents have told us how their children started camp very nervously, but by the end of their first day all signs of nerves had disappeared and they can't wait to come back! We have been told of children who subsequently found settling into new situations far easier, for example when starting a new school. Our staff are aware children can be worried about coming to a new childcare setting, and are trained to deal sympathetically with these situations.
In the unlikely event that your child doesn't settle at camp on their first day, please let us know. Very often by speaking to either our Head Office team or the camp staff the same day or following morning, we can resolve any problems related to your child not settling.
For your further reassurance, if this is your child's first visit to Barracudas and if they're still not happy on the second day of camp, or if you don't want to try them again after the first day, we can offer you our Money Back Guarantee. All you need to do is call us by the end of the second day they attended and we will refund your booking in full. What's more, we'll put a free day pass for the same child on your account for them to use when they feel ready to try camp again next year.
Please make sure all of your children's belongings are clearly named, this makes it easier for staff to identify any lost property items and ensure that they are returned to their owner straight away. We won't be able to contact you if items aren't labelled.
If you realise your child has misplaced an item please contact the camp straight away and you can agree a time that is best for you to collect it. Lost property items will be displayed in the registration area. Please check this area at drop off/pick up time.
For any named items found on camp, our staff will attempt to contact you to collect before the camp closes. On the last day of camp each season, any unclaimed lost property will be taken to a local charity shop by our camp staff.
We are not responsible for any items left at camp
We're parents too, so we understand your concerns, but don't worry we're well prepared. At each of our childcare settings we have qualified first aid staff who are trained to deal with accidents and illnesses. Fortunately almost everything we have to deal with are grazes on knees, nettle stings and so on. Should a child suffer a more serious injury or fall ill at camp you will be contacted immediately.
In fairness to others we can't accept children at camp if they're ill. Please let us know if they have recently had an illness or condition in case they are still infectious. If a child requires medication whilst at camp, please supply it in a well-labelled container and sign a consent form available at registration.
If your child misses days due to illness and you have made a Flex booking we will firstly offer to make up these days for you later in the season or refund you if policy conditions are met.
If you don't take out the policy then missed days cannot be taken at another time and there will be no refund. This includes COVID related illnesses. That's why we recommend you book with Flex.
Barracudas’ encourages inclusivity, whilst we are not a specialist camp for children with additional or educational needs, we believe every child deserves to have the best possible Barracudas experience and will do all we can within our usual ratios to support each child’s needs. For any enquiries relating to special educational and/or additional needs please call us on 01480 467 567 and ask to speak to one of our Inclusion Coordinators, who will be happy to provide assistance.
The Inclusion Coordinator will complete our SEND Enquiry Form with you to assess your child’s needs and if they can be met within our setting, if it is identified that your child may need extra support the Inclusion Coordinator will discuss all options available. Please note, we require a minimum of 8 weeks to allow time for arrangements to be made and this may involve an application to the Local Authority for support funding.
Please be aware, some of our sites may not be suitable, but we can work this out during your call. In some circumstances Barracudas may not be able to meet the needs of a child, the environment may not be suitable for the child, or it may not have been possible to arrange additional staff support for the child. In this instance, the Inclusion Coordinator will discuss with you to agree upon the best outcome for the child.
Please note, we have a limited number of spaces per camp for children who require 1:1 support. If we reach capacity, we may not be able to accept your booking on this occasion. Early booking is advised.
Where possible, we post photos to our social media platforms for parents to view. Please note we can't guarantee your child will appear on these. Whilst our best efforts are made to take as many photos as possible at camp, the operation of the camp itself has to come first. Depending what is happening on site, unfortunately other tasks do sometimes take priority.
Please note we don't share images of children directly with you.
If you don't want images of your child to be taken and shared on social media, please update the relevant section on your child's Essential Information form.