A: The welfare of your child is our primary concern and as such before camps open we ensure the site is appropriate for the care of children 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 ensuring they are safe and fun.
Whilst your child is at camp the staff monitor the activities daily to ensure 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.)
At the end of each day, our staff will follow our secure collection procedure as children leave site. If you would like feedback on your child's day please just ask during this time and we will arrange for your child's group co-ordinator to speak to you.
Q: IT'S MY CHILD'S FIRST TIME...
A: We understand that parents can feel a little nervous when sending their child to camp for the first time. Our caring staff team will make sure that you are quickly put at ease and your child is settled in smoothly. Barracudas is here to provide you with a high quality childcare solution for the holidays, a responsibility we take very seriously. Staff will support each individual child during their first time at camp by making sure they are familiar with the site, staff and how the programme works.
Further reassurance is provided through the group staff who quickly get to know your child and their individual needs and interests. 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.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DROP MY CHILD OFF?
A: When you arrive at camp follow the signs and bunting to the registration area. At the registration desk, give the member of staff your child's name and age. They will let you know which group they are in and issue your child with a name badge with their group name.
The member of staff will ask for the Essential Information form and check over for any additional information that you have made us aware of. You will then be given a collection card and the password for the day, both of which you will need for collection time.
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 co-ordinator who will sign them into their group and record your child's time of arrival. The group co-ordinator will introduce themselves to your child as their lead member of staff for the day/week. This member of staff will oversee the care of your child and make sure that they settle easily into the camp.
Q: CAN I GET SOME FEEDBACK ON MY CHILD'S DAY?
A: If at the end of the day, you would like to speak to the co-ordinator 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!
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS DIFFICULTY SETTLING AT CAMP?
A: 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 Central 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 are 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.
This Money Back Guarantee is a genuine offer that applies to all children who are attending Barracudas for the first time. No matter how much we try to reassure you that your child will settle in, we appreciate that this is a big step for many parents and children. Therefore, we want you to be able to book your childcare at Barracudas, safe in the knowledge that should it not be right for them at this time, you will not lose out financially.
Q: WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD BRING?
A: 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 'My Booking' tab once logged into your account online. Please complete details in full, print and sign, then hand into camp directly on your child's first day each season. 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. Children aged 7+ will require 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.
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, however, 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.
We provide all the equipment necessary for all the activities, from armbands to tennis rackets, so there is no need to send your children with anything other than packed lunch, additional clothing for motorsports/fencing/giant inflatable assault course/archery, swimming kit and sun protection. Please ensure all clothing is named and that your child brings home all items at the end of the day. It is very difficult for us to locate lost property once children have left camp.
It really depends on what you tell us on the Essential Information form. If you say that your child cannot swim 25m, we will give them buoyancy aids ranging from a tummy belt, a float vest and/or arm bands depending on their height and age. If you tell us they can swim 25m, our lifeguards will ask them to complete a swim test (in the shallow end) and if they pass this and are over 8 years old they can swim freely. If they cannot complete the test satisfactorily, buoyancy aids will be given to them, which must be worn. All children under 8 years old only swim in the shallow end of the pool. We supply all buoyancy aids needed.
Q: WHAT SHOULDN'T MY CHILD BRING TO CAMP?
A: We strongly advise that children don't bring mobile telephones*, watches, computer games, ipods and such like on to camp. There is 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 Customer Protection Plan 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 are 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 ensure 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.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD HAS LEFT THEIR BELONGINGS AT CAMP?
A: Please ensure all of your children's belongings are named, this makes it easier for staff to identify any lost property items and ensure that they are returned to their owner straight away. 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. 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.
Q: DO CHILDREN NEED ANY MONEY AT CAMP?
A: No, there is no need for children to bring any money to camp as there is nothing to purchase.
Q: MY CHILD HAS A SPECIFIC MEDICAL CONDITION. DO I NEED TO TELL YOU?
A: 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 regarding your child's needs. The more information you provide us with the better quality of care we can provide for your child.
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD CARRIES AN EPI-PEN?
A: 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.
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD IS ILL OR HAS AN ACCIDENT AT CAMP?
A: 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. However should a child suffer a more serious injury or fall ill at camp you will be contacted immediately.
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD IS ILL AND CANNOT ATTEND THE CAMP?
A: 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.
If your child misses days due to illness and you have taken the optional Barracudas Customer Protection Plan (CPP) 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. That's why we recommend you take out our CPP.
Q: MY CHILD NEEDS EXTRA HELP; CAN THEY STILL COME TO CAMP?
A: Yes. All children deserve a great time at Barracudas! We can change what we do to suit your child, within the usual ratios. If they need a bit more support, an adult friend can join them or we'll help you try to get further support through your local funding process.
We can recruit a 1:1 support member of staff specific to your child’s needs. Selecting and clearing the right member of staff to work with your child and applying for local authority funding takes between 8-10 weeks pending the area. If you're interested for 2018 please call us at least 4 months ahead of the start of the camp you wish to attend.
Please call and speak to one of our qualified Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinators (SENCO's) so we can discuss their individual care. The safety of your child is paramount and through discussion we can usually work out the best way that this can be achieved so they can enjoy as many of the exciting activities on camp as possible.
Please be aware that some of our sites may not be suitable but we can work this out during your call.