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Out of school childcare

Covid-19 guidance for out of school and holiday play schemes
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Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Updated - 19 July 2021

Providers who open should implement this guidance from the end of summer term, when state schools in their local area have closed. Until then, while schools are open in a provider’s local area, they should follow the same protective measures as schools to limit different groups of children mixing.

Ofsted headlines
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The Ofsted Education Inspection Framework has been in place since September 2019 and includes changes for out of school providers registered on the early years register and who only provide care exclusively for children at the beginning and end of the day or in the holiday periods. These providers will be inspected without receiving grades against the four judgements but will receive a single judgement for their overall effectiveness, quality and standards of the early years provision. This judgement will be one of three possible outcomes.

  • met
  • not met with actions
  • not met with enforcement.

The inspector will consider the criteria for behaviour and attitudes; personal development; and leadership and management when reaching a judgement as to whether the provider is meeting the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) safeguarding and welfare requirements. The providers report will include a summary to explain what it is like for a child attending the provision, and will highlight what the provider does well and what could be improved.

Further information can be found in Annex A of the Early Years Inspection Handbook

Delivery plan
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Kent County Council (KCC) and The Education People are committed, through the Early Years and Childcare Strategy, to working in partnership with out of school providers within the county to support them in providing high quality learning and care. The relationship between KCC, The Education People and out of school providers has always been and still is highly valued.

Our delivery plan (PDF, 355.6 KB) document outlines in detail our support for the following out of school providers:

Newly registered out of school providers

Where an out of school setting is newly registered this will trigger support from the Local Authority. The Senior Improvement Adviser will allocate an Improvement Adviser who will contact the setting and undertake ten visits up until the first inspection. The visits will focus on safeguarding and welfare requirements, working in partnership with parents, carers and others, offering an inclusive service and monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the service

Not met judgement

Where a setting receives a not met rating from Ofsted, this will trigger intervention by The Education People on behalf of the local authority based on the issues raised by inspection.

Regular visits from an improvement adviser will support this improvement and will focus primarily on the issues raised at inspection.

Additional quarterly monitoring visits by a senior improvement adviser will review and evaluate progress to date and focus the support, advice and challenge provided by the improvement adviser.

Met judgement

Where an out of school setting achieves the Ofsted grade of ‘met’ they will receive an annual conversation visit. This provides an opportunity for a professional discussion between the manager and an out of school improvement adviser. The principle aim of these visits is to reduce the risk of providers falling below a ‘met’ judgement

When an out of school provider causes The Education People or the local authority concern related to children’s safety The Education People on behalf of the local authority has a duty to share these concerns with Ofsted.

If you believe you fall within one of the categories above and have not been contacted by a member of the Improvement and Standards team, please let us know by emailing

Workforce development
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Level 2 and 3 - Playwork award 

The award in playwork aims to provide learners with the initial skills and knowledge they need if they are interested in becoming a Playworker. It can also form part of a current playwork practitioner's continuing development.

This award offers the most up-to-date knowledge for working within the play sector and provides clear progression routes for further study.

You can work through the program in manageable steps, gaining credits for individual units and working towards having enough credits for the full qualification.

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Have you seen our new Kent Out of School Facebook Page?

Once you have answered a couple of questions to confirm eligibility you can access this forum for sharing information and opportunities for training.

Contact details
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Early Years and Childcare Service
Telephone: 03000 41 23 23