The not-for-profit Children’s Activities Association (CAA) was launched by a team of industry experts in 2015 to set and raise standards in all UK organised children’s activities.
Research in 2014/15 that found over 70% of parents were not aware that there was no formal regulation in the Children’s Activities industry (many people still assume it’s covered by Ofsted). With no uniform standards or best practice guidelines, Sam Willoughby, founder of Whatson4, decided to do something about it to give parents peace of mind whilst setting, benchmarking and raising standards across the industry.
The organisation offers activity providers a simple way to develop their organisation’s policies and processes to maximise the benefit to the children attending them. It also provides an easy way to communicate their excellence, and ensure parents can make informed choices and be reassured as to the validity of their children’s activity and it’s something we’re proud to be associated with.
We have been involved in the CAA since the beginning – Dr Gummer is a founding member and in 2015 she worked with other founding members to develop the accreditation programme that all members commit to following.
Since the launch of the accreditation programme in 2016, we have acted as the CAA’s official, independent accreditation provider. As such, we work alongside CAA member companies to support the achievement of their accreditation, helping them identify areas for improvement and ensuring activities are developmentally beneficial as well as being engaging and as accessible as possible. With our help and support, activities providers offer evidence and answer questions both via email and during a site visit by one of our accreditation team.
Designed to support members through the accreditation process, the CAA’s accreditation modules have been split into five manageable sections – Compliance, Training, Programme, Delivery and Customer Service. Members must complete the compliance module first and can then plan to obtain the remaining modules in a time frame that suits them.
The CAA accreditation is a step by step process which ensures organisations don’t get caught out with issues that can potentially ruin a business, including child protection, insurance, health and safety and much more.
The CAA also runs an annual Children’s Activities Week a national celebration of all the clubs, classes and activities which take place every day across the UK. The event is designed to highlight the many benefits these activities bring to the lives of parents/carers and children, while also raising funds for the Caudwell Children charity and the CAA itself.
The provision of safe, developmentally suitable activities, play and ultimately fun, for children and families is so important and fits perfectly with our values and we are proud to support the CAA and continue to provide the accreditation service for its members.