The safety of students who participate in afterschool and camp programs is of paramount importance. Students who are safe in their afterschool program, and parents who feel comfortable sending their kids to participate, are more likely to return the following year, and more likely to spread positive information about what you offer.
The academic benefits of activities and learning in afterschool programs and camps are only part of the reason why so many children participate. The other potential plus sides include additional social time outside of the classroom and opportunities to try something new and fun. Read on and see how your program could implement safety and security practices that benefit students and staff.
4 Ways to Keep Kids Safe During Camp Programs
Having enough staff members and participating in safe, age appropriate activities are part of keeping students protected and secure in an afterschool environment, but what other measures could you take to ensure students are as safe as possible?
1. Coordinate with Organization Staff
Regardless of whether your afterschool program or camp is located at a school or a park, it’s important to coordinate with the staff that work there. When it comes to keeping track of attendance, transportation, and the overall environment, the school or organization staff are invaluable. They know the location best and the most efficient ways to use the environment for safe and fun activities.
2. Assign Coordinator Leadership
A head coordinator for the afterschool programs is an extremely important role to fill. One staff member who is in charge of addressing any situations or issues and contacting parents or other organization staff members will help to keep things running smoothly. The head coordinator should also be in charge of monitoring and recording student and staff attendance.
3. Create a Check-In and Check-Out System
In order to help the onsite coordinator and other staff members keep students safe, a roster of everyone present should be used before every after school or camp activity. Students should be checked in when they arrive and checked out when they leave, and all staff present should have an up-to-date list of which students are under their supervision.
Consider having a single check-in point for students to use every time they arrive. This causes less confusion than having a staff member walking around recording which students are in attendance.
During check-in and check-out times, staff should know where to find the onsite coordinator, and how to contact them if a situation arises. Having a single touch-point, like a designated check-in table, also makes it easier for staff to check-in and collect attendance information about students.
4. Staff Background Checks
Before hiring staff to supervise and lead students, a complete background check is worth the investment. In order to be confident in the safety and security of students participating in afterschool programs, staff members’ background, previous experience, and character should be checked.
More Afterschool Program Inspiration and Tips
If you’re looking for more information to help with preparing for the opening of your after school group or summer camp, check out the Out of School category on our blog. We’ve got the tips and inspiration you need to make quality programming a reality for the students you have the opportunity to lead.