Tell me about registration procedures for children...
On arrival, each child attending the Under 5s, 5-7s and 8-11s programmes will need to be registered into their relevant age groups, using the appropriate form. Forms will be available from www.springharvest.org/downloads or when you arrive at Spring Harvest you can get them from the children's venues or Spring Harvest stand.
During registration, we'll ask you to supply the name, address and telephone number of an emergency off-site contact and also the child’s GP, so be sure to bring these details along with you.
On arrival, please take each child and their completed form to the relevant children’s venue to register and meet the team. The Programme Planner has a map on the back which will detail the venue you need to go to - otherwise just ask a friendly steward. If possible, please register your child on arrival on Day 1, but if not, please do so before they attend their first session on Day 2.
Can I pre-register my child?
Due to the large numbers of children attending Spring Harvest, it is not possible to pre-register your child/children before you arrive. However, Registration Forms will be available from www.springharvest.org/downloads so you can complete these before you arrive to save you some time.
What should children bring with them to their programme sessions?
Under 5s: anything that your child would normally need at home - comforter, dummy, bottle, spare nappies, potty, change of clothes etc. Please ensure everything you bring including clothes are clearly labelled with the child's full name and your chalet number once you know it.
5-7s: A light snack (piece of fruit, small plain biscuit) and a drink in a clearly named bottle (not glass). No peanuts or foods possibly containing nuts should be taken into any of the children's venues in case of allergic reactions. If the weather is good and the ground is dry then the children might be taken outside to play together so a jacket or jumper would be advisable. Finally, and most importantly, your child will have been given a badge at registration with an area for you to complete on the reverse. They should have this with them at all times in case we need to contact you.
8-11s: As with the younger children, please bring a drink and a snack and ensure that they have their badges on. The children will need to feel comfortable to play, so make sure they're wearing comfortable clothes which are suitable for them to do craft activities and to run and dance around.
Who can collect my child from the venue?
At registration you will be given a ticket for each child to show when the child is collected. The ticket will have a unique code so that only you, or an authorised adult, can collect your child.
Should you lose the ticket, please speak to the leader at the information point within the venue who will ask you to confirm a password instead (this will also be agreed at the time of registration).
On registration of the 8-11s group, we'll ask if you're happy for your child to leave the venue alone, and if so you'll be asked to sign a form to that effect. (This only applies to 8-11s.)
Why don't you provide care for children during the afternoon programme?
Our Under 5s and 5-7s programmes are registered by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) to care for children under the Children Act. The act applies to children under the age of 8 and limits our type of programme (known as 'creche day care') to a maximum of four hours per day. We see the morning teaching programme as a key part of the day and therefore offer the children's programmes during that time.
Why is the Under 5s provision for only half the morning?
Regretfully, this is where logistics kick in! The Butlin's nurseries on each Resort that we use are simply not big enough to hold all of the under 5s that come to Spring Harvest. During some weeks, we can have up to 500 under 5s - and we would rather house them in a purpose built nursery, in small groups than put them all together in a much larger room.
Why aren't children grouped by school year?
We've been looking at the possibility of grouping by school year, but there are two main reasons why we haven't been able to do so.
Firstly, the Children Act applies to under 8s only. If we re-organised the groups by school year, then groups for the older children would need to be registered because they would include 7-year-olds. Requirements such as the 4-hour rule would also apply. We're also required to gear ratios of staff to children according to the age of children present within the programme - this becomes more difficult in mixed age groups.
Secondly, as Guests book directly with Butlins, we're dependent on the Butlins booking information to predict how many children will fall into each age group. Deriving the likely school year of those children is difficult. We want to ensure we know how many children are coming and that we allocate them the right size venue.
Can my child move into an older group?
Due to the large numbers of children involved, we need to be very strict on age groups for all children aged 10 and under. All our under 8s programmes are registered under the Children Act and registration requirements mean we can only cater for four year olds in the 5-7s programme if the four year old has been in school from the September before Spring Harvest and full-time for a term. We cannot cater for seven year olds in the 8-11s programme. However, children aged 11 may choose to attend either the 8-11s programme or the 11-14s youth programme.
How do you contact me if my child has a problem and needs to come out?
In larger venues (eg the Big Top), there are designated parents areas. If we need to call a parent out, boards will be displayed only in the parents area, so please ensure you sit here. We'll also ask for your mobile phone number, so please make sure you keep this phone with you at all times.
What provisions/checks do you carry out on children’s workers?
Each year, our children’s workers are asked to complete an application form to join the respective children’s teams. In addition to completing an application form, a photo index card and references are also required by the applicant following the guidelines set out in the application form. Applications are processed at Spring Harvest Head Office and then sent to the appropriate Team Leader for their approval. Applications are accepted at the discretion of the Team Leader/Spring Harvest.
Team members will not be able to serve at Spring Harvest unless they have obtained a satisfactory 'Enhanced Disclosure' from the Criminal Records Bureau. The ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ is the most comprehensive check available to us.
I'm a lone parent/carer - how can I attend the evening programme?
We fully recognise that lone parents need extra support, so we offer a babysitting service for one evening during the week, to enable lone parents to get some of the evening programme. To take advantage of this service, just register in the Nursery by 12 noon on the day you'd like a babysitter. Please try not to leave it to the last night as we won't be able to cover everyone in the one evening! As we have many requests and a limited number of team members, we can only guarantee one night's babysitting per family, and this service is exclusively for lone parents.