Parents' Guide - your questions answered

1. Who can come to camp?
Pied Piper camps are open to 4 to 12 year olds (and our Sports camps for 9 - 14 year olds). We welcome all children provided that Health & Safety guidelines are not compromised in any way.
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2. Can my child attend just for a couple of days?
We have looked at this option, but feel it results in the children missing out and not having a really enjoyable Pied Piper Camp experience. If they don't attend the beginning of the week they miss out when friendships are being formed in each of the groups and with the Group Leader. If they miss the middle or end of the week then they miss out on the opportunity to participate in the big finale of the talent show and mini Olympics. It also has an impact on the Art and Craft sessions, in which costumes and props are made.

Obviously there are times when children cannot attend the odd morning or afternoon, we propose that if arranging Doctor's/Dentist appointments these are not on Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

Weekly bookings also enable Pied Piper to ensure the right numbers of staff are there every day to maintain our ratio of 1:8. They have the opportunity to prepare the week ahead knowing who is coming, who will be in their group and have had time to read the Child Details forms etc and so be fully able to give your child the best possible care and a fun time.
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3. Who are your staff?
Understandably, one of the most frequently asked questions. Our staff is our greatest asset. They are hand-picked from the teaching profession, colleges and universities. They are chosen for their integrity of character, personality, enthusiasm, and a sincere wish to give your children a safe, fun time.

We achieve the high standards we have set ourselves through rigorous selection procedures and training programmes. All staff are cleared to work with children through the Disclosure And Barring Service.

Each site has an experienced Team Captain who heads up the team of lively and energetic staff. Many are teachers or are undertaking teacher training. We are extremely fortunate that many of our staff have worked with us before. They return each year sharing their experience and favourite games with new staff.
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4. Is camp safe?
The focus on safety begins with the selection of our sites. The site must be large enough to offer our full range of activities in safety and comfort, but small enough to be closely supervised.

The first session on a Monday morning is used to demonstrate safety procedures including a full fire drill. Also each Monday every group is given a full briefing on Pool Safety prior to swimming. The chanting of the "Do's and Don'ts" can be heard all over camp!

The focus on safety runs throughout the week, at the beginning of every session the children are given an overview of the activity,including a detailed safety brief to ensure it runs without a hitch and for all to enjoy.
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5. What is the ratio of staff to children?
The overall ratio of staff to children is 1:8. In the younger age groups of 4- 6 year old there tends to be eight children per group, whilst in the older groups ten to fourteen children to enable more team games to be played.
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6. Are your camps registered?
All our camps are registered with OFSTED. Each camp is inspected to ensure all the requirements of the National Childcare Standards are met. There are interviews with the staff as well as the necessary clearance checks. Every aspect is looked into: Health and Safety procedures, fire drills and administration procedures are all examined. In short the Inspector ensures your child receives the quality care you expect.
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7. What if my child is ill or has an accident at camp?
One of the main concerns for any parent or carer, is what would happen if their child should fall ill or have an accident. At Pied Piper we understand that concern, and are well prepared for such eventualities.

There are a number of qualified First Aiders at each camp and they deal with any accidents or illnesses in strict accordance with our approved procedure. Fortunately many of the accidents we deal with are knocks and bumps or grazes on knees. All of which can be dealt with by spending some time in the special "healing chair". You will be told of any incident at the end of each day and asked to sign our Accident Book to acknowledge you have been informed.

However, if a child suffers an injury more serious than this, requires hospital treatment or falls ill at camp - you will be contacted immediately using the day/emergency contact numbers provided on the Child Details Form submitted before start of camp.
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8. My child has a specific medical condition. Do I need to tell you?
We require the completion of the Child Details Form when booking, to advise us of anything we need to know about your child's health e.g. diabetes, epilepsy, serious allergies etc. as well as swimming ability and contact numbers. This confidential information is held in the Camp Office. Once groups have been allocated, the Group Leader reviews the appropriate Child Details Forms.

We understand in some cases a child may have to take medication whilst attending camp. To enable us to do this we ask you to complete a form detailing the medication with clear instructions for its use and giving consent to the Team Captain to make the necessary dispensations. The medication also needs to be clearly labeled with the child's name.
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9. What if my child is ill and cannot attend camp?
Should your child become ill and be unable to attend camp, we ask that you please contact the Team Captain as a matter of courtesy. If you have taken out the additional insurance, a refund claim can be made for the missed days, or subject to availability we can look to offer alternative days.
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10. What are the arrival and collection times?
Arrival is 09:30 am or 08:30 am for those who have taken the Extended Day AM option. The first full session starts at 09:45am.

Collection is from 16:30 hrs or up to 17:45 hrs for those who have taken the Extended Day PM option.
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11. What if I am delayed collecting my child?
If you are delayed beyond your normal collection time, don't worry. Arrangements will be made to look after your child/ren until you arrive. All we ask is that you contact the Team Captain as soon as you know that you are likely to be late.
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12. What is the Friday Camp Concert?
On Fridays we like to finish off the week with a Camp Concert where each of the groups present a song and/or dance that they have been preparing during the week.

Parents and siblings are always welcome to attend. The time of the show will be displayed on the Camp Noticeboard, but is usually around 3:45pm.
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13. How are the groups organised?
Children are grouped, as closely as possible to their school year group prior to Camp. Activities can then be run for each group at a suitable level and pace so that the youngest child on the camp can have just as much fun as the oldest! Each group has its own Group Leader for the whole week, who gets to know each of the children really well. Each Group creates its own identity by choosing their own group name in line with the theme for that week. After the first day, Groups are reviewed and any changes required made.
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14. Can my child be in the same group as their friend or sibling?
In principle, yes. As long as their friend is approximately the same age and you let us know at the time of booking (Special Friend section on Booking Form), we can arrange for them to be together.

If there is more than an eighteen - twenty-four month age gap, our experience shows that one of the friends/siblings does not get as much out of the camp, as either activities are too stretching or not sufficiently stimulating. However, we can be flexible, as each case is obviously unique.
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15. What if I want to change my booking?
If you need to change an existing booking, subject to availability we will do all we can to accommodate the changes. We can generally make any amendments quickly and simply over the telephone and there is no charge up to 14 days prior to start date.
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16. What happens if it rains?
Unfortunately we cannot organise the weather! However we do have a wet weather programme which swings into action usually at least once each "British summer" ! We select schools that have excellent facilities to able us to continue with a fun time for all.
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17. After my booking is sent to Pied Piper what happens next?
Upon receipt of the online booking and payment, an e-mail confirming the details of your booking will be sent to you along with Information Sheets providing all we hope you will need to know to ensure your child enjoys camp. This includes aspects such as suncare, lost property, the Camp Concert and what to bring.

The week before your booking you will receive an e-mail providing further information about the week ahead including Team Captian's name and contact number, theme of the week and any other specific information for that week.

If this is your first experience of a Pied Piper camp; "Introductory Sessions" are run at 09:30 on Monday mornings of each week. Parents and camp attendees are shown around the facilities prior to the start of the camp in full, and any last minute questions answered.

On the first day of camp you will be greeted by the Team Captain and a final check undertaken to ensure we have all the correct details. You will be given a card with the Team Captain's name and mobile telephone number to keep with you whilst your child is at camp. This also serves as a security check at the end of the day when collecting your child.

At the end of camp we hope you will tell us what you did like and what things you think we could improve.
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18. Are Pied Piper camps registered so that I can claim Working Families Tax Credits?
Pied Piper Activities Limited is a registered childcare provider and by booking your child(ren) on to a Pied Piper camp you could be eligible to receive working Families Tax Credit.

OFSTED registration numbers are:

  • Copthorne 122633
  • Great Ballard 113645
  • Ardingly 113646
  • Mowden/Lancing Prep EY332923
  • Oakwood EY348100
  • Brighton College EY537068

If you think you may be entitled to WFTC but are not yet claiming please visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/wftc/menu.htm where there is an on-line calculator so you can see what you could receive.
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19. What are your Booking Conditions?

1. The contract between you and us:

i. The contract is between Pied Piper Activities Ltd (the Company) and the parent or person having the lawful day to day care and control of the child(ren) named in the booking form (the Adult).

ii. The Adult confirms that he or she has read these terms of business and agrees to them.

iii. The duration of the contract between the company and the Adult is set out in the booking form. Payemt in full is required with the booking unless agreed otherwise in writing by Pied Piper Activities Ltd.

2. Cancellation Charges:

i. The Company will charge a cancellation fee on the following basis and in respect of each child who does not attend:

Before 1st June a cancellation charge of £50 per child per week

Before 1st July a cancellatio charge of £100 per child per week

14 -1 days before the start of camp, loss of 100% of the total booking price

A refund will be made by BACS or cheque upon receipt of a written request to cancel.

ii. The Company is unable to offer refunds or alternative days to make up for any days missed by a child except where covered by insurance.

iii. In the event that the adult fails to pay the booking fee by the due date the company reserves the right to cancel this contract and the booking fee shall automatically be forfeited.

iv. In the unlikely event of the Company having to cancel the camp as a result of war, strikes, lock-out, severe adverse weather conditions, disaster or any other case of force majeure or otherwise outside the control of the company no compensation will be paid to the adult and no booking fee will be refunded.

v. In the unlikely event that insufficient numbers of children are booked for any week the Company reserves the right to cancel any week of activities in which case alternative dates will be offered or full refund paid to the adult who paid the booking fee.

3. Insurance:

i. Your children, whilst with us, are covered under our Public Liability Insurance. If you require Personal Accident Insurance, it is available through most insurance companies.

ii. In addition to Public Liability cover the Company can also offer insurance cover at low cost for cancellation and curtailment of the holiday due to illness. This can be particularly useful if your child misses a few days.

4. Conditions on which children are accepted:

i. The Adult must declare to the Company in respect of every child whether the child suffers from allergies or any medical condition of any kind or has special or dietary or other needs necessary for the wellbeing of the child.

ii. Every child who attends camp must be fit, able and in good health. No child with a contagious disease or who has had a contagious disease within 28 days of the commencement of the camp will be accepted. Every child will be expected to participate in all activities.

iii. If a child has a medical condition (i.e. any condition which at any time has required reporting to a general practitioner or nurse or hospital for a course of treatment or observation) it must be notified to the Company at the time of booking. The Company reserves the right to refuse a child admission to the camp if the child is suffering from a condition which has not been disclosed or if a child is deemed too ill by staff upon arrival or hasn't been symptom free for at least 24 hours

iv. The Company reserves the right to exclude or send home any child after the camp has commenced if in the Company’s sole opinion a child is persistently naughty or disruptive, or if we feel their attendance affects the good atmosphere of the camp. Transport home will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian and no refund will be made for the days missed or cost of transport.

5. Consent:

i. At the time of booking every Adult will provide a written authority to the Company in respect of each child taking part in the camp that acknowledging that every child will be participating in supervised outdoor activities and that:

a) each child can take part in all the activities offered by the camp (e.g. woodland games and swimming) unless an activity is expressly excluded in writing and acknowledged by the Company in writing as being the case,
b) to each child receiving first aid from time to time if necessary or other medical dental or hospital treatment or assistance. In the unlikely event that a child will require medical, dental or hospital treatment the adult will be notified as soon as possible and in all other eventualities at the end of each camp day.

6. General points:

i. No liability is accepted for any personal injury, fatality to a child or for any loss, damage to personal property, unless caused by the proven negligence of the Company’s employees or agents.

ii. The Company operates independently of any school or centre used for the camp activities.

iii. All details, facts, photographs and other material in the Company's website and brochure are published in good faith, but the Company reserves the right to change any details at any time if it should become necessary.

iv From time to time we take photographs at camp that may be used for marketing and promotional purposes. If you would rather your child was not included in any photographs we must be informed at the time of booking or in writing before camp.

v Pied Piper staff have a duty to respond if they suspect a child in their care is suffering from abuse, or if a child a makes a disclosure about abuse. In this event staff will follow the Pied Piper Child Protection Policy, which includes advising the relevant local authorities.

vi. We need to collect some personal details from you and the children on your booking so we can process your booking, such as names, ages and any applicable medical or dietary restrictions. It is you responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary permission to pass on the personal details of all the children that you are making a booking for. Additionally, we would like to hold and use some of your details for future marketing purposes, for example sending you promotional information. Please let us know as soon as possible if you do not want to receive future mailings from Pied Piper.

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