BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL CARE
RBF provides OFSTED registered wraparound care for children at a number of different schools. You can find out all about our approach and the unique way that we deliver Breakfast and After School provision on this page.
After School: Hereward Primary (Loughton)
Breakfast & After School: Epping Primary
After School: St. Andrew's (North Weald)
If you would be interested in RBF providing care in your school or setting, please contact email@example.com. If your child attends one of the schools listed above and you would like to apply for a place or to join a waiting list, please click here.
Please note that the Limes Farm Junior School ASC has now closed - contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.
ThE RBF APPROACH
We asked some children what they thought about RBF After School Care and they said "...it's better than going home because my friends get to come and play every day!"
RBF cares passionately about ensuring that every child is able to explore and fulfil their potential. As such, in offering out of school care we look to create an exciting and engaging environment where children are free to choose activities and resources as they wish as well as enjoying more structured time together. Activities on any given day may include dressing up, craft, board games, construction, computer games, physical play, cookery and reading.
Each week is themed according to what is happening in the wider world combined with a core question or thought that is being explored across all of RBF's work, and we regularly ask the children about ideas, topics and activities they would like to explore resulting in a program that varies from Harry Potter to Saving the Oceans and activities from baking to making slime!
RBF after school provisions also benefit from the fact that they are part of a much wider group of projects for children led by the charity, so whenever possible we will bring staff from other activities that RBF leads to run special sessions including performing/creative arts, sports, marvellous mathematics, dance, construction club and more.
One parent recently told us "...it is great that they are always enjoying themselves so much they never want to come home!"
Our settings operate every day of school term time (except for school INSET days or where the school is otherwise closed such as in the event of a ‘snow day’ or an early closure due to a special event) from 3-6pm. Where schools have planned early closure (for the end of term or similar) we liaise with parents/carers in advance if we are able to facilitate running the sessions earlier in the day.
Families are able to sign up their children to attend for a variety of different combinations as shown here for each setting so you only need to pay for what you actually need rather than through to 6pm when you will be picking up at 4pm.
Children are welcome to attend from one to five days a week, but must register for a full term at a time. We are also happy to accept registrations on the basis that children begin their time with us after having completed school facilitated clubs, and if that means they miss all of our 3-4pm session then we will not require payment for the unused time. Parents/carers should however note that on weeks where school facilitated clubs are not running they will not automatically be able to access the 3-4pm session without making an additional booking; parents/carers may therefore wish to book the 3-4pm session anyway to ensure that they definitely always have access to care.
Where it will not take us outside of our safeguarding ratios, we may occasionally be able to cater for one off situations for current group members who need to attend extra sessions (such as where a parent has to work late as a one off) - if you need to access this service please contact email@example.com at least 48 hours before the session is required.
A parent told us "...I really like the way the children sit down and eat together each day; it's what I'd be doing with them if they were at home."
The food we provide is healthy and includes fresh fruit and vegetables. When appropriate we promote independence by encouraging the children to be involved in preparing their own food and to clear away after themselves and each other. We follow statutory guidelines on food preparation including training all appropriate staff to at least Level 2 in Food Safety. Fresh drinking water is available at all times and we meet individual dietary requirements and parental preferences where it is possible to do so.
We recognise the importance of healthy nutrition for children delivered in a calm, friendly setting. We offer snacks that the children can decide when to eat in addition to our mealtime, but request that food is consumed in the area that staff indicate, usually at a table.
In the first hour of after school care all children will be offered a snack on arrival in the space and additional snacks, usually of fruit, are available, then during the second hour everyone receives a main meal. Menus are regularly updated accordingly to requests from children and parents/carers and circulated out to all participants by email. You can see a sample menu by clicking here.
During the 3-4pm session all the children will sit together, sharing about their day while enjoying a snack and drink usually followed by a simple circle game before the main activities of the session commence. We also celebrate birthdays and other significant family events/festivals/achievements during this time, which may involve a slightly less healthy extra snack of cake!
Pricing at our breakfast/after school settings from September 2019 is as follows:
Epping: £5.15 per 60 minutes
Hereward: £6.70 per 75 minutes
St. Andrews: £5.50 per 60 minutes
The RBF trustees have made a limited number of 'Foundation Places' available at each setting allowing us to offer reduced rates in certain circumstances in order that as many families as possible no matter what their financial background are able to access our provision.
If you would like to apply for a Foundation place, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that Foundation Places do not automatically continue and need to be renewed annually, and each application is assessed against the current demand for places, the level of hardship being experienced by the families who have applied and whether an RBF setting is the best place for the children's needs to be met.
In all cases, we require a full month’s payment by two weeks before the start of term to secure your child’s place. We are enrolled on most childcare voucher schemes—please contact if you would like to use these to pay for your child’s place.
Due to our settings offering a variety of structured and unstructured activities, we request that parents/carers treat pickup from After School Care like they would football practice or a uniform group and only come to pickup their children at the end of their session rather than midway through otherwise you might be taking them from the middle of their evening meal or a game/activity they are a key part of.
Session timings are clearly shown above for each of our settings. Children should be collected at the end of the session(s) they are booked to attend at the location your Care Setting Leader advises you.
If you need to pickup outside of these times because of a family party, doctors appointment, etc., you must notify our team as far in advance as possible. Our partner schools kindly let the after school provision make use of facilities all over their sites and outside of pickup times we may be nowhere near the door to facilitate early pickups we have not been notified of and parents/carers may have to wait so we do not have to bring twenty four children back from the school playing field for one child to be collected.
Additionally, we understand that sometimes little brothers and sisters take a long time to get out of the house or that every traffic light seems stuck on red, but our staff have their own families that they need to get home to and other children who need their attention. Therefore, if you are more than 15 minutes late to collect your child, there will be a charge of £10. For each subsequent 10 minutes, there will be a further charge of £10. Non-payment of late fees may result in your child’s place being withdrawn.
All parents/carers will be given a telephone number that connects directly to the on-site team solely for use to let them know if you are running late for collection on their child’s first day in the provision.
Please be aware, in accordance with our Safeguarding Policy we have to make a report to Essex Social Care with regard to children who are persistently not collected in a timely way from RBF activities that they are attending.
A child commented one week: "...that bit where we have thinking time before we eat is good - it makes me feel all calm and happy. "
RBF is a Christian organisation and our activities are of course open to children and families of all faiths and those with no particular beliefs.There are faith-based elements in most of the before and after school care sessions that we deliver. For example, there will usually be a 'Bible Story of the Week' which children can choose to engage with, in our reading corner there may be books containing Bible stories and we will say grace before our main meal. In our entire time operating as a charity we have never had a complaint from a parent/carer about a faith based element in our sessions and we are proud to have had families from every major world faith as well as atheists and humanists take part in our provisions through the years.
We actively encourage children from other faiths or those who hold no particular beliefs to share what is important to them with the rest of the group and would ask that if, for example, a family is about to celebrate a particular festival at home that they let our team know so we can talk to their child about it and encourage them to share it with the rest of the group. If you would like to discuss this aspect of our Before and After School Care further, please contact email@example.com.
SIGN US UP!
If you feel like Red Balloon Before and/or After School Care would be right for your child you can apply for a place through our online registration system called 'Clubsbuddy'. Navigate to rbf.clubsbuddy.net and create a new account, then login to that account, choose the 'Registrations' area and scroll to the particular Before/After School Care setting you would like to apply for and select the sessions you need. If you would like to apply for a Foundation Place, please create your Clubsbuddy Account and select your sessions before applying for the Foundation discount so you do not lose your place while going through the Foundation Application process.
Please note that once registered on the system, you will be contacted to pay a £25.00 deposit if it is more than two weeks before the beginning of the term you are applying for, or, if you book within two weeks of term starting, you must pay your first month's fees up front. All families pay on a monthly basis two weeks in advance; missed payments will result in your child's place being offered to the next family on our waiting list.
Booking status for our current provisions are as follows:
Epping Primary: Full All Sessions; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply to the waiting list
Hereward Primary: Full All Sessions; contact email@example.com to apply to the waiting list
St. Andrew's Primary: Booking Open Via Clubsbuddy
Depending on numbers of children attending each day, the club will always have between two and four RBF staff members in attendance. Our staff hold all of the relevant qualifications/experience to work in an after school club setting and are part of a wider team who deliver hundreds of hours of children’s work every week. Please note if your child is in Reception they will be allocated a Key Worker who will have responsibility for ensuring your child can access all of the provision fully and who you will be able to contact directly if you so wish to discuss their progress within the setting.
RBF have a full set of policies and procedures around Safeguarding of Children, Health & Safety, etc., that are all tried and tested as we work with thousands of children every year. We hold full Public Liability Insurance up to £10,000,000. Parents/carers who secure a place at the Club will be given access to our policy pack on request.
It is essential that if your child is not attending school on a day they are booked to be at RBF provision that as well as the main school you also phone the RBF office (020 3086 8186) to let us know. Equally, if your child has to come home during the school day due to illness, please let us know.