67% of Parents Keen to Return to Classes in July
The results of the S4K Parent View Survey are in. Provided the right safety, safeguarding and hygiene measures are put in place 67% of parents say they would like to return to Sport4Kids classes in July.
Over the past few weeks, the Government has started to relax Lockdown rules as an attempt to return to some type of normality. Many areas of British life are coming back including schools, shops, zoos and even restaurants and pubs are planning a return in early July.
Parents views matter to Sport4Kids and the survey has provided critical input on how we at S4K are able to plan and prepare a return to running classes for the benefit of children, parents and coaches. It will also allow us to present results to Government to provide research on the best practice for a safe return to sport.
Parents and their children have borne the brunt of the lockdown and it is time to get our children active and socialising again. The impact on mental health, well-being and development of our children is incalculable at this stage. What we know is children desperately need social interaction. With schools only being partially open and the Summer months coming, we need to play a strong role in helping and supporting parents and children in bridging these health, fitness, and developmental needs during these difficult times.
While 67% are clear in getting back to classes the remaining 33% have varying perspectives at this stage of the lockdown easing. 6% stated that due to child or family health issues they will have to remain in lockdown at this stage. A further 10% stated they wanted to wait till lock down measures are removed in full and 13% stated that they were unsure at this stage.
These views are expressed by parents between the survey dates of 5th and the 12th June. It will be interesting to see how these views evolve over the coming weeks. Hopefully, progress in the battle against the virus with further steps on easing lockdown and safety measure improvement will help parents to have more confidence to return to normal activities.
Other key take outs from the Parents View Survey included views on the importance of different types of safety measures and the class sizes.
The top three Safety Measures were disinfecting equipment (79%), improved handwashing facilities (59%) and safe distancing (43%). Having access to PPE (28%) and access to written policies (24%) were at the lower end but significant for a number of parents.
On class sizes, schools operate with up to 15 children per class. When asked how comfortable with following the school class rule were, 67% were either extremely comfortable or comfortable. 21% were neither comfortable nor uncomfortable and only 8% uncomfortable. 4% extremely uncomfortable which matches those with family health issues and very cautious to move from lockdown.
On Social Distancing, whilst all steps would be taken to set in place the 2-metre rule, children will from time to time infringe on that distance. 70% of parents were fine or acceptable (of possible infringement) as long as it was for short periods (less than 10 minutes) and full hygiene measures were in place. A further 24% said that they found it acceptable provided it was for a brief moment such as passing something or passing each other. Only 7% stated it was absolutely unacceptable in all cases.
Overall a large majority of parents want to get their kids active and back to classes and socialising with their friends. There are those in the middle ground that need re-assurance that safety measures and hygiene are in place before they can make a decision.
S4K Safety Measures
We are working on these elements and have had great experience working in the schools supporting children of Key Workers, NHS and the return of Years Reception, 1 and 6. The S4K Safety E-Guide has been widely used and referenced by schools across the country. Our half term camps for NHS and critical workers, with all measures in place, has given us further experience and was showcased on the BBC.
Sport4Kids is the leader in children’s sports education and recognised by schools as a partner and authority in safe active play, indoors and outdoors. We intend to return to sport and classes with the safest and most protective environment and policies in the industry bar none.
Even if the virus, according to the science, does not affect children there is the fear, anxiety and well-being aspects that are important to parents and their children. We want to make sure their return is done with the utmost care, professionalism and in the safest way possible. Listening to parents concerns and views is and always will be a key part of everything we do.
Please look out for more communications on these measures and keep safe and well.