Children's Activities Association Partner Spotlight on Morton Michel

Children's Activities Association Partner Spotlight 

Morton Michel is thrilled to be a founding member of the Children's Activities Association. We welcome the CAA’s focus on improving professional standards in the unregulated childcare industry and are proud to work closely with them in this area.

We hope that the information below gives you an insight in to how Morton Michel help to support the children's activity sector.

History and Cover

Morton Michel is proud to offer the only dedicated children’s activity policy on the market. Since our very first Preschool policy back in 1964, we have always believed that the childcare sector requires a unique approach. We have spent nearly sixty years learning everything we can about what working with children means, so we can offer a product that reflects the sector’s needs. We are genuinely passionate about what this sector does, and about the people working within it.

There has never been a more exciting time to work with children. At every trade event, and on every listings site and parents’ social media page, the sheer technicolour variety of activities available is tremendous. Even with the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the children’s activities sector continues to go from strength to strength, with tens of thousands of businesses now operating in the UK and new ones starting up all the time.

In this dynamic landscape, our job is to make sure that when it comes to getting insurance, we make it as easy as possible for providers to get the cover they need, so they can focus on building their businesses. Last year we completely overhauled our offering, introducing a new end-to-end online system that means it’s possible to take out a policy with just a few clicks. We also introduced three tiers of cover, to match the needs of sole traders and start-ups, growing businesses, and large or established brands. We have also worked to improve our benefits offering, including introducing free multi-licenses for flick learning.

Throughout our history, we have always been looking for ways to improve and innovate, and our partners in the sector are our most valuable resource. By working to together, we will ensure that the children’s activities sector continues its meteoric trajectory. As founding members of the Children’s Activities Association, we are excited by the opportunity to work closely with some of the sector’s most determined champions.

Click here for more information on our specialist Children's Activity Group insurance

Legal Support

Legal problems are some of the most stressful any business owner can face. Whether it is employment law, health and safety compliance, contractual issues or defending their reputation, no business owner wants to have to call in the lawyers if they don’t have to. Unfortunately, this can mean missing the moment where legal advice can have the most impact. Avoiding a legal mistake early can mean the difference between a short dispute and a lengthy and stressful case.

Let’s be honest, most people know that getting legal advice early is the right thing to do, and yet it is something they put off. Why? Firstly, cost. Lawyers are expensive, even the cheapest charging hundreds of pounds an hour for their time. For most children’s activity providers, the cashflow needed to have a commercial lawyer at your beck and call is simply not there. Unfortunately this can be a false economy. Problems not nipped in the bud only become more expensive to solve later, and may have less chance of success. Yet, good insurance policies may help here.

In Morton Michel’s case, we include legal expenses cover from ARAG as standard, and that includes a free, independent legal advice line, ready to provide professional legal advice. This means our policyholders can always get advice when they need it, instead of letting problems fester. If the advice line is not enough and a formal claim needs to begin, the policy will cover the legal costs too – up to specified limits – and provided the case is assessed as having a greater than 50% chance of success.

Cost is not the only issue though, the other is simply that legal problems are intimidating, and it is hard to know if you are getting the right advice. We have chosen our legal partners carefully to address this. The legal advice line is staffed by fully qualified solicitors, and it is confidential. This means the advice our clients receive is tailored to their needs, and can be relied upon just as much as any commercial law firm.

Of course, in a crisis, getting legal support is only one step towards resolving it. Our legal services package from ARAG also includes reputation management services, to help minimise the fall-out on social media and beyond. Also included is a free confidential counselling line, to support business owners and their staff in stressful times. Legal problems are never going to be pleasant, but they can be much more manageable when businesses make use of the support available. 

Get Your Safeguarding Training with flick Learning

Today everyone working with children has a safeguarding duty. That includes children’s activity providers. The reason is a good one. Keeping children safe should be everyone’s top priority, and police and social services cannot be everywhere at once. This means it is important that if there are signs they are at risk of harm, the adults they are in contact with are on the lookout for the danger signs, and know what to do about them. This could be anyone from the owner of a business to their managers, to their most recent employee.

This can be quite a complicated subject, and it is important that everyone keeps their knowledge up to date with regular training across all safeguarding issues. These can include signs of abuse or violence, but also indications of grooming, or religious and political extremism. It can also mean knowing what to do if a child makes a disclosure of concern. Finding the time to train your staff in safeguarding is a real challenge though. It is a tough subject and high quality training can be expensive and time consuming – and it can be hard to know if a training course is actually of sufficient quality and kept up to date.

A good solution is online learning, which has come a long way in recent years, although everyone has probably had the unfortunate experience of undertaking a tedious training course. For this reason, Morton Michel works with flick Learning to provide free training to our clients in a wide variety of subjects, including child safeguarding at level 1 and 2. They use innovative and interactive animated courses that are designed to hold peoples’ interest, and they work hard to deliver serious subjects in a sensitive and informative way. Their safeguarding course is also approved by the UK Home Office, to ensure it is up to date.

Morton Michel clients get a free multi-user license from flick, meaning all their staff can take their online training courses, and track them through to completion. It even includes a dashboard so they can run regular reports on how their staff are doing.

Looking after yourself and your staff

Working in children’s activities can be intense. It can involve travel, dealing with venues, handling parents, individual requirements, regulatory compliance and a host of other issues that add up to pressure and stress. Of course, it is usually all worth it in the end, but whether it’s just a bad day, or a challenging month, it’s important to look after yourself and your people.

These days we are much more aware than we used to be of the importance of mental health. Of course everyone gets a bit frazzled from time to time and having a tough week does not necessarily mean there is something more serious at work. But sustained periods of pressure can easily lead to burn-out, and even coping with day to day work can be a lot harder if your are already struggling with your mental health. In these circumstances, it is important to have somewhere to turn to, to get support.

Telephone counselling can be a good first step. Of course, for those with more complex needs, it is not a substitute for other forms of help, but it can help to be bridge the gap. Morton Michel customers have access to a free, totally confidential, counselling line from ARAG, that can be used by both their staff and families. By displaying the number prominently, businesses can ensure their staff are aware there is help available should they need it, not just to talk about work pressures, but anything else in their lives that might be hurting their mental health.

Click here for more information on our specialist Children's Activity Group insurance plus additional benefits