Sam Willoughby, Managing Director, What’s On 4, and Managing Trustee of the Children’s Activities Association CIC

Multi-award winner Sam Willoughby launched the children’s activities online directory ‘What’s On 4 Little Ones’ over a decade ago from her kitchen table( with a budget of less than £250). Knowing there had to be a way to enjoy a challenging, lucrative career but still work flexibly around her new baby daughter she walked away from her senior role in project management at a major financial services institution and has never looked back.

Now Sam oversees a portfolio of websites attracting over a million parents a year, live events and a huge social media reach with operations both in the UK and Australia. Along with her dynamic, growing team she still enjoys flexible, family-friendly working and is proud to have been in a position to roll this opportunity out to others.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, 2 years ago Sam also launched the Children’s Activities Association with a founding team of children’s activities providers and experts – offering the solution parents and professionals in this rapidly expanding sector (children’s activity providers) had long been waiting for.

Now parents just have to ask one question ‘Are you a member of the CAA?’ to make informed choices regarding their children’s clubs and classes and to get reassurance about a range of issues including H&S, insurance, training, qualifications and criminal record checks.

Expert-led and not-for-profit, the CAA offers a membership organisation with a robust, independent accreditation and a host of member benefits along with objectives which include commissioning research, campaigning to raise standards, promoting the benefits of children's activities, awarding grants and influencing legislation.

Activity providers now have an easy way to demonstrate their excellence as well as an industry body to represent their interests.

Already more than 1000 children’s activities are members of the CAA meaning that 200,000 children every week are enjoying activities that are independently checked on all expected provision for safety and quality.

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