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The Children Act 1989 (the 'Act') states that young people under the age of 8 years need to be supervised by registered childminders in certain situations.
Scouting is by definition not considered 'child care' and this means that the specific requirements of Section 71 of the Act do not apply to Scouting. Thus, Policy, Organisation and Rules allows young people aged 7½ years to join Cub Scouts.

More information can be found below in the FAQs

Under-8s FAQs

The Department for Children, Schools and Families have advised The Association that Section 71 of the Children Act 1989 does not apply to Scouting. Scouting is by definition not considered “child care” and therefore the specific requirements of Section 71 of the Act do not apply to Scouting.
This briefing note does not affect the rules for Cub Scouts in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

1.    When do we start the Moving On process between Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts?
As you would normally – a few weeks before children join Cub Scouts. A Beaver Scout moving to Cub Scouts should move up at the appropriate time for them, any time between 7½ and 8½ years old.

2.    Does this mean that we can take 5½ year olds into Beaver Scouts?
No – the youngest that anyone can join the Scout Association still remains at 5 years and 9 months.

3.    If we get a child who is 7½ who wants to join, can they join Cub Scouts straight away?
Yes – but only if it is suitable for the young person and the local circumstances.

4.    If a Beaver Scout joins Cub Scouts between the age of 7½ and 8 years old are they allowed to go on Nights Away events using Cub Scout rules?
Yes – once they are in Cub Scouts, follow Cub Scout rules for any activity.

5.    Can those Beaver Scouts aged over 7½ camp as part of a Sleepover?
Yes – Beaver Scouts can take part in residential experience please see Nights Away FAQ's

6.    Can Beaver Scouts over the age of 7½ attend Cub Scout camps before they are invested?
Yes, once they start their moving on process then the rules for the Cub Scout section apply when on Cub activities


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW