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Holiday clubs and playschemes

Holiday clubs and playschemes provide safe and stimulating play opportunities for school age children at times when schools are not open. Normally, these can offer a wide range of activities such as sports, outdoor and indoor games, arts, crafts and drama.

These typically cater for children aged 4 to 12 but some clubs might look after younger children.

These many operate a booking system and may give discounts to parents who book early, or to disadvantaged children. Other schemes offer 'open access' where children can just turn up on the day.

Please have a look at the sections below for further information:

What hours do they open?

The hours they open will depend on the scheme but some will offer extended days from 8am to 6pm for an additional charge. If the times they are open don't meet your needs it may be worth talking to the manager to see if they can offer alternate hours.

What is the average fee?

The average fee is usually between £24 to £35 per day. A settings offer subsidised places and some schemes will offer concessions or discounts for early booking.

If the club is registered with Ofsted you may be able to get help towards your childcare costs through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit or by using childcare vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare.

Who runs them?

It depends on how they are set up, they could be run directly by the school, a private company or a voluntary organisation.

Where do they take place?

It can be in any type of venue including a school hall, classroom, local church hall, scout hut or leisure centre.

What ages do they cover?

Most will take children from the age of 4 to 12 years but this is different for each club as it will usually depend on the age of the school they are based in or near to.

What is the ratio of staff to children?

This will depend on the age of the children. Three to eight year olds should have a 1 to 8 ratio. For children aged 9 years and older the ratio differs but a 1 to 10 is recommended where possible. Two members of staff must be present at all times.

Do the staff receive any specific training?

Staff should hold certificates in first aid, food hygiene and safeguarding/child protection. A manager should hold a minimum of a level 3 in a relevant qualification, and 50% of the rest of the staff should hold a minimum of a level 2 in a relevant qualification. However, if they are on the Ofsted Voluntary Childcare Register then the requirement is one person with a minimum of level 2 in a relevant area of work or one person with training in the common core of skills and knowledge.

Staff will also have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to make sure they are suitable to work with children and young people.

How can I apply for a place?

You could apply for a place by contacting the holiday playscheme directly. Your child's school may be able to assist with this.

On he following link you access a list of holiday clubs and playschemes in Westminster: Holiday clubs and playschemes | Westminster.

Last Updated 13/05/2022

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