The summer holidays are fast approaching and whilst we all look forward to long sunny days there is the spectre of childcare issues looming over many of us. If your children are school age your usual childcare routine is likely to be disrupted over the summer so you might want to consider using a holiday club. These come in many different forms and, depending on the age for your children, they can be a great option.
Play schemes are school holiday based clubs provided by Local Authorities. They are often run on local school premises and charge less than holiday clubs run by private operators. They will usually offer a range of activities such as craft and sports. Finding them is quite easy, they will often be promoted through local schools, your local Family Information Service (FIS) will be a good first port of call.
Many leisure centres run sports camps during the holidays, usually at a reasonable rate. The one my children use includes swimming every day along with indoor and outdoor sports for kids between 4 and 1. They always have a great time and regularly meet the same friends during different holidays. The downside of such clubs is that they often mimic the times of the school day so can’t be used for extended care.
Summer camps – non-residential
There are a number of operators who run summer sports camps on a national basis. They use premises with excellent facilities, such as universities, and provide a fun sports experience. Many offer specific coaching in different sports along with more general activities. These camps are a more expensive option for summer childcare however you do get what you pay for, most children have a fantastic experience. You can use these camps either on a daily or weekly basis, you don’t have to book for the whole summer.
Summer camps – residential
Whilst they have been running in the USA for years residential summer camps are a relatively new concept in the UK. They run for various length of times with prices starting around £395 for five days. The activities on offer vary from camp to camp with language, adventure and sports style camps all proving very popular.
Most schools now run before and after school clubs and many of those extend that service by offering full-time holiday clubs on the same basis. As well as school provided clubs there are many run privately, usually as an adjunct to day nurseries. The activities and costs are usually quite similar depending on the area that you live.
Whether you choose one option for all your holiday cover or a more patchwork approach like me there are so many choices available that meeting your childcare needs as well as affording your children a fun experience may not be as difficult as you think.