After school clubs and play schemes

Your childcare worries may be over once your child starts primary school, but if you still need help before or after school, there are lots of options. Here we look at afterschool clubs, breakfast clubs and holiday.

An afterschool club is a place for children to go after the school day has finished but office hours haven't, usually from around 3.30pm to 6pm. The club may be in your child's school, another local school or different premises altogether. Sometimes playworkers will escort children from the school to the club. Fun and relaxing activities, such as games, sports or art and crafts are provided for children under the care of the playworkers.

A breakfast club is a place where children can be dropped off before school and enjoy breakfast together.

A holiday playscheme operates in the school holidays and offers groups of children a range of organised activities, from art and crafts to outings.

Pros

  • An afterschool club, breakfast club or playscheme which caters for under-eights for more than two hours a day will be registered and regularly inspected.
  • If it's registered, it will be run by approved playworkers, half of whom will be trained.
  • It can bridge those awkward gaps between school and work hours.
  • Your child will be among a group of other children, some younger, some older.
  • Your child will have access to a variety of play opportunities.
  • You may be able to opt for a regular part-time place, which will offer her consistency.
Cons
  • Afterschool clubs can be very busy and your child may simply prefer to chill out at home.
  • Out-of-school care may be a bit overwhelming for a younger or shy child.
  • If your child is attending an afterschool club every day, it can be hard for her to have time on her own, meet her friends or follow her own particular interests.
  • The staff won't be able to look after your child if she's ill.
Source: BBC
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