Holiday childcare and activities
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:48
You may find that you are asked to provide more childcare than usual for your grandchildren during school holidays. This article offers information about additional childcare arrangements that could benefit you and your grandchildren during the holidays.
High quality holiday childcare provides a stimulating, fun environment for children. Many offer sports, creative activities, trips out and may provide opportunities to try things your grandchildren might not otherwise experience. For you, holiday childcare could offer an opportunity to enjoy your own hobbies or take a break while your grandchildren are cared for by someone else. You may want to speak to your grandchildren’s parents about the following holiday childcare options:
- Out-of-school services and kids’ clubs normally run during term time, but some operate during school holidays. They generally provide care for children aged between 4 and 14-years-old, but you should check with each individual setting to see if they have their own age limits.
- Holiday playschemes/clubs are a common type of holiday childcare, often run by the local authority. Many provide a full-day place, but some only operate on a part-time basis.
- Extended schools sometimes offer holiday activities, occasionally in partnership with voluntary organisations.
- Childminders and nannies may be available on a temporary basis to cover some or all of the holidays. For local childminders, speak to your Family Information Service (see below).
Daycare Trust’s Holiday childcare costs survey 2012 shows that average weekly holiday childcare costs in England are £99.64 and £102.25 in Wales. While some schools and local authorities may offer free clubs and activities, many families will have to pay for childcare, so it is important for parents to know what financial help is available to them.
If your grandchildren attend registered childcare during the school holidays, their parents may be eligible for help with the childcare costs through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit. They should contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 to inform HMRC what their average weekly childcare costs will be and for what period. If their employer offers childcare vouchers, these also can be used to pay for registered holiday childcare. For more information about paying for childcare, visit Daycare Trust’s website, www.payingforchildcare.org.uk.
There are plenty of fun activities you can do together with your grandchildren over the holidays as well. For younger children, why not consider joining or starting a grandparent and toddler group? More information can be found here.
More information can be found here. To find out about activities for children of all ages in your area, contact your local Family Information Service (FIS), library or children’s centre. You can find contact details for your FIS by using the ‘Find a FIS' function at www.daycaretrust.org.uk/findyourfis or by searching in your local phone book.
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