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Holiday Playschemes

Holiday playschemes
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Holiday playschemes can be a lifesaver! Unless you are a teacher or only work during term time, most working parents usually get a little nervous on the lead up to school holidays, trying to make childcare arrangements and plan activities for their kids. Some may have friends or relatives who can take care of their children, others may be forced to use up annual leave and many look into using holiday playschemes to keep their child entertained in the school breaks.

What are they?

Sometimes referred to as ‘summer camps’, playschemes are designed to provide fun and stimulating activities for children in a safe environment during the school holidays (usually the long summer break). They are aimed at school age children and can be a lifesaver for working parents and also provide some much needed respite for parents at home with kids going stir crazy!Holiday playschemes

Some schemes may focus on a particular activity or sport and others may offer a wide range of activities and outings. They can be just the odd day sessions in the holidays or cover the entire summer break. Your school, library or community centre will usually have information on upcoming playschemes and other parents can often point you in the right direction or recommended certain schemes in your area.

What ages?

Playschemes are usually offered to children between four and fourteen. The staff ratio for children between four and eight is 8:1 and is 10:1 for children ages eight to fourteen. They are run by either the local council or privately. As well as providing a solution for working parents, holiday playschemes are a great way for your child to meet other local children and form new friendships. It gives them the opportunity to try out new sports or activities they might never have been open to and are fantastic at burning energy and encouraging team spirit.

Children are often bored in the longer holidays and unless you have an endless list of activities to enjoy with them, they can become a handful of pent up frustration. Playschemes are flexible so even if its just for a day, it can serve as a treat for your child and a day off for you.

Costs involvedHoliday playschemes

Costs of playscheme vary from area to area and whether it is private or council run. Some council run playschemes can costs as little a £1 a day where as privately run schemes can cost you up to £75 a day! It is important to note that if the scheme is Ofsted registered, you can save up extra childcare vouchers which can be used to pay for the activities. The times at which the schemes are run also can vary. Some may be morning or afternoon sessions, others may be from 8.30am through to 6pm and some may offer breakfast clubs for parents who start work early.

Will your child like it?

They might not be for everyone though. Take into consideration your child’s personality before signing them up. If they are outgoing and confident they may relish in meeting new people and trying new things, but a shy or young child may find it a little overbearing. It may be busy, loud and competitive and simply not suited for all. Some schemes can be very expensive and popular schemes are often booked up quickly, so if you are thinking about sending your child, book up early and ensure you know all the costs up front so there are no unexpected bills or a disappointed child if you can’t afford it.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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