Holiday playschemes

Find registered childcare near you

Playschemes can offer a wide range of activities such as sports, outdoor and indoor games, music, arts, crafts and drama.

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

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 does the childcare take place?

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

What hours do they open?

The hours they open will depend on the scheme. Some will offer extended days from 8am to 6pm for an additional charge.

How old are the children they look after?

It will depend on their registration; this is different for each club. Most will take children from the age of 4 to 12 years, and some will take older or younger children.

What is the average fee?

The average fee in Surrey is usually between £29 to £54 per day. Some providers may offer concessions or discounts for siblings.

If the club is registered with Ofsted, you may be eligible for help with childcare costs. Whether you are eligible depends on your family's circumstances. Use the Childcare Choices website or the Childcare Calculator to find out how much you might get.

You can also find details of support available to help with childcare costs on our Paying for childcare web page.

What is the ratio of staff to children?

This will depend on the age of the children.

If the playscheme is for children in reception class or older, it must make sure there are enough staff to supervise and support the children present. Best practice recommendations are for there to be a 1 to 10 ratio where possible.

If the playscheme also offers provision to children who are not yet of statutory school age, they must follow Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ratios. For example, for nursery children aged 3 and 4 years, there must be a 1 to 8 ratio of staff to children.

Will they have any checks?

Yes, all staff must have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The provider must follow their safer recruitment policy

Do they have any training?

Staff should hold certificates in first aid, food hygiene and safeguarding/child protection. If they are registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, the manager should hold at least a level 3 in a relevant qualification. Fifty percent of the rest of the staff should hold at least a level 2 in a relevant qualification.

The Ofsted childcare register has two parts, compulsory and voluntary. If a childcare provider needs to be on the compulsory register, they must make sure they have received enough training to complete the role. If they are on the voluntary register, one person present needs to have at least a level 2 in an area relevant to childcare or training in the common core of skills and knowledge.

How can I apply for a place?

You can apply for a place by contacting the holiday play scheme directly. Search for Ofsted registered playschemes in your area in our Childcare finder.

There may also be information about holiday playschemes and activities on your borough or district council's website.

Find details of other activities running during the school holidays in our events for families directory.

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