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Holiday playschemes

Find registered childcare near you

These can offer a wide range of activities such as sports, outdoor and indoor games, 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.

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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.

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What hours do they open?

The hours they open will depend on the scheme but some will offer extended days from 8am to 6pm for an additional charge. If the times they are open don't meet your needs it may be worth talking to the manager to see if they can offer alternate hours.

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How old are the children they look after?

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

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What is the average fee?

The average fee in Surrey is usually between £15 to £35 per day. A few borough and district councils offer subsidised places and some schemes will offer concessions or discounts for early booking.

If the club is registered with Ofsted you can check whether you may be eligible for help with childcare costs via the Childcare Choices website or by using the Childcare Calculator.

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

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What is the ratio of staff to children?

This will depend on the age of the children. Three to eight year olds should have a 1 to 8 ratio. For children aged 9 years and older the ratio differs but a 1 to 10 is recommended where possible. Two members of staff must be present at all times.

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Will they have any checks?

Yes, all staff must have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

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Do they have any training?

Staff should hold certificates in first aid, food hygiene and safeguarding/child protection. A manager should hold a minimum of a level 3 in a relevant qualification, and 50% of the rest of the staff should hold a minimum of a level 2 in a relevant qualification. However, if they are on the Ofsted Voluntary Childcare Register then the requirement is one person with a minimum of level 2 in a relevant area of work or one person with training in the common core of skills and knowledge.

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How can I apply for a place?

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

Our events for families directory has details of other activities running during the school holidays.

Your borough or district council's leisure department may also have information about holiday playschemes and activities on their website.

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Further reading

You can find further information about finding and paying for childcare in our Choosing childcare booklet.

Files available to download

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