Services for Young Children

Holiday playscheme

Child age range

  • 4 years – 14 years generally, although clubs vary


  • Many schools and organisations offer a variety of formal childcare and other activities outside usual school hours.

  • These services are based on school sites, but may also be in youth clubs, community centres or nurseries.

  • Some schools organise the childcare themselves, but others work with local voluntary groups, private providers and childminders, who will provide staff and facilities.

Quality assurance

  • If a holiday play scheme is registered through the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register, parents may be able to access financial support to help pay for childcare or activities via Tax Credits/ Universal Credit or Childcare Vouchers.

  • If registered, playworkers and at least half of the staff will be trained/qualified.

  • Schemes who care for children under 8 and are open for more than 2 hours a day for 6 or more days in a year, must be registered and inspected by the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted).

  • Some Holiday schemes can be registered through the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register if they meet requirements.

  • Schemes not registered may be ‘quality assured’ by a scheme recognised by the Government.

  • Parents can ask a holiday scheme for a copy of their Ofsted inspection report or go online


  • Prices vary depending on the type of scheme offered and whether it is provided by a school, voluntary group or private provider.

  • School or Local Authority run schemes are cost around £15 - £20 per day, whereas privately-run schemes cost around £120 - £150 per week.

Times available

  • Holiday Play schemes normally open from 8am to 6pm throughout the Easter and Summer holidays.

  • Some schemes also run during half term holidays.

  • Some schemes may operate for 4 to 6 hours in a day or close at lunch time.