Out-of-school and holiday care

Out of school services are for school-age children to play and learn and have fun in groups. Some centres welcome three-year-olds. Most have age ranges starting from four, and some go up to fourteen years old.

Activities at these groups include sports, computers, arts, crafts, cooking, homework help and of course the opportunity to relax with friends after a hard day.

Out of school clubs that care for children under eight years for more than two hours for more than five days per year are registered and inspected by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education).

Search for out of school and holiday schemes near you

Types of schemes

Breakfast clubs

Breakfast clubs are:

  • open in the mornings before school so children can enjoy breakfast there and never be late for school
  • only for pupils that attend their school.

After school clubs

After school clubs are:

  • open in the afternoons usually between about 3.30pm and 6pm
  • are usually only for the children that attend the school
  • sometimes clubs run in community centres and have a collection service from certain schools. You will need to enquire about this service.

Holiday playschemes

Holiday playschemes are:

  • open during school holidays, usually from 8.30am to 6pm
  • usually held in community centres, schools or sports centres.

How much will it cost?

You can expect to pay between £15 and £40 per child per week for an after school childcare place and between £35 and £125 per child per week for a place at a holiday playscheme.

Using an Ofsted-registered provider means that you may be able to get help with childcare costs by claiming the childcare element of a Working Tax Credit. You and your partner must both be working at least 16 hours per week.

Most providers are registered with Ofsted on the compulsory part of the Childcare Register if they have children under eight, or on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register if they have children aged eight to 17 years.

Schools no longer have to register their out-of-school clubs with Ofsted separately from their education provision.