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Importance of holiday club at school?(21 Posts)
Not top priority. But quite an important aspect for me, actually. I have been very grateful that there was a holiday club at Ds1, and now ds2's Primary. Made a big difference to me, even though I only work 3 days.
I wouldn’t have a holiday club as a top priority when choosing a school.
But if the schools were more or less equal in other respects, and I was working (or planning on returning to work), then it’d definitely be something I’d consider.
There are lots of holiday type clubs that are not based in schools here. A lot of the nurseries run before and after school clubs and holiday clubs. It might be nice for them to get a break from the whole school environment. It wouldn't really have entered my mind to think about that as a reason to choose a school
Never occurred to me to care about this. I work full time and use various local clubs at other schools, farms and leisure centre, not the school one as it's hours are too short and in the hols I like a different walk! School one is run by an outside company so although it would be the same environment it would be a different vibe.
Depends what else is around in your local area. We have quite a few options for holiday clubs in our not huge town. Most sports clubs offer something, football, tennis, dance, the local leisure centre, church groups, outdoor education centres, a science club and coding club all use local venues, and if we drive 20 mins to a big town there are lots of holiday clubs that aren't school based.
What is more important is before and afterschool clubs. You can only use the one attached to your school so if working they will be far more useful.
But generally holiday care is really important, to consider. I'm surprised how many Mn'ers don't think about it till it's too late.
In our town, with 5 schools, there are only 2. I have to drive up to 5 miles to get to the next 3 closest.
Where my sil lives, she has 7 choices. And here 'town' is smaller than mine. Not logical.
It depends on your situation.
The wrap around care and (limited) holiday clubs at our feeder primaries are all ran by outside companies who use school facilities. The school doesn't run them directly.
If all other things are equal then maybe it could be a useful swing factor but if one school is better than the other then I wouldn't go for one purely because it has holiday clubs. Holiday clubs seem to me to stop and start depending on parental demand and if it's financially viable for the company.
I'd say it;s unusual for the school to be offering a holiday club itself, most a run privately by a separate firm. I've also found that school based holiday activities often run for school hours, so don't help parent who need FT childcare anyway.
I wouldn't choose the school based on the availability of holiday care, as even if they do offer it, that could change at any time.
I would say definitely think about before and after school care as a priority if you are thinking about working before your youngest goes to high school it's hopeless round here and has had a massive impact on my work . Holiday care would be easier to find I think
As PP have said, it is important to research what is available and this might sway your decision about the school with wrap-around.
If you live in an area with loads of registered child minders, holiday clubs coming out of your ears (leisure centres, forest schools, nurseries, camps at prep schools etc), after school 'hubs' with transport from one school to another then you are fine. You will always be able to pick up the childcare you need.
However, if it's one of these areas with one local child minder who is booked by parents in the know at conception, barely any wrap around care in local schools and nothing happening in the holidays.. then go for the school with wrap-around.
DS in yr 1. School didn’t have either and was not our first choice. Another club would do pick ups and drop offs to a different schools club. That was the situation in Reception. First PTA meeting of the year. I asked Head Teacher why they was no provision, as it’s a good source of steady income for the school. He said no-one had asked before and would look in to it.
Now in yr1 and we have a great breakfast/after school club that DS loves. We use holiday clubs and have tried 4 different ones. He actually prefers the variety of clubs, but then he’s not shy either. He’s made lots of friends and keeps in touch, via mummies, with a few of them.
I personally would choose the best education and then sort out childcare.
There are varieties of holiday club
a) run at a school, open only to DC at the school
b) run at a school, open to anyone
c) run somewhere else such as a leisure centre or a general childcare provider
If you need holiday care, than having at least one of these options available to you is essential.
My own experience is a familiar setting (and/or with familiar children) is great when the DC are little. I personally think a school setting that only takes DC from the school is rather limited as the DC get older (my DC have relished the option of getting to know others at holiday clubs) and it's likely that as they get older your DC will find going to a single provider (whatever/wherever the provider) pretty dull -which is when having a variety of options is ideal.
Very important for us:
When they are younger they usually can't go to the activity type clubs, and they rarely cover the working day.
Also when younger a familiar setting is very important.
If you think you'll have an alternative (e.g. a CM doing pickup who can also do holidays), that's fine.
Otherwise do think about it.
If all schools are equal, then I would go for the holiday club one. There are other options but your child might not want to go to an unfamiliar holiday club with unfamiliar people. Also, activity based eg football might not appeal at the right age group/skill level. I also don't really trust "random" ones that I've no previous experience of!
The trouble with choosing based on a holiday club is that there's no guarantee that it will run in the future.
Things may change, it may move or stop altogether.
The before and after school clubs would be more important for me but definitely not more so than the education aspect.
I wouldn't want my DC to spend 52 weeks a year on the school premises, it's good for them to go to different places and meet different children.
I'm more surprised that you've found 3 possible schools, is there no pressure on places in your area?
I wouldn't want my DC to spend 52 weeks a year on the school premises, it's good for them to go to different places
It's not 52 weeks though is it.
DS is in Y1 and last year he had
2 holiday days at the CM our DD goes to.
One at a dancing activity day (regular class ran some days so he knew the teachers)
Two INSET days at school holiday club plus two full weeks of summer holidays.
At Easter we went on a family holiday and there's no provision anywhere over Christmas.
Half terms we took it in turns to take single days.
So over and above school that's 2 1/2 weeks extra but he copes better with the setting and playworkers he knows, like a lot of young children.
I think the holiday club is probably most important in the first few years so hopefully it won't change that quickly.