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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Childcare options for 5 to 11 year olds

When your child reaches school age your childcare needs will change, but you may still need help before or after the school day. If you are working or studying you may have to start early or finish late, or you may need childcare in the school holidays. These are your options.

Extended services through schools

Schools may offer an extended range of services for pupils and their families. This could include before and after school childcare and activities like breakfast, homework and sports clubs.

For information about childcare and before and after school activities that may be offered by your child’s school, you should contact the school directly.


Schools will always try to keep costs down, but you will usually need to pay for childcare and some clubs. If you are on a low income, a range of financial help is available to make these costs more affordable.

After-school clubs

After-school clubs are often based on school premises, but they can also be based at youth clubs, village halls and community centres. They can either be run by the schools themselves, or by private or voluntary organisations.

Clubs provide a safe place to play, relax and socialise. Some clubs not attached to schools can collect children from their school at the end of the day.

Opening hours

After-school clubs are usually open from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm during term time - although some are also open in the school holidays.


On average, after-school clubs cost around £7.00 per session, but prices vary. You can find out more about prices in your area by contacting your local Family Information Service (FIS).

Breakfast clubs

"Because the breakfast and after-school clubs are attached to the school, I can drop the children off at any time from 8.00 am, which is excellent." Hayley, Mum

Breakfast clubs provide a healthy meal and a safe place for children to wait until school starts. Carers will take your child to school in time for registration or, if based at your child's school, will look after them until lessons start.

Opening hours

Usually you can drop your child off at a breakfast club from around 7.30 am.


Breakfast clubs charge from £2.00 a day, but this varies.

Holiday playschemes/clubs

These clubs are usually offered as part of a school's extended services, but can also be run by private or voluntary organisations. They can be based on school premises, or in youth clubs, village halls and community centres. They offer a wide range of play activities during the school holidays.

Opening hours

Holiday playschemes are usually open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm during the summer holiday. Some may also open over the Easter holiday and half-terms.


On average, holiday playschemes cost £20.00 per day, but this varies.


Usually childminders look after children under 12 in the childminder's home, and will often pick up children from school.


Most childminders work from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm but they are usually flexible.


Childminders tend to charge anything between £2.50 and £7.50 an hour.

Nannies and home-based carers

Usually nannies will provide care for children in your home, and can look after children of any age.


Many nannies will live at home with the family they are working for. Whether they live in or not, their hours are usually flexible.


Nannies' fees will start at around £6.00 (or £9.00 in London) per hour, but this tends to vary greatly. You will also have to pay your nanny's tax and National Insurance contributions.

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