After School Clubs are a fantastic opportunity for kids to meet new friends outside their usual circle, try their hand at something new, and gain self confidence. And for parents, After School Clubs provide peace of mind that your child is in good hands in the time between school hours and working hours.
After School Clubs may come in different guises: breakfast clubs (before school) or homework clubs, for example. They may be hosted in the child’s school or offsite, like a local community centre or sports club, and could encompass anything from group games, to sports, to learning to play a musical instrument, to simply providing a space for children to do their homework.
As the kids head back to school, there’s a wealth of opportunities for them to give something new a go and start the ball rolling to be the sports stars of the future! If you’re overwhelmed with choice of which sports they could get involved with, the BBC have a handy tool that can help. Simply answer the questions on a sliding scale and the quiz will give you suggestions of which sports your child might be best at – whether that’s a team sport or an individual one.
Your next port of call might be the government’s After School Holiday Club finder. Only available in England and Wales, all you need to do is enter your postcode and it will point you towards your local council’s website and the list of activities on offer in your area.
Netmums is another great resource for ideas of groups and clubs in the local area - search by location, and you can find everything from reading and writing groups to table tennis to choir!
If your child would like to learn a musical instrument, with Local Music Teacher you can search online by county for tutors narrowed down by their specialist instrument(s). As well as the cost of the lessons, you should find out where the lessons will be held – does the tutor come to you or vice versa? – and whether you’ll need to provide your own instruments and books.
The Out of School Alliance has some helpful tips on choosing an After School Club. Be sure to consider the logistics such as how you and/ or your child will get there; visit, read reviews and speak to other parents to make sure your kids are well taken care of; and weigh up the cost of buying equipment.
In a recent survey conducted for Provident Financial, it was found that parents spend on average £106 a year on After School Clubs for their children. If your employer offers a childcare voucher scheme, this could be a great way to knock money off your After School Club bill. The scheme is available to any employed parents whose employer has opted in to the scheme, as long as your wage does not fall below the National Minimum Wage once the vouchers are subtracted. It works by you choosing to give up part of your salary in exchange for childcare vouchers. You can read more about how to save money on childcare and After School Clubs here.
Of course, kids don’t rely on after school clubs to keep busy or keep fit; there are lots of ways to do it for free!