Your kids might be dreaming of homework-free time off but, unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop for the school holidays. This means you have to find someone to look after them. Here is some advice for finding holiday childcare in Wales.
If you’re not sure who is going to look after your kids over the holidays, don’t fret. There are lots of options available for affordable holiday childcare in Wales. If you live in a Communities First or Flying Start area there’ll be lots going on locally. If you’re not sure if you live in a Communities First of Flying Start area you can check with the Family Information Service – FIS.
If you don’t happen to live in these areas you can still talk to the Family Information Service – FIS about what options are available to you. They will be able to help you find holiday clubs, school play-schemes and discuss other childcare options available to you.
Types of holiday childcare
Play-schemes / Holiday Clubs
Play-schemes are ‘kids club’ style childcare, where kids will get to spend their day with other children enjoying activities and organised fun. Some play-schemes are themed, focusing on a particular sport or interest, while other are a bit more general. They are ideal for school-age children as they feel a bit like school (but with a bit more fun).
Play-schemes are usually quite flexible so you can book your children in for the whole of the holidays, a week at a time or just a few days.
Local councils often run holiday play-schemes so you will need to have a look and see what is going on in your local area (which you can do by clicking the link for your area below).
You can ask the schools your children attend if they know of any local holiday play-schemes. Some local nurseries or even indoor playcentres also run holiday clubs so it’s worth ringing them to ask.
Childminders are self-employed child carers who will look after your child in their own home. If they care for children under the age of eight, they must be registered with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).
Childminders can often offer very flexible care. As they work with smaller groups, they may be able to offer more individualised care. They can also look after siblings of different ages.
They are usually paid on an hourly basis at a rate negotiated with the parent and the rates can vary. Some childminders will take accept Childcare Vouchers but you should always check if they do before you hire them to look after your children.
Your local Family Information Service will be able to provide you with a list of childminders near you.
If you can’t find any affordable childcare locally trusted family or friends can be a great help. They can be slightly more time flexible than more official care and are often people you (and you children) already know well.
Friends who are also parents can be very helpful as they can sometimes look after your kids while they care for their own (you can also offer to return the favour and do some free babysitting in exchange for holiday care).
Unfortunately family/friends aren’t always trained carers, as ‘volunteer’ childminders they won’t always be available when you need them and sometimes issues over the care of your child can damage your friendship. If you decide to leave your children with a friend or family member make sure you feel comfortable with the arrangement and discuss issues discipline/hours/any other concerns with them before you arrange for them to look after your kids.
What affordable holiday childcare there is near you
Click on your county link below for up-to-date info on childcare, events and activities
- Blaenau Gwent – Facebook
- Caerphilly – Facebook
- Ceredigion – What’s On
- Conwy – Facebook
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Monmouthshire – Facebook
- Neath Port Talbot – Facebook – Events
- Pembrokeshire – Facebook
- Powys – Facebook
- Rhondda Cynon Taf
- Swansea – Summer Holiday Fun
- Torfaen – Facebook
- Vale Of Glamorgan – Facebook
Photo credit: Ray, Ceredigion
Like this article? Check out some others:
- Universal Credit In Wales Explained
- Easy Picnic Ideas for a Family Day Out in Wales
- Guest Blog: ‘10 Things Under £5’ in North West Wales for Families
- Top Tips for Your Family to Save Money
- Guest Blog: ‘5 Things Under £5’ in South Wales for Families