Premier Education

Ensuring Quality Childcare During School Holidays: the Role of Premier Education

School holiday childcare – every parent’s dilemma!

As soon as your little one starts school, not only do you have the challenge of who is going to do the drop-off and pick-up during term time but also how you’re going to manage childcare for the all-to-frequent school holidays.

We don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom – school is a fantastic learning environment and offers children a myriad of social, academic and sporting opportunities. Many parents are also glad to see the back of an expensive nursery.

But there’s no escaping the need to plan ahead regarding school holidays. Whether your child is keen for adventure activities or some chilled days at the park, some thought is needed about how to fill those weeks and the childcare help your family might need. In this article we take a look at the different childcare choices for young people and what might suit your family the best.

What do people do for childcare during summer holidays?

There are lots of different ways families can manage childcare during school holidays, and you may find that a combination works for you. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular options.


Two-parent families often find that smart use of their annual leave means that each parent can take alternate leave to cover some, or even the majority, of the holiday period. However, this does mean that doing activities together as a family is a challenge.

Pros: You minimise paying for holiday childcare. Your child gets to spend quality time with each parent.

Cons: Can be hard on the parent looking after the children on their own as they don’t get much of a break. It also can be tricky to have fun as a family.

Children playing outside at a Premier Education Wraparound Care club


A private childcare provider such as a childminder may be a good option for you during the holidays if you need reliable cover and can afford the cost. Childminders look after children in their own home, all year round. They must be Ofsted registered and are limited to caring for a maximum of six children under eight.

It’s worth remembering that the childminder will likely want to take a holiday too, so make sure you find out when these dates are so you can make alternative arrangements.

Pros: Childminders operate all year round. Some children may prefer a small home-from-home setting.

Cons: Can be costly. You may be left in the lurch if the childminder is ill or has a family emergency.

Family and friends help

Many parents call on the help of grandparents or other family members to help out during the school holidays. Not only is it a great way for them to spend time with these young family members, but it provides you with low-cost support.

Sharing help with friends or other parents at your child’s school is another option, giving your child the chance to hang out with some buddies over the holidays, as well as providing you with convenient childcare. Remember though, you need to return the favour, so be prepared to take on extra little ones if this is an arrangement you’re going for.

Pros: Ideal if you don’t want to spend money on formal childcare. Means kids get to spend time with family members or with their friends and keep friendships going over the holidays.

Cons: This isn’t an Ofsted registered childcare solution. You will also need to pay back this option by looking after the friend’s child in return.

5 challenges schools face when implementing effective wraparound care 2

Au pair

Au pairs may be traditionally thought of as the go-to childcare option for the wealthy, but more and more parents are turning to au pairs for holiday childcare. The benefits of having someone on-hand for the whole of the six week summer break to help provide daily activities for the children, as well as help with household chores, may well outweigh the cost.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to provide a room for the au pair and cover their food costs.

Pros: A dedicated person living in-house to offer childcare and holiday activities.

Cons: Not everyone likes the idea of hosting a stranger for the summer.

Holiday club

Holiday clubs or camps are a great way of providing children with a wide range of fun activities in an informal environment, while also acting as holiday childcare cover for you.

Here at Premier Education, we run holiday camps for kids all over the UK at a variety of schools and venues. They aren’t just reserved for the summer holidays, but take place all year round. From multi-activity camps to sports-specific and even performing art camps, there’s bound to be a camp that suits your child.

Most of our holiday camps provide Ofsted registered childcare, meaning you can be sure that your kids are in safe hands.

Our holiday clubs are designed to not only help kids make friends and keep them active but also build their confidence through a range of activities, try a range of sports, and learn new skills

Our activity professionals are highly trained in a multitude of activities, so whether your young person prefers crafts or dodgeball, our holiday clubs tick every box.

Can you claim for childcare during school holidays?

If you are eligible for government childcare funding, Tax Free Childcare or Childcare Vouchers, then you can use this all year round, as long as your childcare provider is registered to accept funding through these schemes. For more information on these schemes, see our blog.

wraparound childcare paint premier edcuation

Who looks after children in school holidays?

Where possible, mum and dad and possibly grandparents will look after children during summer and the holidays throughout the year. But, as this article explains, there are many options for childcare when children are school-age and no longer attend nurseries.

Whether they join a holiday club, attend a childminder or spend time with friends, children will no doubt love the multitude of holiday activities they get to enjoy.

Can I claim childcare costs for holiday clubs?

Yes, as long as the setting is registered to accept funding, you will be able to use your Tax Free Childcare or Childcare Vouchers to pay for holiday clubs so it’s worth checking with them in advance.

Do childminders work during school holidays?

Similar to term time, most childminders and nurseries provide childcare during the school holidays. Your current childcare provider may offer this but we’d recommend checking with them as soon as you can.

Holiday activities that make the weeks fly by!

If we’ve given you food for thought about how to manage childcare for your kids for every school holiday with ease, then mission complete!

Whatever you decide, we’d highly recommend planning in advance, as not only will you benefit from availability, but you may also be able to take advantage of early bird offers. This is something we offer when our camps are released – so it’s worth booking them as soon as you can!

Summer holidays especially can feel very daunting, but with some clever planning and plenty of options up your sleeve, you’ll find them a breeze.

If our holiday clubs sound like they would be perfect for your children, find out more here.