Breakfast/after-school clubs and holiday playschemes

Information about how these clubs and playschemes operate, whether they need to be registered with Ofsted and other things to consider when choosing this form of childcare.

Age group - 4-14 years of age (or up to 18 for children with SEND)

Out-of-school care clubs provide care and education through play for children and young people aged 4–14 years, or up to 18 for children with SEND.

Registration and inspection

They are registered with Ofsted, except where they only cater for children aged eight and over. Such clubs may apply to be registered with Ofsted on a voluntary basis. However, to be able to care for children age four, they must also be on the Early Years register with Ofsted. Ofsted has a guide explaining how breakfast/after-school clubs and holiday playschemes are inspected.

If you’re thinking of using unregulated childcare, please visit our campaign page about Safe clubs for children for more information.

Typical opening hours

Breakfast clubs care for children before school, typically from 7.30am. After school care is typically provided until 6.00pm. This often takes place on school premises. A club may cater for children from more than one school, but all children are taken to, or collected from, their school by club staff or teachers.

Childminders can also offer before and after school care. Holiday playschemes provide care during the school holidays, typically on weekdays, 8.00am-6.00pm, within leisure and community centres, or within schools. Childminders can also offer holiday care.

Help with the cost of using out of school care

Check whether you may be eligible for help with childcare costs.

Last updated:
7 September 2023
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