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Out of school clubs and holiday playschemes

Some school children need safe care before and after school hours and also during school holidays.

Out of school clubs

Out of school clubs are for children before or after school. They can be based on school sites (run by the school or other organisations), in community centres, church or village halls, nurseries or pre-schools. Opening times vary. Some provide snacks, and others offer a cooked meal.

Find a club:

Holiday playschemes

Holiday playschemes run like out of school clubs but during school holidays and offer extra activities. There are a number of different schemes in Oxfordshire that run during school holidays, for example:

  • Sessions at local nurseries that take school-aged children during the holidays
  • Holiday playschemes running at local schools for all or part of the holidays (these may be run by the school or other organisations)
  • Sports-based schemes often running at local leisure centres
  • Shorter, activity based sessions running for a few days at local venues such as a church hall often run by volunteers.

The times and days of the week they run vary. Some run every holiday, others only in the summer.


As an alternative to holiday playschemes, a childminder may look after your child for out-of-school sessions (before and after school and also in the holidays).

Paying for childcare

The cost of holiday childcare varies considerably. For help paying for childcare see our help paying for childcare pages.

Choosing out of school care

As well as finding out where and when schemes are running, it is recommended that you find out from the provider what checks are made on their staff and what training and qualifications they have.  This is particularly important if you are using non Ofsted registered provision. You could start by asking:

  • What activities are planned - what equipment will the children have access to?
  • What food and drink will be provided?
  • Are the children separated into different age groups?
  • How much does it cost and what is included?
  • How many staff are there and what is the ratio of children to staff?
  • How will I know that my child will be safe?

Other activities

There are many other activities and events suitable for families with children in Oxfordshire. Museums and libraries often have special events for young children and families in the holidays.

Additional activities can be found on our FIS directory.