Out-of-school services are for school-age children to play and learn and have fun in groups.
After-school and breakfast clubs are usually based in or near schools. Breakfast clubs open early in the morning before school starts so children can enjoy a good breakfast, and then they will be taken to school. After-school clubs are open after school and they will usually collect your child from school to be taken to the club.
Out-of-school clubs may be registered with Ofsted and inspected by them at regular intervals, provided they are caring for children of 8 years of age and under, for more than two hours every day. If they cater for older children they can be 'quality assured' by a scheme recognised by the government. If they take children of Reception age or younger they will be graded and inspected more rigorously. If they run for under two hours they do not have to be registered. All staff must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Out-of-school services are run by a team of staff (usually called playworkers), or childminders in their own homes. They are responsible for planning activities to help children learn, play and relax with their friends.
How will I know my child will be safe and secure? SHOW
First of all, you know your child best, so look for a setting that you feel is suitable for your child.
Settings that are registered with Ofsted are checked to make sure that the staff are suitable to look after children. At least half of them must be trained, and there are rules on the ratio of staff to children depending upon the ages of the children catered for. You should ask to see their certificate of registration as this will tell you the ages and number of children they can care for and approved hours of opening.
A check on the premises is also carried out prior to registration to make sure that it is a safe and suitable environment for children. After the setting is registered, they will be inspected regularly if they are on the Early Years Register to make sure that it is continuing to provide a safe and suitable service. Other settings will be inspected randomly and under certain circumstances.
Always ask the service if they are Ofsted registered.
Settings that cater only for those children aged 8 or over, schemes which run for two hours or less per day, or holiday clubs (which run for five or fewer days each year) may not be registered.
To check if a provider in Southampton is registered you can contact the Family Information Service.
How many children will there be? SHOW
Out of school providers have places for between 10 and 70 children, although some services are smaller and some are larger.
What age range of children will there be? SHOW
Most children attending after-school clubs and breakfast clubs play are aged between 4 and 11 years of age.
When will services be open? SHOW
After-school clubs generally open after school until about 6pm.
Breakfast clubs can open before school from about 7.30/8am until the start of school.
A childminder may be able to offer longer or more flexible hours.
Can they offer part-time childcare? SHOW
Many out-of-school services will be happy to offer you part-time childcare. You may need to book regular sessions to make sure a place is available when you need it.
Can you help me choose a good childcare provider? SHOW
Although we cannot recommend a particular setting, the Family Information Service (FIS) seek to supply sufficient information to enable you to make an informed decision.
Our directory holds lists of providers in Southampton and information to enable you to make an informed decision. We can advise you on the types of childcare that may be appropriate for your lifestyle or individual needs.
However, it is your responsibility as parent or carer to choose the most suitable childcare for your circumstances. It is important to visit some settings before you make a decision.
Where can I find an out of school childcare provider?
Search our database of childcare in Southampton, or for childcare outside of Southampton, contact your local authority.