Every year, many parents are faced with an expensive six week summer headache when it comes to childcare.
Now, help could be at hand via an unlikely source – supermarket giant Sainsbury’s. It has announced summer holiday clubs across the country for just £7.50 a day which could help stimulate competition and bring down prices.
Working parents can be faced with the dilemma of high childcare costs in the summer which could force them to take time off.
Sainsburys has launched 70 kids clubs across the country which will cost parents just £7.50 a day and will provide healthy lunches and activities
This year, there will be 70 ‘active kids holiday clubs’ from Sainsbury’s, after a successful trial of 23 last year.
The £7.50 price includes activities, healthy lunches and snacks. The costs are low as the holiday clubs are subsidised by the retailer itself.
It comes as a study for Sainsbury’s shows working parents are set to fork out £34 per day during the summer holidays for each child.
This will collectively cost families £9.9billion (see our chart below on ‘how other summer holiday camps’ costs compare’ for our own quick analysis of competitor costs).
It found that families based in Scotland and the South East spend the most over the summer holidays, coughing up more than £1,000 over six weeks.
Its study also highlighted the trend of ‘electronic babysitting’ where parents use television and games consoles to act as carers or to offer a form of entertainment.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson says: ‘We know from speaking to parents that the summer holidays can be a difficult and expensive time to keep children entertained.
Sainsbury’s clubs don’t meet my needs (yet)
As a parent of two children aged three and six, only the oldest would qualify to gain for Sainsbury’s clubs as they only take children from age five to 15.
So it leaves me with a dilemma of still hiring a childminder while I’m at work so that my youngest is cared for.
Alternatively, like so many other parents, my husband and I would have to take time off in order to ensure our children are looked after during the holidays.
With 70 locations being rolled out throughout the UK you’d think that I would have a club fairly close home, but when I entered my postcode I found that the nearest facility was 21 miles away in Orpington – a 21 minute car journey.
Parents are allowed enrol their children to any of the 70 clubs on offer so I also ventured to find out the nearest facility to my office in Kensington.
Unfortunately, the nearest facility to that was 4.2 miles away in Brixton, which would take me 34 minutes to reach by train.
Another downside is the hours of care on offer.
It opens at 9am and ends at 4pm (with registration from 8; 45am), which may not suit all parents’ working hours – particularly those with long commutes to contend with.
‘We are very excited to launch our active kids holiday clubs, which have been designed to help keep kids active and healthy over the holidays.
‘With many parents spending £34 per day on childcare, we hope that our new clubs will provide parents with a cost-effective alternative to help keep the kids entertained this summer.’
The clubs are run in partnership with summer club provider active kids holiday clubs and 70 locations across the UK have been launched (scroll down below for the list).
The clubs, which will be open to coincide with the summer holiday from 22 July to 30 August, will offer a range of activities including gymnastics, tennis, cricket, dodgeball, football as well as play, dance and arts and crafts.
Bookings and payments must be done online and paid in full, but parents can also redeem their Nectar points to pay for the days their children attend the summer camps.
A spokesman says: ‘All spaces are subject to availability, so we would encourage parents to book now to avoid disappointment.’
Most of the hours of care offered in a session that starts at 9am and ends at 4pm but the clubs are available for registration from 8.45am.
Sainsbury’s revealed that this could be changed based on the feedback given by parents.
The camps are available Monday to Friday but parents can choose the days at which their children can attend.
A spokesman added: ‘Subject to availability, parents can book their children in for a minimum of one day or maximum of five days a week, up to six weeks, that the clubs are running.
‘We would encourage parents to book their children in for the minimum of five days from Monday to Friday to make the most of the activities on offer.’
|Summer holiday care provider||Daily cost||Website|
|2. EnergyKids||£32.50 (full day pass)||energykids.co.uk|
|3. Kings Camps||£37.40 (based on a full week package and extended hours – £187)||kingscamps.org|
|4. Ultimate Activity Camps||£42*||ultimateactivity.co.uk|
|5. Barracudas||Prices vary but generally from around £40||barracudas.co.uk|
|Figures taken from respective websites and correct as at: 2 May, 2019. * Rate only valid on bookings before 11 June, 2019.|
The clubs offer a range of activities including gymnastics, tennis, cricket, dodgeball, football as well as play, dance and arts and crafts.
If you change your mind about your booking it is possible to get a refund.
Sainsbury’s, which has had a rough time of late after the potential merger with Asda was vetoed, added: ‘Customers have the right to cancel and receive a refund up to 15 days after the day we receive and confirm the booking.’
The same rule, however, applies to your child being sick so depending on when you made your booking you could still lose your money.
The spokesman adds: ‘We have a premier helpline available to parents, should they need to book their children onto an alternative day due to extenuating circumstances, however this is subject to availability.’
Parents will have the opportunity to provide feedback to Sainsbury’s about the running and management of its kids clubs.
It added: ‘We’re really excited about this trial and hope it proves popular with our customers this summer.
‘It’s very much a pilot scheme so we want to focus on getting this right for our customers and the children.
‘We’ll be listening to our customers and the kids who take part throughout the pilot to make sure the clubs are run in the way they, and we, expect.’
|1. Roding Primary School||Essex||22 July – 30 August|
|2. Hatch Warren Infant School||South East||24 July – 3 September|
|3. Whipton Barton Junior School||South West||25 July – 2 September|
|4. Portway Junior School||East Midlands||29 July – 4 September|
|5. Manor Junior School||East||25 July – 23 August|
|6. Bilton School||West Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|7. Herringham Primary School||East London||25 July – 30 August|
|8. Carden Primary School||South East||29 July – 30 August|
|9. Ridgefield Primary School||Eastern||25 July – 30 August|
|10. Harborne Academy||West Midlands||23 July – 30 August|
|11. Ryecroft Middle School||West Midlands||11 July – 30 August|
|12. Welland Park Academy||East Midlands||15 July – 22 August|
|13. Norbreck Primary Academy||North West||22 July – 30 August|
|14. Kings Meadow School||Bucks & Oxs||22 July – 30 August|
|15. North Lancing Primary School||South East||24 July – 30 August|
|16. Joseph Turner Primary||Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|17. Scott Wilkie Primary||London||22 July – 30 August|
|18. Springfield Primary School||East||25 July – 30 August|
|19. The Health Hub Sharples||North West||25 July – 30 August|
|20. Woolston Community Primary School||North West||22 July – 30 August|
|21. Westleigh High School||North West||22 July – 30 August|
|22. The Ridgeway School||South East||25 July – 30 August|
|23. Oak Hill Academy||London||25 July – 3 September|
|24. Juniper Hill School||South East||25 July – 3 September|
|25. St Michael’s VA Primary School||Eastern||29 July – 30 August|
|26. Fairlands Primary School||Eastern||29 July – 30 August|
|27. Redcastle Family School||Eastern||29 July – 30 August|
|28. Ryders Hayes School||West Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|29. Racemeadow Primary Academy||West Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|30 Christchurch Primary Academy||South East||24 July – 30 August|
|31. Seymour Primary||South East||24 July – 30 August|
|32. Falcons Primary||East Midlands||17 July – 28 August|
|33. Orchard Community School||East Midlands||22 July – 16 August|
|34. Sandringham Primary School||London||22 July – 30 August|
|35. Ely College||Eastern||22 July – 30 August|
|36. Cliff Park Ormiston Academy||Eastern||29 July – 30 August|
|37. Brambleside Primary Academy||Northamptonshire||25 July – 30 August|
|38. Grindon Hall Christian School||North East||22 July – 30 August|
|39. Morven Park Primary||East Midlands||25 July – 29 August|
|40. Bersted Green Primary School||South East||24 July – 30 August|
|41. Warberry Primary Academy||South West||25 July – 30 August|
|42. Widewell Primary School||South West||22 July – 30 August|
|43. St John’s Angell Town C of E Primary||London||22 July – 30 August|
|44. Bishop Challoner School||London||22 July – 30 August|
|45. Werrington Primary School||East Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|46. Hamstel Infants School||Eastern||25 July – 30 August|
|47. The Fernwood School||East Midlands||29 July – 30 August|
|48 Sheffield Park Academy||East Midlands||29 July – 30 August|
|49 Trentham Academy||West Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|50 Barlby High School||York & Humber||22 July – 30 August|
|51 Finham Park||West Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|52 Ashby Fields||West Midlands||25 July – 30 August|
|53 Kings Heath Primary||West Midlands||22 July – 26 July; 29 July – 2 August; 19 August – 23 August; 27 August – 30 August|
|54 Erdington Academy||West Midlands||22 July – 30 August|
|55 Long Ridings Primary School||Eastern||25 July – 30 August|
|56 Goffs – Churchgate Academy||Eastern||24 July – 28 August|
|57 The Acklam Green Centre||North East||22 July – 30 August|
|58 Hatfield Leisure Centre||East||24 July – 30 August|
|59 St Cyres School||Wales||23 July – 30 August|
|60 The Bobby Moore Academy||London||22 July – 30 August|
|61 Jeavons Wood Primary School||East Anglia||25 July – 30 August|
|62 Jewell Academy||South West||24 July – 30 August|
|63 Langstone Junior Academy||South East||24 July – 30 August|
|64 Sprowston Community Academy||East||29 July – 30 August|
|65 Boringdon Primary School||South West||22 July – 30 August|
|66 Raleigh School||Surrey||29 July – 30 August|
|67 Hallsville Primary School||London||25 July – 30 August|
|68 Malcolm Arnold||East Midlands||27 July – 30 August|
|69 Harris Primary Academy||London||22 July – 30 August|
|70 Higham Ferrers Junior School||East Midlands||29 July – 30 August|
|Source: Sainsbury’s. Correct as at 2 May 2019|