I wondered if anyone could give me advice on after-school playclubs. The school where our child will be going does not have an after-school club on the premises.
Any recommendations for clubs in the Borough/Bermondsey are?
How do you go about joining? Are there criteria? What kind of fees apply? Anything I should look out for or be wary of?
I live the other end of the patch so can't help much. Some schools link up with external suppliers and the kids get picked up and taken. Worth asking the school and other parents.
There is a big provision at Coin Street. I don't know its name, but Coin Street Community Builders could. (Some sort of family centre - a lot of money has been invested and I understand it is the designated provision for a number of schools in the area.)
The alternative is ad hoc provision. We now have an au pair (which has disadvantages as the kids increasingly resent csharing a room - but is probably the best option for now). At times a friends au pair has looked after mine as well, or friends have taken them to after school activities (swimming, football etc) and I get there in time to pick them up. Sometimes teaching assistants are willing to do after school care.
It is difficult. Kids have already had a long day, and staying at school til six can really be too much for younger children, or for children who might be experiencing tension with their peers. (Which is most kids, since social skills are not easy to learn.) I spent a couple of years starting work at 7.30 so I could leave in time to pick them up. But was too tired to enjoy quality time. I don't really know what the solution is.
There is one that is based (I think) at the Methodist Church on Bermondsey Street - there's also an advert for one at the Arc - it'll obviously depend on what school your child is going to. It might be worth asking them if local after school clubs collect from the school. Incidentally what school is your child going too (I'm only asking as ours will be starting in Sept 07 and I've recently been doing the rounds!)
did the rounds a couple of years ago (son now in year 1) my advice is to put them down for as many schools that you can as the more popular ones are badly oversubscribed and the catchment areas are quite small. some schools have a september reception in take and others January so you do get some people starting their kids at one school then moving them if a nearer/perceived better school offers them a place . Most of all talk to as many parents as you can as often the league tables do not give you a good idea of what the school is like but the parents of the children do
Tricky choice, and depends on where your child goes to school, as others have pointed out. The Tabard after school project is the one based on Bermondsey Street. It is predominantly used by black children, but I don't know why!
The one I have personal experience of is the 99 project which is based on the South Bank, opposite the Royal Festival Hall. I think this is the one Sarah refers to. I can recommend this project as my son has been there in the school holidays. They do a breakfast club and pick up from several local schools. They may be more expensive than Tabard, but the staff are great, they do nice activities, they have good policies and procedures in place, and the ratio of staff to children is good.