Thousands of families could be saving money on their childcare costs. But some simply don’t know what support they might be eligible for.
The Childcare Choices website brings together all the existing childcare offers in one place, so parents can get the help that fits their family.
This could be through Tax-Free Childcare, 30 Hours Childcare, or Universal Credit Childcare. Some families might be eligible to use more than one childcare schemes together and get the most out of it.
And from next year even more help is on the way:
Support is also expanding for primary-school aged children – from September 2024, parents are expected to see an expansion in the availability of childcare in their local area before and after school, between 8am and 6pm, also known as ‘wraparound care’.
Don’t miss out on getting the support you are entitled to.
Visit the Childcare Choices website to check what offer you might be eligible for and sign up to our newsletter to get the latest updates about the childcare support expansion.
You asked, we listened...
Contract bookings are now available!
The same bookings, every week,
reserved for the whole school year.
If you know in advance when you need to use us, and get tired of having to make the same booking each term, you can now make contact bookings - reserving your child’s space all the way through the year!
Of course, if your schedule is a little more unpredictable, ad hoc bookings are still around!
How will it work?
Contract requests will be reviewed and either approved or rejected by our staff. Families who require the most amount of sessions will be prioritised.
If you would like a contract booking but have a alternating weekly rota, please email us so we can see if we can accommodate your booking firstname.lastname@example.org
Our prices have been updated for September 2022. Prices continue to be reviewed half termly and are subject to change. We will only increase prices if it is necessary, and we continue to strive to keep our costs low so as to offer you affordable quality childcare.
We have listened to your feedback, and are moving to a new booking system! It is called Kids Club HQ and has come highly recommended by other Out of School Clubs and Nurseries!
The Ongoing Covid Situation
As before, we’re hopeful that we won’t need to operate with the same restrictions as September 2020 (such as bubbles), although not everything will be totally back to normal - we still have an enhanced cleaning schedule and we’ll continue updating our Covid policies with safe operation guidance from the Department for Education.
We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation. However please bear in mind that if any restrictions on how we operate are reintroduced by the School, Local Authority or Government, this could result in changes or cancellations to your booking. We will endeavour to inform you as soon as possible regarding any changes if they arise.
If you were registered to our previous booking system (Feb 2020-Oct 2021) your email address has been registered with the new system, but you will need to input the rest of your details again. When you first go to log in, you will need to click 'Forgot your Password' to set a password and access your account.
Helpful guide here to making your first booking:
If you have any questions or need any help with the booking process, please feel free to get in touch!
We hope that you have all been safe and well and that the children have enjoyed their return to school this week!
In the light of the government's recent announcement that the furlough scheme is being extended, as well as the continued difficulties in reopening the club at present (which we explained in our last email) - we’ve had to make the difficult decision to remain closed for the rest of this school year. We’re now looking to September 2021 (subject to Government and school requirements) for a fresh start.
We know that many of you will be disappointed by our decision as we are conscious of how much parents rely on our childcare services; however, we have had to make this decision to safeguard the future of PLAYtarium, and the jobs of our staff. This virus has affected all of us in ways we couldn’t have imagined, but with the rapid distribution of the vaccine and the government’s road map for the lifting of restrictions, we’re very hopeful that things will be much better in a few months’ time.
If you require an update regarding your current account, please log into your iPal account or contact us for further help. All of our staff are furloughed, but the emails will be checked periodically.
We will email you again during the summer holidays with updates about our reopening. We plan to open booking requests for September at St Jo’s & Sacred Heart clubs at the end of July, but we will let you know as soon as reasonably possible if this date needs to change.
Our holiday club will also be closed during the Easter, Whitsun and Summer holidays.
We’re looking forward to being able to open our doors again so much, and wish you all the best in the meantime.
Stay safe & well.
We hope you and your families are keeping well and healthy during these unprecedented times.
We are writing to inform you that unfortunately, our Out of School Clubs will have to temporarily close after the Christmas Holidays and will reopen after the Easter Holiday 2021.
While schools and childcare can remain open, many parents are furloughed or working from home, and therefore the demand for our services remains low. The cumulative effect of low numbers of children, cancellations due to self-isolation, and the relatively high number of staff needed to care for children in different bubbles, means that the club will not remain sustainable. We know that many of you will be disappointed by our decision as we are conscious of how much parents rely on our childcare services; however, we have had to make this decision to safeguard the future of PLAYtarium, and the jobs of our staff. This virus has affected all of us in ways we couldn’t have imagined, but we’re confident we’ll get through it together.
We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. We hope to return our services as soon as possible, subject to Government and school requirements.
If you require an update regarding your current account, please log into your iPal account or contact us for further help.
Dear Parents and Carers,
We hope you are all keeping safe and well.
In light of the government's recent updates on Covid-19 regulations, some of your children will now be returning to school. Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision that PLAYtarium should remain closed. The school is working hard and taking measures to keep both the children and their families as safe as possible as they return to school. Currently, PLAYtarium is unable to effectively take these same measures due to factors such as the smaller play spaces and fewer numbers of staff. This decision was not made lightly and although we very much want to reopen as soon as possible, the safety of the children, their families and our staff must come first, hence why we have taken this difficult decision to remain closed.
Additionally, we have made the decision not to open for the summer holiday this year - for the first time since opening in the summer of 2000. We’re so disappointed as this would have been the 20th anniversary of PLAYtarium and we had some special events planned. These plans will not go to waste and will be rearranged for the summer of 2021.
We aim to reopen in September where hopefully the situation has improved, and more government guidance released for Out of School clubs to be able to run safely. We will ensure to give you plenty of notice in advance and we'll be in contact with you in August to inform you of our next steps.
Myself, Hannah and all the club staff are so sad we will not be able to celebrate and say goodbye properly to our Year 6 children. We will be in touch separately with those parents.
Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and support during this time and we look forward to seeing you in the September term.
PLAYtarium sends their best wishes to all your families and we hope you stay safe.
At PLAYtarium, we love to run activities where kids can get messy and allow their imaginations to run wild. Kids love to squeeze, squish and mold playdough into anything they choose! DIY playdough is inexpensive and the children love the creation process! Playdough is a great sensory activity. It allows the child to focus their attention, relieve stress and anxiety and stimulate your child's senses! So lets get down to the recipe!
Now we have our recipe and equipment, lets get to making the playdough!
The dough can be stored in airtight containers and ziplock bags, which will allow it to last for months! The children at PLAYtarium thoroughly enjoyed making the playdough themselves and had endless fun sculpting and moulding it for hours!
Here is a brief reminder about how to cancel and 'swap' sessions.
To cancel a session:
1 - Log into your account.
2 - Click the tab 'Summary'.
3 - To the right of sessions you have booked will be the option 'Cancel' or 'Cancel and Refund'
If you have missed the 48 hour cancellation cut off the session will still be payable even if you decide to cancel. This is applicable to all bookings - including childcare voucher and tax free childcare bookings.
If you cancel before the 48 hour cancellation cut off, you will receive credit to use towards future bookings.
If you wish to change a session you have already booked, for example from a 6pm session to a 5.30pm session, you can to cancel the session you have booked and then re-book the session you need. However it is advisable to always contact us first so we can help you with this as you may lose your space if that session is fully booked.
To 'swap' a session you have to another day, you will need to follow the cancellation process. If you have missed the 48 hour cut off them no credit will be due, so you would have to book an pay for the new session with your usual payment method.
Previously on our online system, once you had cancelled a session you would not be able to book back in. This has been updated so you can now do this!
If you need any help or are having difficulties cancelling your session, get in touch by email and send us a screen shot of where you are experiencing issues on your account. This will help us to resolve any technical issues and help you cancel your session!
Sacred Heart Primary School and St Joseph's Catholic Primary School are each hosting Coffee Mornings to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. PLAYtarium has donated a voucher to both schools for £60 plus 1 Annual Membership - a prize worth £80!!
This voucher can be used at our out of school clubs, and PLAYtarium Holiday Club!
Pop into the school's Family Room for a tasty cake and to buy your raffle tickets to be in for a chance to win!
If you can't make it to the coffee morning, don't worry!
You can still buy raffle tickets!
Sacred Heart Primary School - Give the family workers at the school a call on 01582 730781.
Raffle closes 10am on Friday 28th so please call before then.
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School - speak to PLAYtarium staff on site or call our Administrator on 07508846582. Raffle closes 10am on Friday 28th so please get in touch before then.
Please get in touch with any queries :)
Happy coffee drinking to you all! And all the best to everyone entering the raffle! Thank you for supporting this cause :)
There is one voucher per school available. T&Cs apply.