If you have previously used registered childcare for your child (whether that be a childminder a breakfast club or after school club a Nanny or any other form of childcare), as parents we all like to feel safe and secure to know that our children are in safe hands whilst we are studying or at work. However, as children start to grow up and particularly when they have started secondary school, it can sometimes come as a surprise when your child feels they are too old or ‘too cool’ to be cared for by a nanny or a childminder. You may also want to note that, although Secondary schools have after school activities/homework clubs available, they are not operated as a registered childcare facility. Firstly, you may want to contact your child’s secondary school to find out exactly what after school activities they operate on a weekly basis and to request any timetables for these if available. Secondly, this information can help you plan your child’s after school hours in advance and will allow you to make decisions with your child in regards to the types of activities your child will like to participate in and this information can also help make their after school programme diverse, stimulating and enjoyable.
If your child’s secondary school’s after school activities are not suitable, then you could look into after school clubs which cover Primary school aged children and sometimes secondary school age – 11 or 12 years of age. However, your child may feel that they are independent and mature enough to come home after school and care for themselves. They may even feel embarrassed to attend an after school provision where the majority of children are younger than them. Moreover, they may think they don’t have much in common with these children as they are now older and the last thing your child may want is for a childminder or Nanny to arrive outside their school to pick them up at the end of a school day.
Where do I go from here?
Does your child have any hobbies or interests which you could help them develop and explore?
If so, there are many providers across Redbridge who offer high quality activities such as dance, music, drama, karate etc. There are also leisure centres and sports centres where your child can develop their skills in football, basketball, swimming, fitness and much more. Find out more in the Things to do Section.
Have you also considered Youth Centres? There are many Youth Centres in Redbridge that are dedicated to giving young people a place to meet other young people, have fun, take part in sport, learn new skills and also get help and advice on issues which affect them. Youth Centres in Redbridge offer a wide range of activities for young people ranging from, including arts and crafts, free Internet access, holiday activities (including day trips and residentials), music technology and sports projects for 11 – 19 year olds. Find out more in the Youth Centres and Clubs section.
All the above activities can help your child meet new friends , make them feel like they are a part of a team, help them improve their health and fitness and they could even start competing in competitions, whilst also developing a wide range of skills. Furthermore, once they start to enjoy participating in these kinds of activities this will hopefully give them the extra push they may need to make the journey from school to the activity provider whilst making your child feel independent at the same time. Please note that all the above options require your child/children to make their own way to the activity providers so you may want to check with the providers to make sure your child is attending or you could alternatively phone or text your child to remind them of the activities they have on specific days.
For more information about any of the childcare options for children aged over 11 years, please follow the above links within this site or contact FiND.