Out-of-school clubs open for all children from 12 April
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Out-of-school clubs will be open to all children from 12 April but bubbles of up to 15 remain for indoor provision, the latest guidance from the Department of Education sets out.
From 8 March, parents and carers have been able to access out of school settings for ‘certain essential purposes’, such as to allow them to work, search for work, or undertake education.
During this time, providers were expected to keep children in small consistent groups, of no more than 15, where possible, indoors and out.
But in the latest change to the guidance, Protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs during the coronavirus outbreak, updated on 7 April, the DfE has confirmed that indoor and outdoor provision is open to all children from 12 April, without restrictions on the purpose for which they may attend. This also applied to providers operating during the Easter holidays, starting from 29 March.
However, provision must be offered as follows:
- For outdoor provision only, bubbles can be of any size, but providers must continue to keep the children in consistent bubbles as far as possible in order to minimize mixing.
The guidance states that it ‘remains important’ to minimise mixing between children. This can be achieved by taking steps to keep children in separate groups or ‘bubbles’. For example, keeping children from the same school day bubble or school together, or working with parents and carers to keep siblings from the same household together.
For indoor settings only, where it is not possible to group children in the same bubble as they are in during the school day, providers should ‘keep them in small groups of no more than 15 children and at least one staff member; and where possible, with the same children each time they attend’, the guidance states.
The next significant changes to restrictions are timetabled for 17 May.