YMCA Bath has many years experience of running extended school programmes at a variety of centres across the region. Initially we started off running some holiday clubs that we targeting at school aged children whose parents / carers were in employment that left them with childcare problems during school holidays.
The success of these schemes and feedback from parents / carers led us to develop afterschool clubs. These, based predominantly in schools gave parents / carers the reassurance they needed that their children were being cared for in a safe, stimulating and fun environment. Inevitably this led on to requests for breakfast clubs – so children can be dropped off up to an hour before school starts, given breakfast, the opportunity to play or just relax before being dropped safely to their school teacher.
We also recognised that paying for this sort of care for many parents / carers (especially if there was more than one child) could prove expensive. There are plenty of schemes that exist in the private sector to cater for those in a position to afford schemes with the likes of quad bikes and swimming pools – therefore our remit is different.
Whilst affordability is key, we will not negotiate on quality of care. We might not have the quad bikes but we do offer a varied range of activities and in the holiday schemes we endeavour to offer some trips out to add variety and a special treat for everyone.
The hectic and demanding lives that many parents / carers lead just do not fit around a school day and that is why we have continued to develop and grow both our breakfast and after school clubs.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Bath YMCA ensures that any surpluses from our Extended Schools schemes are ploughed back in to the projects. However, surpluses are rare as we price our services realistically and use high staff to child ratios.
The schemes are budgeted to pay for themselves and cover their costs.
For information about our out of school club in Calne please look under Humpty Dumpty Nursery, Calne .