Holiday scheme under threat as crunch bites

Winslow Buzz Club got an outstanding rating from Ofsted.Staff celebrate with Children's Representatives from the left,Ollie Thomas,Luke Lawton,Lucy Ray-Chaudhuri and Madeleine Thomas.'101019M-F728

Winslow Buzz Club got an outstanding rating from Ofsted.Staff celebrate with Children's Representatives from the left,Ollie Thomas,Luke Lawton,Lucy Ray-Chaudhuri and Madeleine Thomas.'101019M-F728

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WINSLOW’S after-school and breakfast club for children will not be able to run its summer holiday play scheme this year if sufficient numbers don’t sign up for the Easter holiday play scheme.

Buzz Club manager Ruth Slater says she seen numbers decline as the recession kicks in. Ms Slater told the Advertiser the number of children attending the club’s after-school sessions has halved from a high of about 30 children per session a year ago.

Since last September, numbers at the club, which is on the Winslow Combined School site, have dropped from an average of 24 to about 14 per session.

She said the recession had affected the club in a number of ways. In some cases, grandparents have been made redundant, so the parents are now able to use them for childcare.

Some parents have chosen to job share rather than lose their jobs. And Ms Slater said a lot of parents are starting to work round the school day to reduce the cost of childcare.

“Often it’s by using a friend or friends,” she said.

“Instead of coming to us automatically, they only come to us when they haven’t got anyone else to turn to.”

Sadly, this affects the viability of the club for parents who do still need childcare.

Ms Slater said it is no longer viable for the club to run at half terms or after school on Fridays and she has had to cut down on staff.

And she warned that the club’s summer holiday playscheme is under threat.

She said: “The playscheme won’t run in the summer unless Easter at least breaks even.”

The Buzz Club operates a variety of before and after-school care options, including a breakfast club from 7.30am with a full cooked breakfast for £3,95.

Parents who don’t need the whole session can drop their children off for 8.15am, to be taken to school.

The club also operates a collection service for registered customers who need a child picking up from school, for just £1.50 for up to 20 minutes.

“Parents just have to text,” said Ms Slater. “We’re trying to be as flexible as possible.”

For more information email ruthbuzzclub@yahoo.com