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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Holiday Camp Provider

Updated: Apr 12

group of children having fun at a holiday camp


At Essex Professional Coaching we understand it can be a daunting and uneasy prospect choosing a safe and suitable childcare provider for your kids during the school holiday periods. This blog post will share some of the key aspects you should be considering when leaving your most prized possessions with a camp provider for the first time to make you help an informed choice and put your mind at ease.

1. Provider reputation and recommendation

A quick internet search for your area will more than likely highlight multiple options, and a good place to start filtering out providers is to begin by gathering recommendations from friends, family and other parents of children who may have experienced provision previously. Word of mouth is one of the strongest ways to whittle down the choices as most parents wouldn’t recommend a provider that they wouldn’t send their children to themselves.

All reputable providers will be sure to use some of kind of review platform such as Trustpilot, Facebook or Google reviews which will give you an indication of what other parents have to say about their experiences. Providers using these platforms suggest a confidence in their product and service and obviously welcome parent feedback – both positives so be sure to spend time reviewing this in your decision-making process.

Another question to consider for parents – is the provision childcare registered? The Ofsted framework guarantees that all registered providers adhere to comprehensive safeguarding and child protection procedures to ensure a safe camp experience for your child. Ofsted registered providers are inspected regularly to ensure standards are met and must ensure that all members of camp are DBS certified and also have to follow strict guidelines on risk assessments, first aid application and insurances. They will also accept childcare vouchers for registered venues and if eligible, this will enable parents to save money using the tax-free childcare scheme – result!

Two boys playing nerf gun wars

2. Type and range of activities on offer

The great thing about the large number of different holiday camp providers operating now is that there is a wide range of choices available for parents to pick from, and an even wider range of activities for children to get involved with.

At Essex Professional Coaching’s Holiday Camps we offer both football and activity camps. Whether you have a football-mad little one or a child who enjoys a range of different activities from arts & crafts to specific sports, then you can trust there is something for everyone and they’ll create memories that last a lifetime in a safe, Ofsted registered environment.

However if the above isn’t your child’s thing, fear not there are lots of excellent alternative providers offering different activities. Active Essex provide a regular updated list of activities to help parents discover what’s available locally during the holidays right across the county.

Ultimately, it’s about knowing your child and taking them to a camp provider that delivers activities that suit their interests and that they enjoy taking part in.

3. Holiday Camp Timings

If you work full time or have other activities planned for the school holiday periods, then it’s vital your chosen provider offers flexibility with the timings of the day and the duration of your booking. Can I book single days? Drop my children off early? Pick them up late? Arrange for another adult to pick them up? These are all questions worth finding the answer to upon an initial enquiry with a provider either over the phone or through the help of a handy webpage like our FAQ’s. 

A group of children at a football camp

4. Staff qualifications and experience

We all want the best for our children, so why should this be any different when they attend a holiday camp setting? As a minimum, sports coaches involved in delivery should all hold a Level 2 national governing body qualification, be first aid trained, DBS cleared and have received sufficient training and experience in working with children of the age range that the provision is relevant for.  

The highest quality and most experienced providers recognise that managing holiday camps successfully and ensuring the children are engaged and have fun throughout is a big task, which is why they will often have a member of staff lead and oversee each camp day to deal with any unexpected incidents. Consider whether this takes place at your chosen setting and whether or not you are greeted by the same faces upon arrival or does this change from one camp to the next?

A girl taking part in arts & crafts

5. Health and safety provision

And last, but by no means least, and possibly even first on the agenda should be attaining details of the providers health and safety preparation for camp activities. If you are going to leave your children for the day you want to feel safe in the knowledge that the provider you are using takes maintaining the health and safety of your child as their number one priority. Does the provider use a booking system that has all the relevant contact details for you in the case of emergency? Has their camp risk assessment been shared with you? Are they insured to carry out the activities that will take place on the day?

If the providers you have researched are cheaper in comparison, consider what level of service they are offering as like most things in life generally speaking you get what you pay for from a price perspective.


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