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Breakfast and afterschool clubs

Most primary schools now operate an ‘extended day’. This means they offer care and education services for children from 8am - 6pm, either within the school or in partnership with other local organisations.

Before school: Breakfast Clubs (sometimes known as Early Bird clubs) offer breakfast and play or leisure activities usually starting at 8am. These usually cost between 50p and £2 a session and are now offered by many schools.

After school: Each school runs a range of activity clubs 1 day a week, for example sports, mathematics, drama, dance, usually until 4.30pm. These may vary over the course of the year. There are many free activities, some are charged. Ask your school office for more information. Schools also offer play centres or childcare, where your child can play with friends and experience a range of fun activities until 6pm, supported by qualified and experienced playworkers. (Sometimes this is called an “afterschool club”, which is confusing as it is often the same name that it is used for the free one day a week clubs above). These cost between £3 and £9 a session (usually £5). If the school links with a local organisation to provide this service, then staff will escort the children between the school and their centre.

Holiday playschemes

There are various holiday playschemes during the half terms, Easter and summer holidays where you can send your child while you are at work. They cost between £5 and £33 a day. We will publish more information about these schemes about 8 weeks before summer, 4 weeks before Easter and 3 weeks before half term holidays.

Things to do

We have lots of free and cheap activities for your children to do during the holidays. There is free swimming for children at Hackney pools (not the Lido) and parks, libraries and museums all have free activities during the holidays. Children can also visit their local adventure playground.

Adventure playgrounds

An adventure playground is a space dedicated to children’s play. Skilled Playworkers are on hand to encourage and make possible access to the widest range of play opportunities and experiences; from swinging, climbing and digging to building dens, cooking and painting.

The adventure playgrounds are free to enter and children can come and go as they choose. They are usually open after school, on Saturdays and in the holidays, and accept children aged from 6 to 15 years.

List of Adventure Playgrounds

  • Apples and Pears Adventure Playground
    Pearson Street, E2 8EL
    Tel: 020 7729 6062
  • Evergreen Adventure Playground
    Beehive Close, Off Richmond Road E8 3JT
    Tel: 020 7275 9004
  • Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground
    Daubeney Fields (off Kingsmead Way), E9 5PP
    Tel: 020 8986 7245
  • Homerton Grove Adventure Playground
    Wardle Street E9 5QG
    Tel: 020 8985 9202
  • KIDS Adventure Playground Hackney
    Spring Lane, Big Hill, Clapton E5 9HQ
    (Open to all if places available, but priority given to children with special needs)
    Tel: 020 8806 6149
    Web: KIDS website
  • Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground
    Shakespeare Walk, N16 8TL
    Tel: 020 7249 8405
  • Shoreditch Adventure Playground
    Mintern Street N1 5EF
    Tel: 020 7729 3770