21/07/2010 08:07 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Summer Childcare: Camps

If you're looking for childcare for the summer, ParentDish has put together a series of childcare guides to give you all the best options. Check out our guide to summer childcare camps below.

What is a summer camp?

A summer camp is a programme of activities for children, supervised by a number of adults. Children can either visit just during the daytime or as a residential stay for the whole summer.

Best for

Children aged 11-18. Can be costly, so better for working households if local childcare is unavailable.

Amanda Coxon of Tinies, the UK's leading Childcare agency says "This is a good fun resource for older children, particularly if you find ones with lots of unusual activities that your child has never tried before, and where their friends may also be going. However, they can be very expensive and children may struggle at first from being away from home. "

  • Children learn a lot of new skills and get plenty of opportunities to try new sports and activities.
  • Can encourage independence.
  • A great break for you!


  • Costs. If you go for long-term residential, it can be really expensive. Playschemes, which are only attended during the day, are usually much more affordable.
  • Children may encounter home sickness. They may also prefer to spend the summer seeing their friends


Prices vary wildly depending on how long the kids attend, if they stay overnight, and their age.

Useful Links

Your local council should also have a list of summer camps and activities.
Summerfun4kids: The UK Directory for summer holiday camps and courses.

Tomorrow: swapping with friends

Have you used camps as childcare? How was it? Any tips for families considering this option?