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.
Breakfast Clubs (sometimes known as Early Bird clubs) offer breakfast and play or leisure activities usually starting at 8am. These usually cost between £1 and £4 a session and are now offered by many schools.
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 £4 and £15 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.
Please note: In light of COVID-19, the Government has produced guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings
There are various holiday playschemes available during the school holidays, where you can send your child while you are at work. They are open to children aged from four to twelve years old, but may cater to older children.
The next holiday playscheme that's run by Hackney Education, will be during the easter holidays. Find out more about the Hackney Education easter playscheme.
Choosing a safe setting for your child
Many parents use extra-curricular clubs, tuition centres and other out-of-school settings to support their child’s development and will want to ensure that they are able to attend these settings safely.
The DfE has published new guidance for parents and carers to help them choose a safe setting for their child. It provides suggested questions for parents and carers to ask providers on child protection and health and safety, as well as positive signs and red flags to look out for when visiting a setting. The guidance aims to reduce the number of children who attend settings where they are at risk by equipping parents to take a proactive approach in choosing settings with good safeguarding practices in place.
View the DfE guidance:
- Questions to help parents and carers choose out-of-school settings (PDF)
- Guidance on choosing safe out-of-school settings (PDF)
If you have a concern about the safety of your child at an out-of-school setting then a member of the Hackney Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) will be happy to discuss your concerns with you. Call 020 8356 5500 Monday to Friday (9am-5pm) or 020 8356 2710 outside of these hours.
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.
- Visit the Young Hackney website to find out more
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
- Evergreen Adventure Playground
Beehive Close, Off Richmond Road E8 3JT
020 7275 9004 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground
Daubeney Fields (off Kingsmead Way), E9 5PP
020 8986 7245 or email@example.com
Children aged under the age of 6 supervised by an accompanying adult at all time are welcome as guests between 10am - 3pm only
- Homerton Grove Adventure Playground
Wardle Street E9 5QG
020 8985 9202 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- KIDS Adventure Playground Hackney
Spring Lane, Big Hill, Clapton E5 9HQ
(Referrals are needed from the Social Care Team - Integrated Services for Children with Disabilities)
020 8806 6149
- Pearson Street Adventure Playground
Pearson Street, E2 8EL
- Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground
Shakespeare Walk, N16 8TL
020 7249 8405 or email@example.com
- Shoreditch Adventure Playground
Mintern Street N1 5EF
020 7729 3770 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Information Service
The Hackney Family Information Service (FIS) offers free, impartial advice and information on childcare, paying for childcare, funded places for 2-4 year olds as well as information and advice on local services and activities for children and families.
- Telephone 020 8820 7590, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
- email email@example.com
- Visit the FIS Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages
- View the FIS leaflet (PDF)
Other help and support
Hackney Local offer: Hackney's Local Offer website sets out information about services and support available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) who are aged 0 to 25. It also offers more general information on childcare and family support.
- Go to the Local Offer website