How have after-school clubs adapted in the United Kingdom post-March lockdown?
Keywords:After-school club, Lockdown, COVID-19, Play
After-school clubs have provided an important childcare service for parents and carers where children are provided with an environment to play once the school day has finished. When the United Kingdom went into lockdown in March 2020, all children’s services closed that included the childcare provision of after-school clubs. When they re-opened in between July and September 2020, changes had to be implemented to meet Government restrictions. This study from 54 respondents working in the childcare sector identified changes within four themes: maintain service; bubbles; play space and play behaviour. This has resulted in an increase hygiene measures, staffing and amount of space for individual children, however, there is a decreased in the number of children attending, the resources and activities on offer and movement within the place space. Although after-school childcare is still being offered, there is financial concern on their viability and sustainability as parental demand may drop which has implications in providing a unique environment where children of different ages and abilities mix.
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