Holiday and Wraparound Club Celebrates 21st Birthday
Monday, 17 January 2022
2022 sees Kidzone, Bolton School’s wraparound and childcare facility, celebrate its ‘coming of age’ party. Founded in 2001, the club, which caters for children aged 4-11 years, is celebrating its 21st birthday this year.
Reflecting on the past couple of decades, manager Laura Smith said: ‘These are exciting times for Kidzone. Whilst many local clubs have closed during the pandemic, we are still going strong. We pride ourselves on delivering a consistently high level of childcare and a home-from-home atmosphere. We certainly seem to be attracting more and more young children; our Breakfast Club for Bolton School children is as busy as it has ever been. Whilst we have had one or two name changes over the years, we have remained in the same building, in the heart of the School campus. In recent times we shared our premises with the Foundation’s Pre-School Class but with their move to Beech House last Term, we now have exclusive use of the building again! We have introduced a range of new toys, which children have been enjoying and they simply love the games room. A number of renovations are planned for the building, particularly downstairs, as we seek to relaunch later this year in order to provide another 20 years of childcare expertise.
‘Feedback tell us that our offer is highly appreciated by busy, working parents. During Term time, Bolton School children from our Infant School and two Junior Schools make use of our service. We run for 50 weeks per year, opening our doors at 7.30am when children can enjoy breakfast with us before we escort them to school for 8.30am. At the end of the day, girls and boys are collected from post-school activities such as chess, swimming, sewing, judo, water polo, dance and drama and they can stay with us until 6.00pm. They enjoy a healthy snack and there are organised activities offered at every after-school session – popular activities at the moment are sports, crafts, baking and decoration-making.
‘During holiday periods, we are open to children from across the borough and besides our own amenities, we make full use of the School’s facilities such as the Sports Hall, swimming pool, tennis courts, gym and the playing fields. In recent years, we have steadily upped our STEM activities, which, along with fun competitions, have proved popular with the children. Parents can choose to place their child with us all day from 7.30am-6.00pm or for a morning or afternoon session.
‘One of our greatest assets is our dedicated and experienced staff. They were praised in our last Ofsted inspection, which said: “staff inspire children with creative spaces to explore”, the report went on to say that “staff are extremely well organised” and “work as a team to plan activities around the interests of the children.” Our staff certainly know the children and their routines well and are all well versed in early years’ settings, youth work, childcare, education and child development. Louise Haworth, who has a degree in Art and Child Studies, is our Senior Playcare Worker and has been doing some exciting work with girls and boys to create a celebratory mural for our wall. There is lots of help and guidance on hand for children; we employ seven after-school staff during term-time and these are supported by our additional holiday staff who return during vacation periods.’
A parent, Mrs S, said of Kidzone: 'The most organised and efficient I have ever come across. We always feel the children are safe and cared for.’
Five year old J summed up the thoughts of many of the attendees: ‘I love Kidzone, I like having fun with my friends’.
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