I always find the holidays a double-edged sword – the more relaxed pace of life and the lack of school run is lovely, but on the flipside, those dreaded words start being uttered: ‘I’m booooooooored!’
At nearly nine and 11 years old, the girls are in that ‘in-between’ age; they’re old enough to want to fill their days with something fun and exciting, but not old enough yet to venture very far on their own. I work through the holidays – albeit at a scaled-back pace – so I simply don’t have time to entertain them all day, every day.
More recently I’ve been relying on day clubs and workshops to fill in some of the days, giving the girls a fun day out and me a break to get some work done.
Earlier in the year, the girls had the opportunity to spend the day at the Barracudas Kids’ Activity Camp, and they’re still talking about how much fun they had. BARRACUDAS have been running kids’ holiday camps for 26 years, and now have locations all over the UK.
I was thrilled to find there was one just a few minutes up the road from us, set up on the grounds of a local school. It was just so easy – I drove the girls onto the grounds, where it was a short walk to the registration area.
As I waved the girls off I collected a card to show at the other end of the day, as well as a password to quote when picking them up. Seeing how seriously they were taking child safety and security made me feel even more comfortable entrusting the girls to the care of the Barracudas staff.
When I returned to pick them up later that day they came out exhausted, but grinning from ear to ear. ‘It was SO GOOD!’ they told me, as they told me all the activities they’d taken part in, including go-karting, swimming, arts and crafts and dodgeball. No wonder they were tired!
But it wasn’t just the professionalism and wide range of activities I loved about Barracudas, it was also the flexibility and convenience.
You can drop off anytime between 8.30 and 9.30, and pick up between 4.30 and 5.30 (there’s also the option to pay a little bit extra to drop off at 8am and pick up at 6pm). You can sign up for one single day, or for weeks at a time (perfect for full-time working parents). Our local camp worked out as little as £40 per child per day, or £164 for the entire week (which is £32.80 per child, per day).
It’s fantastic value for summer holiday childcare (the day rate works out as little as £4.50 per hour, per child, the weekly rate as low as £3.65 per hour) but, still, it’s a chunk to have to carve out of your summer budget ahead of time. Which is why I was also impressed to find out Barracudas offer a couple of payment options – as well as paying in full when you book, you can also secure your place with a deposit and pay it off in instalments; you can even put your childcare vouchers towards the balance.
Happy kids AND a happy mum… I’d call that a win-win!
Find out more about Barracudas kids’ holiday camps: www.barracudas.co.uk