Holiday clubs rare as hens’ teeth for disabled kids


A survey of parents and carers for disabled children has found that only four per cent have been able to find holiday clubs which meet their needs this summer.


The Disabled Children’s Partnership surveyed parents of 2,000 disabled children and young people and 1,900 siblings in July. Over 80 per cent of respondents said that they would like to find a holiday club for their disabled child during the six-week break. Most wanted to enable their child to socialise with other children: some 77 per cent gave this as their primary reason for seeking holiday club places; while around 40 per cent wanted to use the time to work or study. 

Only 10 per cent had found something suitable; even fewer (four per cent) had found provision to meet days and hours they need. 

The lack of holiday clubs is particularly hard for families with disabled children who have no informal childcare arrangements. Playdates are just not an option. 27% of families did say they would be tag-teaming with their partner or extended family, but for children with high care needs, family and friends can’t step in. 

In addition, disabled children need structure and routine to maintain sensory regulation which helps reduce anxiety and challenging behaviour.  When structure is absent, disabled children’s needs may increase not just in the home but also upon their return to school.   

The Disabled Children’s Partnership represents a growing coalition of over 100 organisations campaigning for better health and social care for disabled children.

You can read the full report here.

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