I think that the play centre provision now available in Tower Hamlets is totally inadequate and actually discriminates against those for whom the Education Authority is supposed to be catering for, the poor and low earners. Those who usually send their children to local authority schools.
I have worked out that taking all costs into account it costs a benefit recipient £220 to send a child for 25 days during the summer holidays that includes £4 per day entry, £2 bus (the centre is not local), £2 for packed lunch and £20 (estimate) for extra outing costs.
For a working parent the cost rises to £ 370 for 25 days, taking it costs £10 per day to get in. Can anyone on a low income afford those prices or are the poor and low earners priced out of sending their kids to a local play centre?
During term time it costs a benefit recipient £5 per term and 20p a day to get in, why raise the price so high during the holidays? No wonder the demand is so low that play centre provision during holidays had to be cut to 2 schools.
Children don’t just want to go for a day or 2 per week, they feel punished and left out when they are told, sorry can’t afford to send you each day. Children form relationships during those 3 1/2 weeks of holiday play centre and it would be counterproductive to send them only a day or 2 because parents can’t afford it more often. Children may also miss out on outings, as one has to pre-book dates in advance.
Those play centre costs may also prevent parents from taking on a job simply because they cannot afford the play centre fees.
When my children were small they could visit their local school for a very low price and they were happy to be looked after and play games with other children under professional care and it was fun and kept them off the streets.