Too old for childcare? How old is old enough to stay home?

Too old for childcare? How old is old enough to stay home?

With the summer holidays fast approaching so too comes the need for parents and carers to seek holiday care provision. Living in the Stanway area there is nothing locally for families of the community but specifically for young people!

As a mum myself, I have had to search for childcare options that wont break the bank but will also provide a safe, welcoming environment with some great activities for my own children.  We have been very lucky to have both sets of our parents locally, so our children can spend precious time with their Grandparents and Grandparents with their Grandchildren….which also translates as….we get some free childcare!! But we don’t all have Grandparents on our doorstep and our parents cant have our children all day everyday of the holidays so I created Active Stars Holiday Club for this exact reason!

With the cost of living increasing and the minimum wage topping out at only a shocking £8.21 per hour, I strive to achieve exceptional childcare from only £3.57 per hour meaning not all your hard earned pennies needs to go on the cost of childcare.

The average family has 1.9 children so we try to cover as much of a broad age range as possible offering children, tweens and teens time away from screens and getting into active, educational and fun games and activities.  Currently our youngest age group, Little Stars, is open to children aged 4-6 years,  with our other Star groups Rising Stars for 7-9 years olds and our Creative Stars and Sports Stars both aged 10-13 years.  But when it comes to age 13 upwards, do you still need childcare? What age can children stay home alone? How old is old enough? Well there isn’t really a right answer!

The Government and NSPCC state that “The law doesn’t say an age when you can leave a child on their own, but it’s an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.

Use your judgement on how mature your child is before you decide to leave them alone, eg at home or in a car.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says:

  • children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time
  • children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight
  • babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone

At Active Stars we can offer that piece of mind and security in our Future Stars group for ages 13-16 years, definitely not childcare!! Future Stars is for Stars aged 13-16 years who don’t need looking after, but opportunities to challenge themselves, train, build confidence and boost self-esteem.  Our Future Stars start on a Bronze Star Award 1 and can progress onto Bronze Star 2 and 3 awards.

My own background lies predominantly within early years education but also in teaching childcare and supporting teaching and learning apprenticeships to school aged children and school leavers.  With this, I have created an amazing programme to allow Future Stars to add to their CV and future course progression.  I always knew I wanted to work with children and after leaving school, was desperate to get into work to build on my experience, but when your faced with the question, can you tell me about your experience? As a young person with 0 years or even months experience there wasn’t much I could do!

My tailored programme at Active Stars allows young people to not only build a portfolio to learn and achieve, they choose an age group to train in, are mentored by their group leader to boost their learning and development and train to become one of the team!

Work has already begun on our Silver and Gold Star awards which will be available from 2020 ready for those returning Future Stars to continue to work on and we are excited for the opportunities this can lead to for those aspiring young people.

We are open all throughout the six weeks summer holidays and all half term breaks (excluding Christmas) only at The Stanway School Colchester, a great school that is a trusted and respected member of the local community  and has recently undergone significant expansion to offer further opportunities to their students.

For more information about us at Active Stars Holiday Club and our Star groups available to book for the upcoming school holidays, please visit