Half-term holiday clubs: what’s the worst that could happen?

Author: DAS Law

Date: 20/10/2016

Disappointed childFinding childcare during the school holidays can be a nightmare, especially during October half-term week with annual leave running low for many working parents. This leads many to book their children into half-term holiday clubs, leaving strangers in charge of your children.

This solution may still cause even the most prepared and well-researched parents a problem. Numerous scenarios can arise, from your child getting injured or the club cancelling at the last moment, to every parent’s nightmare, your child point-blank refusing to go! Leading legal expenses insurer DAS has issued advice on this and other problems which may arise.


One of the biggest concerns for all parents is their child being injured. If this happens to your child, the holiday club could be liable if there has been negligence on their part; for example, from lack of supervision or a dangerous venue. Any injury could result in a personal injury claim that the parent or guardian could look to pursue through legal proceedings.

If the club is regulated by OFSTED / Estyn you could report the incident to them to investigate. Depending on the circumstances you may also be able to get a refund.

Cancellation rights

If your child decides he or she simply does not like the half-term club you’ve paid for or agreed to pay for, you are not automatically entitled to a refund.  You should first check any terms that the club has. However, if you can show there has been negligence or breach of contract, you may well be eligible for a refund.

If the holiday club is cancelled, a full refund should generally be given as the service you have paid for cannot be supplied. Be aware though that some clubs may have a clause within their terms which exclude refunds for cancellations for reasons beyond the club’s control.

The club isn’t what you expected

If a holiday club does not live up to your or your child’s expectations then getting a refund may be difficult. If however, there were elements not provided or totally different from what was advertised, you could argue misrepresentation or breach of contract and seek a refund or partial refund.

Misrepresentation would occur if you were told something factual or there is something factual advertised, and this fact induced you to enter into the contract with the holiday club, and it then later turns out to be untrue.  If the club then refuses the refund you could look to pursue legal action through the small claims court, providing that the value is under £10,000.

If you experience any issues similar to these you should check your household insurance to see if you have any legal expenses insurance provided within the policy. 

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