Summer holiday clubs: what’s the worst that could happen?

Posted on 18 Jul 2017

Summer holiday clubs: what’s the worst that could happen?

Advice bulletin for parents from DAS

Finding childcare during the school holidays can be a nightmare, especially during the six week long summer break with annual leave running low for many working parents.  This leads many to book their children into summer 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, the club cancelling at the last moment or, you child point-blank refusing to go!  Leading legal expenses insurer and law firm 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 you, 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.

If your child decides he or she simply does not like the summer club you’ve paid for or agreed to pay for, you are not automatically entitled to a refund.  You should first check the terms and conditions 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 then generally a full refund should 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.

If a holiday club does not live up to you 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, then you could argue misrepresentation or breach of contract and seek a refund or partial refund. Misrepresentation would occur if a person is told something factual or there is something factual advertised, and that 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 if 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.