Tips to Choose a School Holiday Program for your Child

It's that time of the year again - school holidays are around the corner and you're looking for the best school holiday program for your child with fun-filled school holiday activities to keep them engaged and learning.

Communities@Work School Holiday Programs have been around since the 1980s, delivering school holiday activities for kids in Canberra and the surrounding ACT region, evolving with the needs of the time and the parents and families. We know exactly what goes into making a great school holiday program and our Out Of School Hours Care Manager Karen Taunton shares her tips.

“Our school holiday programs are carefully crafted to provide a range of fun and educational incursions and excursions for school-age children. The programs allow them to explore and immerse themselves in movies, magic, art, craft, science, technology, cooking, drama, music, horticulture, sustainability, sport and so much more,” says Karen.

“Families love our programs. They love the uniqueness and variety of our activities. It’s one of the things that sets us apart from other service providers because we’re providing something different,” she explains.

“Our school holiday programs are designed to give children a break from the routines of school life. They’re flexible, fun and spontaneous. They’re about play and leisure and making new friends. They offer a new adventure every day.

“Our activities are unique to Canberra because of our exclusive relationship with Fun Day Out, which sources service providers to come to Canberra to provide a range of different experiences and activities for the children that they won’t get anywhere else,” says Karen.

How to choose a School Holiday Program – Three things to look for

The recipe for a great school holiday program relies on several factors, and can also vary depending on the preference of the families and children. However, there are a few qualities that are a must-have to ensure a fantastic school holiday experience for your child:

1. Engaging School Holiday Activities For Kids 

The first thing you should look for in a school holiday program is whether your kids are getting access to a great set of fun-filled school holiday activities.

“We make sure that each school holiday we offer a new set of activities so children don’t get a repeat of the same incursions and excursions. Unless, of course, activity has been a huge hit, in which case we’ll run it again. For many activities and events, such as the circus or huge inflatable obstacle course, our children often get exclusive access due to our numbers.” ” says Karen.

This Spring, children at Communities@Work’s school holiday programs will practice landing a Royal Flying Doctor Service plane, explore the universe through telescopes and satellites, create a large-scale construction project, embark on a team scavenger hunt, take part in a hilarious interactive game show, nurture newly hatched chicks, and compete in a mini Olympics.


While the programs’ primary focus is on fun and friendships, they also incorporate important life-skill components so children build on their social and emotional skills, and learn values such as respect, kindness and acceptance.

Ultimately, school holidays are a time for kids to have fun. When choosing a program for your child, check out the programs and activities that are in store. Ensure that your child will have an enriching experience with a host of engaging, creative and learning activities, that match your child’s interests.

2. Focused Attention from Quality Educators

Qualified educators who are dedicated to the wellbeing of your child are a crucial element of a great school holiday program.

Karen understands the importance of qualified and experienced educators.

“We have such a great team of educators here at Communities@Work,” she says. “Every school holidays my heart bursts with pride to read emails from parents and carers telling us how much they love our educators.

“Families tell us about the bond their children have formed with them, how they’ve gone above and beyond to provide quality care, and how they’ve made it a safe and welcoming environment for their child.”

For Stephanie Brady, focused attention from the educators for her son Henry during the school holidays, while she took care of her newborn at home, was what made her experience with Communities@Work school holiday programs stand out.

And of course, engaging activities and the opportunity for the kids to make new friends are added benefits.

3. Convenience and Affordability 

Location and budget are always two important factors to consider when choosing a school holiday program for your child.  Ideally, you need to look for a school holiday program that is in a convenient location and offers you value for your money.

There’s also the quality of the venue itself: you want your kids to attend a school holiday program or activity at a place that’s clean, neat, organised and professionally run, with appropriate qualifications, licenses and insurances.

Communities@Work school holiday programs meet the highest standards of quality and compliance. We run our programs run across 11 locations in Canberra and the surrounding ACT region. All our school holiday activities are reasonably priced. You can also apply for child care subsidy to minimise the costs.

Communities@Work_Farmer Dave_School Holiday Program

Hear it from the Families

Over the years, Communities@Work has received beautiful feedback from families for our School Holiday Programs, across our locations in Canberra. Have a look at some of it below:

“Henry was really happy to be among new friends and to get focused attention from the wonderful educators. He would come home and proudly display his new pictures that he’d drawn up on the fridge. It made me feel so good to know he’d had a really great day where he was able to express himself, do some things he wouldn’t ordinarily get to do here at home, and get the focused attention I wouldn’t have been able to give him.” – Stephanie Brady, a parent from Narrabundah School Holiday Program (April 2020)

“I’ve been absolutely impressed with the way Communities@Work has handled the delivery of their school holiday programs during the terrible bushfire smoke we’ve been having in Canberra during January. It’s been an absolutely impossible situation for everyone, and throughout, Communities@Work has been communicative and flexible, and have kept the safety of the children as their absolutely overarching priority. I’ve appreciated the regular detailed communications about the conditions each day, the measures Communities@Work has taken to ensure the safety of the children, and the decisions that have been taken around activities to ensure the health of the children.” – Parent from Maribyrnong School Holiday Program (January 2020)

“The staff and program at your ANU school holiday program have been excellent. My two children went yesterday for the first time and said everything was brilliant. They loved the incursion with Farmer Dave, the “teachers” were all wonderful and they’ve each made a bunch of new friends.” – Parent from ANU School Holiday Program (2019)

About Communities@Work School Holiday Programs

As the largest provider of children’s services in Canberra, Communities@Work delivers high quality, engaging, inclusive and fun before and after school care through its 11 school holiday programs and 15 out of school hours care services.

Our qualified educators collaborate with children to ensure play, leisure and recreational activities are both safe and meaningful. With a focus on fun, Communities@Work School Holiday Programs will encourage your children to meet and make new friends, explore new experiences and develop a lifelong love for learning. From themed days, art and craft, cooking, drama, sport, and science, our activities programs cater to an array of children’s needs and interests with professionalism, dedication, and care.

If you choose Communities@Work School Holiday Programs, you will have peace of mind knowing your child is in safe hands and enjoying an exciting new adventure every day. Communities@Work is recognised as a leader in the education and care sector in the Canberra region, committed to providing quality care for children. We operate 12 child care centres as well as Family Day Care and In-Home Care services, alongside the Out of School Hours Care services and School Holiday Programs.

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