RBF provides both OFSTED registered childcare and a wide variety of other activities during school holidays. You can find out all about our approach and the unique way that we deliver school holiday provision on this page.

If you would be interested in RBF providing OFSTED registered or other school holiday activities in your location, please contact


RBF cares passionately about ensuring that every child is able to explore and fulfil their potential. As such, in offering school holiday care as part of our OFSTED registered provision and other school holiday activities, we look to create an exciting and engaging environment where children are free to choose activities and resources as they wish as well as enjoying more structured time together. Activities on any given day may include performing arts, craft, board games, construction, messy science, computer games, sports, reading, exciting team challenges, physical play, cookery, inflatables, nerf wars... to name just a few!

Each week is themed according to what is happening in the wider world combined with a core question or thought that is being explored across all of RBF's work, and we regularly ask the children about ideas, topics and activities they would like to explore resulting in a program that varies from Harry Potter to Saving the Oceans and activities from baking and football to making slime and explording volcanoes!

RBF school holiday provisions also benefit from the fact that they are part of a much wider group of projects for children led by the charity, so we have access to trained, skilled practitioners in a wide variety of fields whose talents can be shared with the children who take part.


Washing Hands

RBF has been involved in delivering services to families throughout the lockdown period, including caring for keyworker children, detached work with young people on the streets and much more. As such, we are well practised at running COVID Secure settings and you can be certain we will do our utmost to comply with all guidance and best practice, including:

  • Keeping children in 'bubbles';

  • Practising social distancing wherever possible;

  • Regular handwashing throughout the day;

  • Enhanced cleaning procedures;

  • Avoiding activities like singing which has been proven to potentially be a mechanism where COVDI19 can be spread;

  • Moving activities outdoors where space/weather permits.

Finally, we would remind all parents/carers that if their child, anyone in the child's household or social bubble develops any of the COVID19 symptoms they must not attend the provision and must inform RBF of the results of their COVID19 test.

In the event that a child has to self-isolate due to a positive COVID19 diagnosis or under instructions from NHS Track & Trace, no refunds will be available at paid activities unless we can fill the space with a family from our waiting list. In the event that NHS Track & Trace/Public Health inform us that our provision has to close, refunds will be made available for sessions not delivered.


We know that all families want to spend as much time together as they can during the holidays, but we also know that work commitments do not stop when term ends and how important it is to give children a wide variety of experiences during the break so they get to see old friends (and make new ones) as well as spending time with their parents, carers and siblings.


Autumn 2021 Arrangements: ESSEX (Children in Reception and Above Only)

RBF is delighted to be working with Active Essex, Essex County Council and the Department for Education to offer provision as part of "Essex ActivAte" - their flagship Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) program. Due to the way that the HAF program is funded, we are only able to offer places to families who fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Where families require activities for their child to attend so they can work (not just keyworkers - all jobs - also includes homeworkers);

  2. Where families require activities for their child to attend so they can search for new work, undertake education or training, attend a medical appointment or a support group;

  3. Where families are eligible for Free School Meals or where a family has been affected financially by COVID19 (e.g., furlough, reduced hours, job loss, etc.);

  4. Where children have been adversely affected by COVID19 (e.g., bereavement, loneliness, etc.)

As such, when you follow the registration link you will be applying for a place, but we will not immediately confirm your place until we are sure you are currently eligible and we can accommodate your child's particular needs within the setting in light of the current restrictions. In addition, where clubs are oversubscribed, we will be giving preference to families in Category 3.

Once we have confirmed that we have an appropriate place available in one of our 'bubbles', we will send you a confirmation, usually within 72 hours. If you have any questions about the booking process, or have not heard from us within three days of booking, please contact

Places tend to be booked up very quickly, so book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. If your childcare needs change, please let us know as early as possible as even though this provision is free to families we may be able to offer your place another family on our waiting list - please tell us at least 24 hours in advance if you are going to be unable to attend any days booked.

Please click here to apply for a place at our Waltham Abbey holiday club

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Available Sessions:

MONDAY 25th OCTOBER to Friday 29th OCTOBER

10-2pm daily 




contact holiday@RBF.ORG.UK WITH ANY QUERIES.


The food we provide is healthy and includes fresh fruit and vegetables. In normal times, we like to promote independence by encouraging the children to be involved in preparing their own food and to clear away after themselves and each other. At the moment, this is not possible to achieve in a COVID secure way so lunches will be provided for the children. We will still engage children in other cookery activities where we can.

We follow statutory guidelines on food preparation including training all appropriate staff to at least Level 2 in Food Safety. Fresh drinking water is available at all times and we meet individual dietary requirements and parental preferences where it is possible to do so.


We recognise the importance of healthy nutrition for children delivered in a calm, friendly setting and in line with current guidance the children will be eating outside wherever possible.

Snacks are usually fruit/vegetable based.



The RBF trustees have made a limited number of 'Foundation Places' available at our paid for Holiday Clubs allowing us to offer reduced rates in certain circumstances in order that as many families as possible no matter what their financial background are able to access our provision.


If you would like to apply for a Foundation place, please contact Please note that Foundation Places do not automatically transfer from term time to holiday time places or from one holiday club to the next so need to be applied for each time your child registers for our holiday clubs. Each application is assessed against the current demand for places, the level of hardship being experienced by the families who have applied and whether an RBF setting is the best place for the children's needs to be met.

To minimise the risk of transmission of COVID19, we request that all families ensure that they socially distance from one another while waiting to drop off or collect, observing floor markings and using the gates indicated on the email inviting you to join the provision. 

All parents/carers will be given a telephone number that connects directly to the on-site team solely for use to let them know if you are running early/late for collection on their child’s first day in the provision.

We understand that sometimes little brothers and sisters take a long time to get out of the house or that every traffic light seems stuck on red, but our staff have their own families that they need to get home to and other children who need their attention. Therefore, if you are more than 5 minutes late to collect your child, there will be a charge of £10. For each subsequent minute, there will be a further charge of £1. Non-payment of late fees may result in your child’s place being withdrawn.


Please be aware, in accordance with our Safeguarding Policy we have to make a report to Social Care with regard to children who are persistently not collected in a timely way from RBF activities that they are attending.


RBF is a Christian organisation and our activities are of course open to children and families of all faiths and those with no particular beliefs. There are faith-based elements in most of the sessions that we deliver. For example, there might be a 'Bible Story of the Week' which children can choose to engage with, in our reading corner there may be books containing Bible stories and we will say grace or have a moment to 'pause and think' before our meals. In our entire time operating as a charity we have never had a complaint from a parent/carer about a faith based element in our sessions and we are proud to have had families from every major world faith as well as atheists and humanists take part in our provisions through the years.

We actively encourage children from other faiths or those who hold no particular beliefs to share what is important to them with the rest of the group and would ask that if, for example, a family is about to celebrate a particular festival at home that they let our team know so we can talk to their child about it and encourage them to share it with the rest of the group. If you would like to discuss this aspect of our Holiday Club provision further, please contact



If you feel like a Red Balloon Holiday Club would be right for your child you can apply for a place...

You will be able to request the places you need and then if we have space available one of team will be in touch to have a chat with you about how we can make the Holiday Club a brilliant experience for your child.


Where you are attending activities where payment is due, you will then receive an invoice for your place by email which must be paid at latest five days before the first day your child is attending either by secure debit/credit card, PayPal or Childcare Voucher otherwise your place will be offered to next family on our waiting list. Please note that all activities are running during the Autumn Half Term 2021 are FREE.

If you would like to apply for a Foundation Place, please apply in the same way and indicate your Foundation Request on the form.

Many families can access support with childcare costs from the government (replacing the old 'childcare voucher' schemes) - check to see if you are eligible.

Booking status for our current Holiday Care provisions is as follows:

Waltham Abbey Autumn Half Term 2021: OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

Depending on numbers of children attending each day, the club will always have between three or more RBF staff members in attendance. Our staff hold all of the relevant qualifications/experience to work in an OFSTED registered setting and are part of a wider team who deliver hundreds of hours of children’s work every week. Please note if your child is in Reception they will be allocated a Key Worker who will have responsibility for ensuring your child can access all of the provision fully and who you will be able to contact directly if you so wish to discuss their time with us at Holiday Club. Please note that Easter 2021 provision is for Year 1 and above only.



RBF have a full set of policies and procedures around Safeguarding of Children, Health & Safety, etc., that are all tried and tested as we work with thousands of children every year. We hold full Public Liability Insurance up to £10,000,000. Parents/carers who secure a place at the Club will be given access to our policy pack on request. 


It is essential that if your child is not attending the Club on day they are booked to be with that you phone the RBF office (020 3086 8186) to let us know. No refunds are available for bookings cancelled less than 10 days in advance.