3. Drivers and barriers for attending activities
In order to improve future holiday provision, the research aimed to understand why parents used the organised activities for children and what were the potential barriers for participation.
Reasons for participation
Parents were asked about the motivations for their children attending the organised activities they went to over the summer. The most common reasons given by parents were because:
- they thought it would be good for their wellbeing (77%)
- they thought the child/children would enjoy it (75%)
- the child/children wanted to go (74%) and;
- they wanted their child/children to spend time with other children (73%).
QSummer3. Which, if any, of the following were reasons why your child attended the organised activities or holiday clubs they went to this summer?
Base (all participants with at least one child who took part in organised summer activities): 282
The reasons given for attending activities were relatively consistent across subgroups. There was, however, some variation in motivations relating to the family's income. Those in the top and middle income brackets were most likely to have been motivated to use organised summer activities to allow them or their partner to work (14% of households with an income up to £25,999 a year reported allowing them to work/study was a motivating factor, compared to 44% of those earning £26,000-£47,999).
Families with up to two dependent children were more likely to use activities to allow parents to work when compared to larger families (33% of parents with 1-2 children reported work/study as a reason for attendance compared to 14% of families with 3+ children).
Barriers to participation
When children had not participated in free or low-cost summer activities, parents were asked about the main reasons for not taking part.
The most common barriers reported were around lack of awareness (33%) and child/children not being interested in activities (24%).
Concerns about Covid-19 transmission was also a commonly reported barrier with just under one in five (18%) parents whose child/children had not participated in any activities reporting that this was one of the main reasons.
Some parents also reported barriers around timings and accessibility:
- 13% stated that the timings did not suit
- 12% stated that activities were not accessible for their child's needs
- A small number (5%) stated that activities were too expensive
Levels of people reporting their or their child's physical or mental health or disability preventing them from participating was low with 3% of respondents giving this as one of the main reasons their child did not take part.
Lack of awareness was particularly an issue for:
- Larger families (44% of parents with three or more dependent children reported being unaware of any activities compared to 34% of parents with up to two dependent children)
- Those in the most deprived areas (41% of those in the lowest SIMD quintile compared to 32% of those in the least deprived)
Those on lower incomes and living in more deprived areas by SIMD quintile reported more issues around activities not being accessible.
- 20% of those in the most deprived areas compared to 7% of those in the least deprived
- A quarter (24%) of those earning up to £25,999 a year felt that activities were not accessible for their child's needs compared to 14% of those earning £26,000-£47,999 a year, 8% of those earning £48,000-£95,999 a year and 6% of those earning over £96,000 a year.
There was little variation in awareness of activities by rurality, working status and age of children.
|Not aware of any suitable organised activities in the area||33%|
|Child wasn't interested in the activities/holiday clubs available near me||24%|
|Child didn't want to attend any organised activities||22%|
|Concerned about transmission of COVID||18%|
|Timings don't suit||13%|
|Activities were not accessible for my child's needs||12%|
|No spaces available||7%|
|No need / parent was at home / we did activities as a family||7%|
|Child had their own activities / hobbies||6%|
|Child's age / too old||5%|
|Child did attend activities but they were not low cost||4%|
|I / parent was working||4%|
|Child's / my health / mental health / disability||3%|
|Child was away / on holiday||3%|
|Activities were closed due to COVID||2%|
QSUMMER7. What were the main reasons your [child/children] did not participate in organised activities or holiday clubs this summer?
Base (all participants with children 4+ where
no children who took part in summer activities): 583
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