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Short breaks offer disabled children and young people the chance to spend time out with others socialising and doing fun activities, giving their families a break and providing them with the confidence their child is well supported by a trained worker.

They include holiday and Saturday clubs, and activities range from canoeing and computers skills to lego.

Coronavirus update-  SBLO providers aren't able to run SBLO Holiday clubs and activities in the same way and therefore use of the online portal for SBLO applications is currently suspended.

For more information you can email

Account guidance for parents

You can register for Short Breaks via the link above.

  1. You will be asked to enter your details. Once you've done so, the username for your Short Breaks account will display on the screen. Please make a note of this, as it will not be emailed to you.
  2. You will then need to provide your child/young persons details.
  3. When complete, you can view a summary of children you have applied for and have the ability to amend your application.
  4. You will then need to click 'choose short breaks' and you will be provided with a list of all the Short Break activities available to your child or young person. Once you have selected the ones you would like the chosen provider will contact you.
  5. Once you have received a confirmation, you will need to provide proof of eligibility to your chosen Short Breaks provider.
  6. You can log back into the portal to access your application once submitted using the account you created.
  7. You can view your child/young persons current allocation of the number of hours confirmed/claimed/remaining in your Short Breaks account. This will only appear once your child/young person has attended a Short Break session and the provider has logged the hours used.
  8. The SBLO year runs from April-March. You will need to renew your application annually and will receive an email in advance. You'll be able to renew your application in your Short Breaks account.

Login for Short Breaks providers

Access the SBLO providers portal

If you would like to apply on behalf of a parent/carer you can use the same steps listed in the parent guidance above.

Short breaks Summer 2020 - Coronavirus Update

Following feedback from families, we want to ensure, as far as possible, that the summer SBLO has a blend of onsite (outside of the home) and virtual activities.

Our aim is that children enjoy as much fun time as possible in the next couple of months, however we need to make clear the changes introduced into the 2020 SBLO summer offer.

What has changed?

Please see here below a list of the changes introduced for the summer schemes.

  • If your child is unwell: please do not send your child to an onsite SBLO activity if they have possible Covid-19 symptoms or are otherwise unwell.
  • Safety measures & capacity: SBLO clubs will have to run with fewer children to ensure that social distancing and other safety measures can be in place. This will mean that children and young people may not be able to access as many SBLO hours as they normally do.
  • Onsite & virtual activities: most providers will continue to update their online remote activities and there are also a range of onsite activities on offer.
  • New to SBLO: If you are new to SBLO, please contact the SBLO Provider directly or if you require assistance in choosing the right SBLO Provider, please contact the Kids Hub 01923 676549.
  • How many SBLO clubs you can access: Children and young people can only access 1 SBLO club per week – due to preventing the risks of contamination, the clubs will be organised by social bubbles. This means children are not to attend more than 1 club per week.
  • Prioritising children & young people: We want to ensure that the most vulnerable children and young people can access summer SBLO. We also want to ensure that children and young people registered for SBLO can receive SBLO support where possible.
  • Because of this our social work teams will check how providers have allocated SBLO activities to help make sure that the most vulnerable children and young people can access summer SBLO.
  • The number of hours: Hours will not be based on formal allocations. Instead we will achieve a fair distribution of hours so that every child and family have an opportunity for additional care support over the summer.
  • This means that logging into the SBLO online system and/or renewal will not be required.

Summer 2020 Offer

We understand that during this difficult time some traditional SBLO cannot be delivered, however our SBLO providers are working hard to make sure that they can still provide support to their SBLO families.


Districts: Countywide

Specialism: ASD, ADHD and Related Conditions

SPACE are virtually supporting families across Hertfordshire with a variety of digital short breaks, including:

  • Bedtime stories
  • Online karate classes
  • Online mini mindfulness sessions
  • Online cooking classes
  • Online dance classes

Find out more information on their Facebook page.

07776 181 749


Districts: East Herts and Broxbourne

Specialism: Special education needs/ASD/LD

CHIPS Summer 2020 Holiday Club

Monday 17 July - Friday 15 August 2020.
Between 10am and 3.30pm.


  • Bishop’s Stortford and Hockerill Scout Group (Bishop Stortford)
  • St Andrews School (Hertford)
  • Pinewood School (Ware)
  • Pounds Close Youth and Community Centre (Hoddesdon)
  • Millbrook Junior Middle School & Infant School (Cheshunt)

CHIPS are also still working to support families with an online offer. This includes things like:

  • Online games, activities, challenges
  • Recipe of the week
  • No cost fun
  • AC Education - online training have produced a document ‘Understanding Anxiety' to help parents understand and support their children’s anxieties around the current situation.

01992 534664

Noah's Ark

District: Hertsmere

Specialism: Special education needs

Summer 2020 Holiday Club

Monday 27 July to Wed 12 August 2020.
Between 10am and 3pm.

Venue: Oakmere Primary School (Potters Bar)

Noah’s Ark are now providing playschemes with onsite activities. This includes things like:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Creative play
  • Music

Online resources and activities will also continue, providing children and families with fun, online educational videos. These videos include subjects such as:

  • Storytelling
  • Stories using Makaton
  • Signed song videos

Noah’s Ark will also be creating and delivering books/colouring activities for children to enjoy.

020 8449 8877

Jubilee House Trust

Districts: Welwyn and Hatfield

Specialism: ASD, PD and LD

Jubilee House Trust will be supporting families with day-care short breaks at Peartree short break centre.

Boundless Care

Districts: Hertford and St Albans

Specialism: Children and young people with high functioning Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD and similar needs

Summer Holidays 2020 

From 9am to 1pm at 2 venues.

Mondays 10, 17, 24 and Thursday 27August 2020 - Fleetville Community Centre, Royal Road, St Albans AL1 4LQ

Tuesdays 11, 18, 25 and Friday 28 August 2020 - Abel Smith Primary School, 3 Churchfields, Hertford SG13 8AE

In addition, Boundless Care is also running an online Summer Offer for children and their families:

  • Posting 2 videos every week on their Facebook page on art & craft activities and cooking/ baking.
  • Hosting a weekly Live zoom Games & Parties session on Wednesdays focussing on playing fun games, Quizzes, Bingo, Dance/dress up & end of summer party.
  • Hosting a weekly live zoom activities and a cooking club on Fridays.
  • E-mailing weekly activity packs with exciting activities and projects.

Action for Children

Districts: North Herts and Stevenage, Broxbourne and East Herts

Specialism: LD of varying severity, physical or sensory disabilities and/or behaviours that challenge

Action for children are offering day-care at the Pines.

 01992 504 019 or 01923 718939

Phoenix Group

Districts: Stevenage, Welwyn and Hatfield and St Albans

Specialism: Hearing Impaired children and young people

The Phoenix Group for Deaf Children and Young Adults are hosting a series of outdoor and online activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Summer Holiday 2020

From the 1 to the 3 week of August.

2 hour sessions, 4 times a week.
Weeks will be divided as:

  • 2 sessions per week for children aged 8-13 years.
  • 2 sessions per week for young people aged 11- 17years.

Activities will include arts and crafts, sports, relaxation and other fun activities and will take place in local parks in Stevenage, Welwyn and Hatfield, St Albans and Watford.

Children and families can access the activities through The Phoenix Group Facebook page, Instagram or as a member of the WhatsApp group.

For outdoor activities please email:

07748690989 - Call or text

Phoenix Group Facebook Page

North Herts CSV

District: Stevenage

Specialism: Special education needs/ASD/LD

North Herts CSV Summer 2020 Holiday Club

Monday 27 July - Friday 21 August 2020, based on
two separate sessions per day.
AM session – 9:30 to 12pm
PM session – 1pm to 3.30pm

Venue: St Nicholas C of E Primary School (Stevenage)

Daily Activities to include:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Bouncy castle
  • Music and karaoke sessions

Older ages will undertake more age-appropriate activities, focusing on developing life skills.

North Herts CVS will also continue updating the online virtual offer with things like:

  • Videos for fun and easy activities
  • Singalong sessions
  • Sign language sessions

North Herts CVS are also providing a guide outlining all the appropriate online resources that are available for SEND children and their families. 

01462 689406


Districts: St Albans and Dacorum

Specialism: LD of varying severity, physical or sensory disabilities and/or behaviours that challenge

Summer 2020 Holiday Club

Monday 20 July to 28 August 2020, according to venue
(see below).


  • Homewood Road Church – Monday 20 July to Friday 31 July (St Albans)
  • Watling View School – Monday 3 August to Wednesday 26 August 2020 (St Albans)
  • Hobbs Hill Wood School – Monday 17 August to Friday 28 August (Hemel Hempstead)

SNAP to include fun and stimulating activities on site.

01727 863813

07979 612363 - Stacey Smith

Watford Mencap

Districts: Watford, Hertsmere, Three Rivers

Specialism: LD of varying severity and can support additional needs such as epilepsy, gastrostomy

Summer Holiday 2020

Watford Mencap will provide a mix of 1:1 buddying and
group-based activities that will take place at Lemarie Centre and/or Garston Manor School in Watford.

Planned start date - 20 July 2020.

Watford Mencap will be open every day to support people with learning disabilities and their families across Hertfordshire at this time of need.

For advice please email:

Call us on Monday - Friday between 8am and 8pm, or Saturday - Sunday 10am until 4pm on 01923713632

SEN Venture

Districts: St Albans and Dacorum

Specialism: LD and ASD

SUMMER Holidays 2020

From Monday 3 to Thursday 27 August 2020


  • Breakspeare School (Abbots Langley) – Monday to Thursday

SEN Venture is offering Playscheme with on-site activities.


Who qualifies?

You can get up to 40 hours of activities if you:

  • live in Hertfordshire
  • are aged between 5 - 19 with SEND
  • receive a middle or higher rate disability living allowance (DLA) or any personal independence payment (PIP), or
  • have a letter from your GP, your school’s special educational needs co-coordinator (SENCO) or another professional, confirming that your need means you require access to targeted services for disabled children and young people. Evidence of a formal diagnosis won't be needed, just evidence that their needs are of the level to be in receipt of the above benefits, or that a professional feels Short Breaks is appropriate.

Sometimes, disabled children and their families need access to more than 40 hours. To find out if your child is eligible for more hours, you can request an assessment from the 0-25 Together Team.

Who offers short breaks and what's available?

You can find all short breaks providers and the activities they run on our Families First Directory. Most providers are SEND specific, however some are mainstream providers offering inclusive activities.

There's also a printable list of activities (PDF 749kb) Opening a new window.

Activities are usually £2 per hour to attend, but you might need to pay a little more some, for example entrance fees to swimming clubs, theatre trips and wildlife parks.

Community Short Break activities provide respite for a few hours in the day - some children with the most complex needs may qualify for a residential short break.

Short Breaks and Direct Payments

If you receive Direct Payments, you can not use these to pay for Short Breaks.

Direct Payments are available following an assessment of need and can be used to provide a short break through paying for services or employing a PA, but they cannot be used to pay for the community short break activities. Direct Payments are used to pay for provision for your child to meet an outcome in an Education, Health and Care Plan, or in a Social Care or Health plan.

Short Breaks is a different and separate scheme.

Applying for short breaks

If you're not registered for Short Breaks you can register for an account online. Just create an account following the guidance provided above and upload proof of eligibility. 

The SBLO year runs from 1 April - 31 March. You'll need to be flexible if you want to take up the full hours. If you apply later in the year it's unlikely you'll be able to use all of these.

If you need help you can contact:

If you need your password reset or have any questions about Short Breaks, please email:

What happens next?

Once you have completed your application online your chosen short breaks provider(s) will contact you and ask you to show proof of your eligibility.

Your application can not be approved until this has been confirmed.

Related services

Shared care

This is family-based care that provides short breaks to disabled children and young people from 4 - 18 years of age. Carers are from a wide variety of backgrounds and can be individuals or couples, male or female, with or without children and may have pets, some carers work others may be retired.

All carers will have completed training before they are approved, will have a DBS and will continue to have regular supervision and training updates from members of the shared care team. When a service is offered, each carer is closely matched to fit the needs of the child.

The breaks can be provided:

  • in the child’s home as a sitting service to enable parents to go out / have some free time
  • as day care in the carers home
  • out in the community to access activities.

The support (40 hours a year) can be used flexibly depending upon the availability of the carer and negotiated between the family and carer to include weekdays, weekends or during the school holidays.

This service provides peace of mind for parents, knowing their child is being properly looked after whilst away from them. It also provides the child / young person with some independence and gives them the opportunity to have fun, develop new relationships and access the community.

Read more about shared care

Residential short breaks

Some young people with disabilities and complex health needs, may be eligible for a residential short break especially if they require support throughout the night.

Children and young people can stay overnight during the week and/or at weekends depending on their assessed needs, spending time away from their main carers. A residential short break may be provided in a community residential setting or the home of an approved carer.

Our Overnight Short Breaks (OSB) providers are currently working hard to welcome families back. Our providers have introduced a number of changes to keep the children, young people and staff safe. The OSB settings are following Government and Public Health guidelines, including:

  • social distancing
  • strict hygiene and cleaning practices
  • use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • staff training.

Our OSB providers are working with families to provide the rest of the year's OSB allocations, but will have difficulties accommodating all returning families if they request their OSB allocations that they have not used during lock down. What we can provide this year is also obviously subject to a second wave of the virus.

In addition, we are ensuring the safe return of children and young people to overnight short breaks, by restricting extended stays to 4 nights. Parents/carers must remain in the UK during this time, so that should things change parents/carers can return home without delay.

How do I get a residential short break?

A residential short break is a specialist service, available only once a social work assessment of need has been completed. This assessment would be arranged via a referral through the 0-25 Together Service.

Where they are:


Page was last published on: 28/07/2020 15:12:54


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