The network, which has expanded from 500 to 3,500 clubs in the UK since 1993, has won the support of Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.
About half the 3,500 clubs are based in schools, and teachers' support is needed to set them up. The pressure group Parents at Work accused schools of being "remarkably slow" to adapt to changing work patterns.
The network has joined forces with The Prince's Trust, Education Extra and the Community Education Development Centre in Coventry in a bid to win lottery funding. In a joint paper submitted to the Government this week the four organisations say they would use cash to promote out-of-school activities for two million children.