Zohra Ahmed, aged 13, from Pollokshields in Glasgow has no doubts about the value of out-of-school care. The Holyrood Secondary pupil told the conference: "Since I started I've made a lot of friends and met people from different backgrounds."
Suneeta Ahmed, her mother, has three other children and is studying full-time at Langside College. She told delegates: "It allows children and parents to develop self-confidence and self-esteem and combats latchkey kids."
Mrs Ahmed pays just Pounds 3 a week for after school care for her family, and has taken an HNC in child care and education. She is now taking a course in computing and multimedia.
Her daughter added: "We play badminton, netball, basketball and do arts and crafts. Just recently we celebrated Burns Day, a piper came in and we had vegetarian haggis and turnip for our snack. Coming in from school you don't want the same boring snack all the time."