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touchwood

Advice on Kiddie Classes

I've been working on getting a small craft outlet going in our barn for myself and other local craftspeople, but in the present climate it's not easy. However..I've been asked if I run activities for children during the holidays.
This is something I was thinking of working towards next year after a bit more planning & research, but it now looks like hubbie may lose his job so if the interest is there it sort of makes sense to go with it now rather than later.
I've worked for local authorities in the past teaching crafts to adults and have the qualifications, as well as the necessary police checks.. and my current insurance covers me to run classes.
I've also got a fair few ideas on the activities to offer but absolutely NO idea on what to charge and any potential pitfalls in doing it for myself
I would really appreciate any advice anyone can offer.
Went

What age group are you looking at?

Staff/Child ratio is an important consideration v costs?
Also any additional staff would need checks.

Feeding and watering - would they bring their own?

Drop off and pick up times - would need to take account of parent/s working hours

Short 1 day courses for children might be a better option as opposed to the summer school model
sally_in_wales

re pricing, it should be fairly easy to research what other outlets charge for activities. Look at those places that do paint your own pottery or similar crafty things, and also check up on prices for complete birthday activity packages.

Work out policies on staffing or adult supervision right from the start. Are you comfortable with people dropping kids off and going away for a couple of hours, or do you require an adult known to the children to stay with each group, and if so, how many kids per adult are you happy with?

Without wishing to be melodramatic, be aware that if you leave it in any doubt as to what level of responsibility you'll take for the kids, someone will try to exploit that to their advantage. I have vivid and horrified memories of getting a call at the museum years ago from a parent wanting to know what time an activity started and if it was suitable for their three-ish year old. On hearing that the child would be welcome, they then said 'great, I'll drop them off on the museum steps, watch out for them' and was ready to hang up on me. I only narrowly got a chance to explain that they had to stay with the child, let alone the issues about dropping a tiny child off outside a public building and hoping for the best!
Vanessa

You'll need to work out how to get yourself (and hubby, and anyone else who works for you) CRB checked, of course!
sally_in_wales

You'll need to work out how to get yourself (and hubby, and anyone else who works for you) CRB checked, of course!


moderately irrelevant, as a CRB check is essentially invalid the day after its generated, all it does is show that at a given date, you aren't known for assorted heinous offences. Its usually only requested by large organisations as an own-arse-covering strategy, and if you make a policy of never being in a situation where you are alone with a child without witnesses, it shouldnt matter if you have one or not
Vanessa

OK, I thought they'd made it a statutory requirement if there were to be under-8s involved. That's what we were told for our AmDram group when we enquired ...
sally_in_wales

the ISA check is meant to be taking over, but has been stalled by more beaurocracy I gather. The big problem with a CRB check is that it isnt transferrable, so its valid on the day its generated, for the organisation who requested it, but thats it. Meaningless piece of expensive paper otherwise.
http://www.isa-gov.org/
Vanessa

Thanks Sally! Cool
wizz

On the advertising front, our local council do a free paper that gets distributed via schools advertising/listing most of the holiday childcare and childrens activity options. So if yours does one make sure you get in it. Just looking through the"arts" section in the last one the sessions and prices very varied. 35/day for a Youth orchestra from 10am to 4pm, 19.50 for a pottery workshop (10-3). None of the sessions would have suited me because they wouldn't fit in with trad working hours (9-5)

But to go back to advertising in general, make sure you get it advertised via your local schools if they'll play ball. Our son is always coming home with flyers about what's going on in his book bag.
sally_in_wales

if you can get some advertising in Primary Times, most kids seem to get sent home with one before the holidays
http://www.primarytimes.net/home.php
sean

Is there an arts centre or similar near(ish) to you? The one that I work for pays people pretty well (IMHO) for stuff like running workshops and it means that a great deal of the responsibility falls on them rather than the workshop leader. Plus they may already have kit that you can use which cuts down on your outlay.
touchwood

Hi everyone, thank you for all the replies, suggestions and comments. It has certainly given me food for thought and made me realise that costly is probably the least of my worries.
I must admit I hadn't envisaged the kiddies being left so it's probably a no brainer anyway...(the people that have asked me about classes tend to like dumping their offspring on anyone that will have them). The more I think about it the less appealing its becoming so think I'll sick to what I know best and work towards getting adult classes up and running.
Thanks again everyone...
sally_in_wales

that sounds a very sensible way forwards! I love running classes for kids, but there are so many more things that need triple checking and cross referencing before you even start, for your own peace of mind as much as any one else's protection, that its definately something not to be done lightly.

You can always revisit the idea Very Happy
touchwood

Thanks Sally...I think I was secretly hoping for it not to be a go'er.
I worked with Learning Disabled Adults in the past and that was enough of a mine field trying to 2nd guess potential problems and hazards and I can imagine kids being twice a bad.....you have my utmost respect
Wink
12Bore

Hi everyone, thank you for all the replies, suggestions and comments. It has certainly given me food for thought and made me realise that costly is probably the least of my worries.
I must admit I hadn't envisaged the kiddies being left so it's probably a no brainer anyway...(the people that have asked me about classes tend to like dumping their offspring on anyone that will have them). The more I think about it the less appealing its becoming so think I'll sick to what I know best and work towards getting adult classes up and running.
Thanks again everyone...

Sadly this is not unusual, when I ran a Cub pack we used to consider ourselves a uniformed baby-sitting service at times. Some parents actually used to complain when when we closed over the summer holidays, yet they were always the ones who could not make their parent helper evening or who complained at paying 15 for a weekend camp. Mad
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