On this page you will find a step by step guide on opening your own out of school club.
Before setting up an out of school club, it is important to determine the need in the area.
It is useful to analyse the local competition and review whether or not there is a gap in the market for your childcare setting.
A good place to start is by reading the latest Childcare Sufficiency Assessment which shows current supply and demand for childcare and education in Waltham Forest.
The Waltham Forest Directory also provides information on what clubs and childcare settings there are in the area surrounding a school.
In addition schools should carry out surveys/consultation with parents to determine the school community's specific needs, which they may be willing to share with local providers.
It is recommended that in the beginning you complete a business plan that sets out the aims and objectives of the business and should also include forecasted budgets and cash flow projections. Information on what is available for setting up a business in Waltham Forest can be found here.
What business structure will work best for your out of school club?
When setting up a new business it is also important to think about the structure of your organisation, your business's legal status and to understand the legal responsibilities involved in operating a business.
There are a number of different business legal structures that can be explored when thinking about how you wish to operate your after school club. The main types to consider are:
1. Sole Trader
As a sole trader, you run your own business as an individual and you can keep all your business' profits after you've paid tax on them. As a sole trader you can employ staff. A disadvantage to this is that you are personally responsible for any losses your business makes.
2. Limited company
A limited company is an organisation that you can set up to run your business – it is responsible in its own right for everything it does and it finances are separate to your personal finances. Any profit it makes is owned by the company. The company can then share its profits.
Every limited company has member who are the people or organisation who owns the shares in the company. In addition, Directors are responsible for running the company. In some cases Directors have their own shares, but they don't have to. Directors of a limited company must comply with requirements of Companies House such as submitting annual accounts, holding meetings and maintaining the company's public records. Private limited companies cannot have charitable status.
3. Registered charity
The club is run by a management committee, formed by a group of volunteers. This may be the best option if you are short of funds, as it enables the committee to apply for grants from charitable trusts and foundations. All members of the management committee have to be DBS checked (if your club is Ofsted-registered) and you must also register with the Charity Commission.
4. Social enterprise
Social enterprises are businesses trading for social and environmental purposes. Social enterprises are distinctive because their social purpose is absolutely central to what they do: their profits are reinvested to sustain and further their mission for positive change. Social enterprises can use a variety of legal structures including:
- Community interest company
- Company limited by guarantee
- Registered charity
For more information on social enterprises, visit the website for the Social Enterprise Coalition.
Once you have decided what business structure you are going to work under, it is important that you register your business. Information on how to register your business can be found here.
In addition to this the government has produced guidance about setting up a new business.
For more details of the various business structures that you may wish to consider details can be found on the Out of School Alliance website.
Once you have decided to set up your after school club, you may need to find funding to help you get started. Two options include applying for a Children Business Grant or a Start-Up Loan from the government.
You could get a childcare business grant of up to £1,000 from the government to help with the costs of setting up a childcare business in England. The grant does not have to be paid back. The scheme is due to end by 31 March 2018, or sooner if all funds have been exhausted.
You'll get a grant if:
Please visit the Childcare Business Grants website to find out more and to apply.
In 2012 the government set up a new scheme to provide start-up loans to new businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The scheme provides relatively small loans to help new businesses get off the ground.
You can apply for a government Start-Up Loan even if you have already started running your business, so long as you have been trading for less than 12 months. The loans are repayable over 1 to 5 years, and currently have a fixed interest rate of just 6%. Once approved, in addition to the loan you also receive advice and mentoring via the Start-Up Loan Company.
Once the business plan has been decided then the next issue is to determine a location for the after school club. The age and number of children that you have planned to look after in your business plan will be partly determined by the premises, as you will need to have sufficient space for children to play safely in an indoor and outdoor environment.
Some questions to ask yourself when looking at premises are:
If you will need to walk the children from the school to the club, is there a safe route? If you will need to drive the children you need to factor in the additional transport costs to your business plan.
Your club must have access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, you must ensure that outdoor activities (e.g. a trip to a local park) are planned and taken on a daily basis (weather permitting).
There must also be an area where staff can talk confidentially to parents or carers. This does not necessarily need to be a separate room: a quiet corner where you will not be disturbed or overheard would suffice.
For children aged three to five years the space requirements are 2.3 sq metres per child. There are no statutory space requirements for older children.
EYFS states that there should be an adequate number of toilet and hand basins available. The Childcare Register states that: there must be a sufficient number of toilet and hand washing facilities suitable for the use of children. Neither register specifies what constitutes a sufficient number, it is up to you as a provider to decide and potentially justify to your Ofsted inspector. In addition there should normally be separate toilet facilities for adults.
Details of premises usage can be found in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance. The main sections which apply to after school provision are section 3.54 to 3.66 of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance for further specifications on what is required.
Once your premises have been agreed it is important that you carry out the relevant risk assessments on the property.
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Childcare that is provided at any time for children under eight years, on premises other than domestic premises, for more than a total of two hours a day, must be registered and inspected under the Children Act 1989.
Providing childcare without being registered is an offence and could lead to prosecution and sizeable fines.
As the majority of after school clubs will be providing childcare they will need to be registered with Ofsted. Full details on how to register with Ofsted can be found here.
Please allow up to 12 weeks for Ofsted registration.
Schools who deliver out of school clubs themselves can do so under their school's Ofsted registration.
The number of staff you will need to employ is dependent upon the age and numbers of children you are providing childcare for. For more information please refer to the latest guidance concerning staff ratios (EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements points 3.28 to 3.37). Full guidance on recruitment can be found on the Staffing page.
All staff should have a DBS check which is carried out by the after school club before the member of staff begins work. Information on how to make an application to obtain a DBS check can be found here.
Waltham Forest Council offers a wide range of training that can be accessed by staff who work across the borough. Events & Training is regularly updated and has details on how you can book yourself and your staff onto courses.
Every childcare provision should have sufficient resources for the number of children that it is registered for. A good place to start to think about what activities you will be running and what materials you will need to run this course. Speaking to other local childcare providers and consulting with children and parents is a good place to start with planning on the activities that you may wish to deliver.
The Out of School Alliance has produced a useful suppliers directory, which has full details of good quality and good value products that can be purchased when setting up your provision.
In addition to providing resources for activities, you will also need to provide drinking cups and plates for snacks.
When completing your business plan ensure that every setting has significant resources for the number of children registered.
Before you set up your out of school provision, you will need to have a list of policies and procedures in place.
It is advisable that you have the following in place and that these are all kept on site and are easy accessible:
Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children. These should be in line with the guidance of the guidance and procedures of Waltham Forest's Safeguarding Children's Board. The safeguarding policy and procedures must include an explanation of the action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff, and cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.
Full details can be found on the safeguarding page.
Providers must have a written procedure for dealing with concerns and complaints from parents/carers. All childcare providers must keep a record of any complaints they receive and their outcome. All providers must investigate written complaints relating to their fulfilment of the EYFS requirements and notify complainants of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days of having received the complaint. The record of complaints must be made available to Ofsted on request.
Providers must make available to parents and/or carers details about how to contact Ofsted, if they believe the provider is not meeting the EYFS requirements. Details can be found on the complaints page.
Although a provider does not need to have an equal opportunities policy, having one allows employees to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities within predefined limits.
The Equality Act came into force from October 2010 providing a single legal framework with clear, streamlined law to more effectively tackle disadvantage and discrimination. It ensures consistency in what an childcare provider needs to do to make their workplace a fair environment and to comply with the law. Details can be found on the Equality Act page.
Health and Safety policy
It is important that all providers must ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. To ensure that provision adhere to this:
Effective marketing is key to any successful business. It is vital that you explore the different avenues for marketing materials that can be use when setting up your new out of school provision.
It is important to ensure that you maximise all opportunities for promoting your new club, and a key element to this is the Waltham Forest Directory.
The Waltham Forest Directory is the borough's front facing website and is the one-stop shop for all information, advice and support services for all families across the borough. It contains a full listing of all Ofsted-registered childcare providers. The Directory is accessed by thousands of families every month in Waltham Forest and it is free of charge to advertise.
The provider updates self-service system on the Directory is the easiest way to maintain all of your information. Once you are registered you can update all information that is being advertised regarding your setting whenever you like including current vacancies.
If you require any further support please email email@example.com.