How to start a children’s service franchise

If you love working with children, these business opportunities could be for you

What is it?
What does it involve?
Costs?
How much can I earn?
Tips for success

Children. Most people either love them or hate them – or if they don’t actually hate them there’s no way they’d work with them. If you fall into the latter camp you might choose to stop reading now as we turn our attention to franchising with the little people.

These are franchises that are hard work. You have to be flexible, patient and most likely motivated by something other than money. But they are also incredibly rewarding and – according to all franchisees we spoke to – a lot of fun.

So do you have the capacity to be young at heart?

What is it?

These franchises involve helping children develop from an early age by means of music, movement and reading. They are largely part time as they take place over the school term and usually just during school hours.

Tumble Tots classes are designed to develop children’s physical skills of agility, balance, co-ordination and climbing through the use of custom-built equipment. The programme is divided into three age groups: Gymbabes from six months to walking; Tumble Tots from walking to school age; and Gymbobs up to seven years.

Classes of 45 minutes take place during the day Monday to Friday in various hired halls. For each one you are obliged to have one member of staff for every six children with a maximum of 24 children in a class.

“I have around 700 children on my books,” says Sam Rooke of Tumble Tots in Leamington Spa, “This adds up to 29 sessions in the week for myself and four staff members.”

Jo Jingles works on a similar principle of weekly classes for different age groups. The programmes are structured around themed singing and music designed to help children’s development in language and social skills as well as confidence and independence.

“The classes are structured with set routines for the children to follow each time,” explains Pat Hood of Jo Jingles in Wokingham. “We always have a good morning and a good bye song, then a rotation of an action song, a rhythm song and one where percussion instruments are used. And as the children get older, a story time and some musical theory are introduced.”

Primary Books franchisees make contact with schools within a designated area – usually consisting of around 250 potential pre to middle schools – and offer book supply services. This is through running book clubs, staging book fairs in school and help in auditing libraries. A big area would be 100.

Founder Anne Phillips outlines the process. “Franchisees arrange to meet with head teachers to identify any needs in the school. They then set up, manage and organise everything leaving the school to take 20% of any profit. This isn’t a hard sell operation.”

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