Moving to Liverpool - is there demand for my idea or should I get a job?

(19 Posts)
RebbyK Mon 08-Aug-16 10:38:21

Hello all,

This is my first post, and I am looking for advice. My partner and I are moving to Liverpool (Sefton Park area) and I have two choices - to continue teaching or to put into action my business idea. I'd like to see if there is any real demand for it before I make a decision and thought I'd ask you!

My idea is to run a holiday club aimed at 5-12 year-olds, with a focus on creative education and teamwork. Having looked at the local forums, it seems that there are lots of clubs over the Summer and Easter hols, but most have a specific focus - arts, sports etc. What I want to do is something that is simply a service that allows students to do a range of creative activities whilst still being educational (and obviously, fun).

I'm also looking into running evening sessions and Saturday clubs, plus an "emergency care" service for kids who need the day off school/to cover strike days/etc if the parent is working. I'm looking into grants so that I'd be able to include pupil premium kids and make links with local primary schools.

My intention would be to run something that incorporated science, literacy, art, drama, sport, team building skills and confidence-building skills so that the children learn, too. I'm thinking bug hunts, outdoor treks, trips to the beach, theatre visits, art workshops, music sessions - all under a blanket day/week fee.

I understand that the market may be saturated, though, and if this is the case, I'll simply stick to teaching and look for a job in the area.

All feedback is gratefully welcomed, even if it is to tell me that I'm being pie-in-the-sky.

Thank you in advance!

SoonToBeSix Mon 08-Aug-16 20:36:52

What's your price point? Holiday clubs in Liverpool are reasonably cheap.
I live in Liverpool and the holiday clubs I know if are either sport/ dance or games , activities , like pool , playing on consoles, rounders etc and day trips to park, cinema, ice skating etc. Cost approx £60- £100 a week.

RebbyK Mon 08-Aug-16 22:40:06

Hi!

Thanks for your questions - I really should have said.

I've costed it up and it's really dependent on the location hire prices. Based on hire costs in my current city, I could run on £50-£75 per week unless I want to do bigger trips. Obviously if I needed to take a member of staff on, it'd be closer to £75 but I want to keep it as low as I can.

If I was starting small with fewer big trips I'd want to keep it affordable.

A typical day as per my design would be something like:

Detective Day
- Learn how to crack and make secret codes
- Understand forensic science and how it works - taking fingerprints, scanning for evidence and collating data
- Create your own gadget - make your own two-way glasses
- Solve a science mystery using chemistry skills
- Create a detective persona
- End the day with a game of manhunt

I want it to be fulfilling and educational, but still a lot of fun.

Other ideas are Eco-week, Games Design week, Dragon's Den week and others. I'm still wondering whether I'd do themed days or themed weeks.

I've run a similar scheme before down here in Sussex, and it was very successful. I'd like to do it as a full-time job but am aware I may be in a bubble!

All feedback welcome.

SoonToBeSix Mon 08-Aug-16 22:46:18

It's sounds great to me both in activities and price.
I would use it, my 11 year old especially would love it. I haven't heard of anything similar locally (I live in South Liverpool, 20 min drive from Sefton park) .

RebbyK Mon 08-Aug-16 23:19:50

Thank you; that's really positive. I'll keep you updated - we may not be moving for a year yet!

I'll see what other feedback I can get and if the response is good, I'll make a start on finding sites so I can do proper costings.

Thanks for taking the time to reply smile

Fatcakes Tue 09-Aug-16 19:27:50

I am well informed regarding children's holiday courses and can tell you that here in Wirral (v near Liverpool), there isn't anything like this available.
When you say £50-75, would that be for 5 full days or after school hours only?
Good luck.

RebbyK Tue 09-Aug-16 21:25:49

Dependent on hire costs of a local school room/hall, I could do it for this price based on a minimum number of kids (about 15) for five full days. Anything above that and I'd need to employ a second staff member (under and I'd be able to run it with just me and my partner).

The day would be 8.30 (for a 9am start) to 3.30 with time for lunch in the middle. I'd ask parents to supply their own packed lunch but will supply drinks and snacks.

I'm also thinking of running a "strike day cover" where parents can send kids to me in the event of a strike day, plus an after-school set of activity clubs, although I'm not quite there with the planning of that yet.

Thank you for getting back to me; I appreciate it!

SoonToBeSix Tue 09-Aug-16 21:42:20

I think you would need to offer extra hours so from 8 and then 3.30 till 6. You can charge extra for breakfast and tea sessions. Otherwise you will struggle due to parents work hours.

SoonToBeSix Tue 09-Aug-16 21:44:35

The sports and dance holidays clubs my dc have attended offered just DVD, and simple crafts and board games during extended hours. So more childcare than entertainment iyswim.

RebbyK Tue 09-Aug-16 22:37:39

Thank you - that's really helpful.

I will definitely take that on board in my planning. I think a full day of activities might be very tiring for children but as you say, DVD or simple stuff would suffice as an 'extra'.

Thanks again for taking the time to get back to me.

threepiecesuite Wed 10-Aug-16 14:05:52

A fair few Merseyside schools were closed on Polling days too so you may want to consider offering that.
I know I struggled for childcare on those days (I am a teacher but my school was open).

FeralBeryl Thu 11-Aug-16 10:14:48

Hi <waves>
South Liverpool here, that sound like a great plan 👍
I would certainly consider using you too.
I happen to know that there is still a great deal of supply work for primary teachers in Liverpool too if you wanted to have a safety net for now.
And welcome if you do make the move. Sevvy Park is a lovely area to live, we moved from there a few years ago (house from flat) flowers

mrswarthog Thu 11-Aug-16 20:22:43

It sounds fantastic - I'd definitely be interested for my two. You may want to contact www.thewo.org.uk (0151 706 8111) for free advice & help in setting up a business in Liverpool.

RebbyK Sat 13-Aug-16 22:25:27

Thank you so much. This is so wonderful to hear! I'm currently away but think I'll be spending a lot of time over the coming months forming a detailed business plan and looking for funding - thanks for directing me to the funding!

I definitely want to cover "emergency days" like polling days; I just have to find the right premises. Eventually, I'd like to buy but as a starter, room hire is my best bet!

I won't be there for a little while but am definitely excited to be back up North (currently in Sussex but originally Cheshire!).

MadeInWallasey Sat 13-Aug-16 22:36:15

I think you'd really struggle with those prices. For one thing people who are off work aren't likely to use it; your target audience is the child with parents who are at work. If my child was going somewhere like the beach with this sort of club, I'd want an awful lot of (checked out) staff. The potential for danger is enormous. If you're bringing in £15 per child and need say three staff for every ten or twelve pupils, then you just can't afford to pay professional staff. You'd still need to pay for the accommodation even if nobody's there for most of the day, then there's the price of coaches etc.

Sorry to be negative but the reality is that this would never provide a wage for you.

RebbyK Sun 14-Aug-16 18:46:56

Thanks for this! I appreciate your feedback; it really isn't negative - it's realist. I don't think I'd be doing trips until I had a sound set of staff, because of the reasons you mentioned. I'm looking at being premises-based at first. I wouldn't do trips with young ones without a 1-5 ratio if they were under 8, whatever the legal guidelines state.

It's something I want to do, but won't be able to until I have a firm client base. You speak all the sense and I'm not offended!

It's hard to price it all up properly at the moment as I'm on holiday - but I chose keeping the price low over huge trips. Do you think maybe I've got my priorities wrong?

I wanted to start small, perhaps with ten-fifteen children, and work upwards in order to protect myself (and avoid any possibility of financial ruin if it doesn't take off).

Davona Tue 16-Aug-16 10:50:07

Have you thought about how you will handle medicines and medical issues. For example my son has food allergies, would you be epipen/anaphylaxis trained? What would your food policies be? What if a child is asthmatic or diabetic?

RebbyK Sat 20-Aug-16 17:09:10

A great point and yes, I've considered it. I currently work with a severely allergic young lady and so I'm very well-trained in handling severe allergies and food intolerances. Anybody I employed would be fully trained in Epipen procedure and First Aid as standard. I already have First Aid training and expect it for anyone looking after kids! For diabetic kids and asthmatics I am aware of procedures and would have a policy in place to address this.

I also think it's wise to simply go with a blanket "no nuts" approach as that seems to have worked well at my schools. Regarding other allergies I know I'd want to communicate information clearly to parents and so have thought about running a pre-camp information eve/day to discuss potential issues with allergies and illnesses.

Is there anything I've missed here? All advice welcomed.

FuzzyDiamond Sat 20-Aug-16 17:56:44

Sounds fantastic, especially the Saturday club! Good luck with your move and I will keep my eye out for your venture. My Ds would love it grin

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