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A new childcare franchise is seeking passionate individuals to open out of hours children’s clubs in schools across the country.
Kids Collective was set up by business partners and mums Stephanie Molnar and Dee McKenzie. It is part of The Elmscot Group which they started in 2001 when they were struggling to find a homely nursery setting for their own children. They now run four nurseries.
In 2003 when their children started primary school they set up a breakfast and after school club for three to 11 year olds. This later became Kids Collective and has been operating in eight primary and prep schools in South Manchester and Cheshire in term time. It also offers holiday clubs in three different locations. The idea is that the breakfast and after school clubs are based in the school where the children study so they do not have to be transported elsewhere.
The Group has a staff of over 190 and are responsible for the care and early years education of more than 1,600 local children. The Kids Collective business has a turnover of £900,000 and 43 staff.
The business spotted a chance to expand and the franchise model seemed the best way to do so. Kirsty Jackson, a group development manager, says it was clear that there was “a real need” for out of hours clubs across the country and it made senses to syphon off that part of the business given that the clubs are generally run in schools which are already geared to childcare – unlike setting up a new nursery. All the franchisee has to supply are the staff and resources. “It’s a proven business model and is easily replicable,” says Kirsty.
There is also a clear demand. She says: “There are a lot more parents in work and research shows that many cannot find the wraparound care they need. Schools don’t have the resources to run clubs, but under the extended schools agenda they have to offer some after school support or signpost to other support. Many offer an hour of netball or football, but that doesn’t cover the hours that parents work.” That demand is not only from the UK. She adds that the franchise has received an inquiry from Abu Dhabi.
The franchise model allows for children to do activities like netball clubs and then come to their club and do messy play, or other activities. For older children, for instance, there is a Kids Collective council so they can have some say in how the clubs are run and there are laptops and wiis for them to play on.
Business in a box
The franchise is looking for franchisees who ideally have a passion for childcare, business acumen and who either have a childcare qualification or will employ someone who does. “We can provide training and hold people’s hands through the process,” says Kirsty. For instance, she can help franchises speak to schools about running a club. Franchisees also get an operations manual, marketing material, administration forms and a page on the franchise website. They also have access to software which cuts their administration work. “It’s a business in a box and a pretty low investment, given it scales according to how many children take up places,” says Kirsty, adding that the franchise offers a sound model for those seeking a good work life balance.
Franchises cost £13,250, but Kids Collective is running a £7,000 promotional offer for the launch. Franchisees pay a monthly management and marketing fee and Kids Collective says they can expect to earn up to £26,000 operating profit in their first year if they have an average occupancy [14 children at breakfast club and 21 at after school club] and run five days a week in term time. That equates to 25 hours a week.
Kirsty says franchisees can choose to run only in term time, but some put on holiday clubs as well. “As long as they copy what we do they will have a successful business,” she says. “They can grow it as big as they want to organically.”