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"I was concerned about moving everything to an online system but with Kids Club HQ we've saved hours on invoicing, creating registers and updating children's files. As an additional bonus, I don't need half the storage for all these things any more!"
After-school childcare is both a rewarding and lucrative business avenue for those who love working with kids.
58% of working parents turn to childcare providers to look after their offspring during work hours. After-school clubs keep children busy while parents are away and teachers and childcare professionals can use these programmes to encourage kids to build key life skills, make new friends and supercharge their learning.
At Kids Club HQ, we simplify the booking and management process for childcare professionals, allowing them to run fun and engaging after-school clubs for kids.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about after-school childcare clubs - and find out how to start your own.
What is after-school childcare?
After-school childcare refers to any care and supervision provided to a child after the school day ends. The school day typically ends much earlier than the 5pm that most of the adult population finishes work.
This means that many working parents aren’t able to look after their kids straight after school. Instead, they turn to childcare providers to keep their kids busy until they leave work.
After-school childcare can refer to:
- Clubs and activities.
- Childminders and nannies.
- Personal tutoring.
- Leaving kids with friends or family.
- Childcare cooperatives.
Why start an after-school childcare club?
Among the various methods of childcare, we find after-school clubs to be one of the most engaging and useful. They allow you to supervise and entertain many kids at once and they even help children brush up on their social skills.
Traditional methods of after-school childcare, such as hiring nannies or childminders, focus more on supervising the child. On the other hand, after-school clubs keep children busy by exposing them to new experiences and by helping them learn and grow.
Here are some of the key benefits of starting a childcare club:
- Encourages kids to make new friends & build connections: Solo childcare options can be isolating. By bringing children together in group sessions, you’re motivating them to meet new people and make friends.
- Provides a safe, familiar place for children to stay: After-school clubs avoid kids being home after school without adult supervision. Many clubs of this type are held in schools, which allows children to stay in an environment where they feel safe.
- Clubs can reinforce learning and help build new skills: Club organisers can plan their sessions to help kids learn new things or cement their understanding of what they’ve learnt in school. Childcare providers aren’t bound by the national curriculum, so they’re free to make learning more fun!
- For childcare providers: After-school clubs are an efficient way to look after a large number of kids all at once.
How to start an after-school childcare programme
The first step is to get your qualifications in order. To start a club and provide childcare, you’ll need the following:
- Early years qualifications: To work with young kids, you may need an Ofsted inspection. This means that you need to be ‘Ofsted-registered’.
- Depending on how many hours of the week you provide childcare and the age range of the children under your supervision, you may have to apply to be included on the Childcare Register.
- DBS Check: The Disclosure and Barring Service provides childcare professionals with a certificate to verify they have a clean criminal history. Schools and providers won’t let you work with kids if you don’t have one of these.
Find out exactly what qualifications are required in this complete guide to the topic.
Pick a theme or activity to focus on
Here are some examples of popular after-school club ideas:
- Sports club: Choose an accessible sport like football, cricket or tennis. If there’s enough interest, a more offbeat sports club (like hockey or ultimate frisbee) may work - but gauge how willing kids are to join before going with a niche pastime!
- Book club: Spark your kids’ interest in reading by encouraging them to discover new stories or maybe get them to make up their own stories in a creative writing club. The skills acquired here will significantly help their English attainment.
- Drama or acting club: Acting is a great way to help kids build confidence and come out of their shells. Working together on plays and skits is great for team building too!
Having trouble coming up with an after-school club idea? Check out our guide for some inspiration.
Use an integrated management system to handle admin tasks
The administrative tasks associated with running an after-school club - particularly those with a large membership - can present a significant challenge.
That’s why we recommend using booking and management software to simplify the process.
What admin tasks need to be done?
- Taking bookings from parents.
- Invoicing parents for the club.
- Completing attendance registers.
- Sending out payment reminders for overdue invoices.
- Generating income reports.
These admin responsibilities can take up a lot of your time. Fortunately, with Kids Club HQ you can streamline and automate the process.
By integrating all of these tasks with Kids Club HQ, you’ll be able to access the information you need whenever and wherever you need it.
Run a hassle-free after-school childcare programme with Kids Club HQ
Ready to get started with your own after-school childcare club?
Kids Club HQ provides childcare providers with all the tools they need to run an after-school club – including an interactive booking system, automated payments system and attendance registers.