What do you think? DH laughed :(

(50 Posts)
KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 09:56:13

I'm currently on mat leave with dc2. I'm a teacher and really don want to go back at all full time. It's not just 'leaving the kids', it's more c

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 10:05:06

Argh! Sorry!

It's more that I'm completely fed up with it. Gove and school politics? Not for me.

I've had quite a few ideas of things I could start up. One of which is a preschoolers cooking class. My DH laughed! But, there isn't anything like this in my surrounding area (city); nearest is 30 miles away.
As a teacher, I'm confident I could plan a good, interesting and educational session. As I teach a practical subject, I'm also sure I could hopefully manage a small group of 2-4 year olds (with parents). I'd include ingrediants in with price etc and hold classes around area in small community halls (are these expensive to hire?) with a cooker!
Thinking I could also do parties and possibly go into schools (primary) but know the latter would be difficult as schools don't have the extra cash.

I'm thinking I would need to ask to go part time for this to work. I'd love to just not go back, but I need to be sensible. Dd1 goes to school the following September, and I'd love to be able to take and collect her, as well as put dc2 in nursery much less.

So, is It doable? Would people pay to do it? There seem to be a few around the country. Mainly in Surrey hmm and London. Also a bigger company with fanchises set up (not near here).


daisychicken Thu 27-Jun-13 10:08:21

Could you expand to teach cooking to other ages as well? Maybe an afterschool type club? Our school did do it for a while - we had to pay a small amount per class - and it was always oversubscribed.

My first thoughts - Insurance. Small children plus cookers/risk of food poisoning/allergies. Your risk assessments will be a million pages long grin

You would need at least one assistant. Could be tricky to make any profit unless you are aiming for the wealthy customers. Would not be attractive to many parents if they had to stay for the session rather than drop and run (eg if they had siblings/other things to do)

When would the sessions be? weekends? Or daytimes to pitch to SAHMs who already do plenty of cooking while trying not to trip over DCs.

Fragglewump Thu 27-Jun-13 10:18:33

Not sure how feasible it is as funding is available from 'let's get cooking' for after school clubs which are run by volunteers and all food and attendance are free for the children. Both of my children did them and they are very popular!

VinegarDrinker Thu 27-Jun-13 10:21:29

There is one local to us and it is fab, but I'm pretty sure it is a volunteer run thing and they don't make a profit kidskitchenlondon.wordpress.com/

bassingtonffrench Thu 27-Jun-13 10:21:29

not mad at all. this is definitely do able. there are loads of classes in my area, including a food class for preschoolers.

but you would earn a pittance compared to teaching I would imagine.

VinegarDrinker Thu 27-Jun-13 10:22:22

Meant to say quite a few of the Children's Centres locally do free cooking sessions too.

chestnut100 Thu 27-Jun-13 10:23:31

Definitely doable. I know of a similar successful business round here that the children's centre buy in for sessions, runs sessions at soft plays, and has a very lucrative trade in birthday parties. I'm in the north

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 10:45:26

Thank you! That was quick.

I didn't know about the community centres and the 'let's get cooking'. I'll need to have a look. The area I was thinking of targeting is definitely a wealthy area. not my area but nearby
I was thinking about £6 a class. From researching other websites, this seems to be the going rate. I would imagine you'd have to aim for about 10 preschoolers per class. I was thinking of during school day, so older siblings not a problem. Younger ones? Maybe a small selection of toys etc to keep occupied. But not sure how that would work. I certainly wouldn't be able to afford help.
The money is an issue. My salary is good (been teaching 10 yrs) and I'm not sure the school would agree to pt.

I need to look into this volunteering group. If they're doing sessions round here it certainly won't work.

Damnautocorrect Thu 27-Jun-13 10:46:59

Have a look at splat cooking, they do similar. Sounds a great idea to me

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 11:13:20

OMG a prices on splat cooking! Looks fab though. Thanks for the link damn.

Quick google search for surrounding children's centres:doesn't appear to be any kids cooking classes. A few adult ones aimed at cooking for kids. Now I'm wondering if I look into funding if I could try doing some classes at the centres to try out my idea? I have 3/4 of my mat leave left. If I get my act together and actually research a nd advertise to start in sept, I could really give it ago for a term and a half!

moaning that's a good point. I wouldn't be letting the kids near the cooker! But allergies and food poisoning are important factors.

I'm thinking of trying to book dd1 onto a session at the class about 30 miles away. I wonder if it's a good idea to be honest with the organiser and ask her advice?

Thanks everyone. Secretly quite excited.

cooooodle Thu 27-Jun-13 11:19:39

In my town, there are classes that are £8 for 1.5 hours, and cupcake classes that are £17.50 (!!) for 2 hours. There is also holiday workshops (10-3) that are £38. I had no idea. My first thought about the holiday one is that it is really expensive, but I also found myself thinking dd would absolutely love this...

My friend is doing after-school cooking classes (for kids and their parents) and charges about £6. She is not making any money on that, though, and is not sure it is worth the effort. So maybe it is worth thinking about charging a higher rate to begin with?

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 11:58:43

Does anyone know where I stand if I start this whilst on mat leave? Is it allowed? SMP from next pay slip.

cooooodle seems people will pay more. Where are they holdin the holiday classes? I'd imagine you'd need a classroom environment. I suppose if you limit numbers and can still use one small cooker, you'd be ok.

I am now really paranoid that my Internet searches are just failing to bring up a local class. There seems to be a lot of you that know of classes confused.

DonutForMyself Thu 27-Jun-13 12:17:24

I know 2 friends doing pre-school cooking classes and they're really popular, they also run holiday classes/after school classes for older DCs + birthday parties.

One of them goes into nurseries to teach groups there (we didn't have the option, if they went to nursery on the cooking day it cost an extra £3 or so to cover the class) and does it at the school as an after school club, so lots of scope for classes.

She is very proactive with marketing, FB, local radio, local paper/events etc so it does take a lot of time to do it well, but even as a part-time thing it could be successful. The 2 franchises I know of are Crafty Cooks and Mini Pinnys.

FWIW the previous lady gave up her classes because she didn't make much profit after hiring a hall, this one uses her own kitchen for groups of 6 - much more manageable and cheaper. We paid £6 for an hour I think (or was it 2 hours?!) which included all ingredients and a recipe card. While food was cooking kids got to try different foods and as the parent stayed there weren't any issues with allergies etc as it was up to the parent to supervise pre-schoolers.

CC lady catered for a child who had an allergy by buying a specific brand of margarine and the children didn't go near the cooker, they carried their tray into the kitchen and handed it to her. Most recipes were about weighing and mixing, not heating on the hob, but that's where a franchise will help, as they will have tested all the recipes, will know what H&S stuff you need to do etc.

I think its a brilliant idea, go for it.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 12:28:07

I'm sorry your DH laughed at you - not very supportive is he?!

I can understand why you want to get out of teaching and into something else.

I think it's worth looking into - but not limiting your options yet.

You lost me at 'with parents' though. I'd be happy to pay for you to bake/cook with them while I go and have a coffee - but I wouldn't pay to do it if I had to stay - if I want to bake/cook with them, we can do it at home smile mind you, having the mess elsewhere is somewhat appealing

what are you going to do with your own baby while supervising 10 pre-schoolers around an oven and potential hot things.

I am self employed and pay for childcare while I'm working, even when I'm working from home. Not because I make a fortune but because my mind can't be fully on the job if the children are in the house (omg if they should shout out while I'm on the phone grin)

I volunteer one lunchtime a week to teach knitting at a local school. I can't manage more than 5 or 6 kids at once. 10 is too much imo, and how many pre-schoolers are allowed to one adult anyway?

If you can't afford an assistant, are expecting to take your own baby with you (I wouldn't be happy to be paying someone who was effectively minding their own child whilst doing the activity) then its not going to make you much money is it?

Try part time at your day job our school has several part time teachers.

cakebar Thu 27-Jun-13 12:36:41

Our sure starts locally do 'make take and bake' classes, you prepare the food and take it home ready to bung in the oven with instructions on how long, temperature etc. That could avoid oven issues in a hall. I've heard uptake is not great and these are very cheap.

Someone locally does baking parties and they are wonderful. They make sweet things that don't require baking. However the parties are at weekends usually and after school so not sure if that will suit you.

I think classes would be more appealing for school age children to get them to learn basic dishes, but again this would be school age kids. The trouble with the pre-school market is that more parents have gone back to work and more children are attending pre-school/nursery due to free hours so parents aren't looking for extra classes and toddlers are too small really.

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 12:40:09

chipping I wasn't impressed with him either. He is supportive in me trying to go self employed and get out of teaching. He is currently doing it and doing very well!
donut I haven't come across those 2 franchises on my search confused. I guess there is more out there than I realised. Will check them out thank you.

fibberty I totally agree about the childcare. I had every intention of putting dd2 into some kind of childcare. Half day at our nursery is £20. But holiday classes and DH is free. Weekend parties my DM would love to help out for a couple of hours she is practically raising my neice
I certainly would have to go part time. But I would need to try and make up the shortfall. I have a few other ideas too (totally unrelated).

The other thing that's made me think-today both dcs are ill with ear infections! What on earth do you do when something like that happens?

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 12:51:51

Interesting about using own house....would you need special licences etc for that?

Is mini pinnies a new Zealand franchise? I couldn't see anything for the uk. Crafty cooks-had a quick look. Thankfully again nothing that is anywhere close to me. But £3,500 to join the franchise hmm I certainly couldn't stretch to that.

I have found a kids cookery class about 15 miles away. But it's for older children and not a regular weekly class.

Maybe I need to think more about holiday clubs and parties instead of a weekly class? It certainly would potentially make a lot more per session, and I wouldn't need to pay for child care...

Anyone know about the legalities with mat leave?

badguider Thu 27-Jun-13 12:56:30

I am on Mat Allowance and can only do ten 'keeping in touch' days on my business but I don't know the situation for the employed on SMP... However, are you actually going to run a class while on mat leave? I don't count any time I do on the business that doesn't actually bring in money as 'working'... who can control what I do inside my own head in terms of thinking and planning?

This might sounds insane given teachers' work loads but would you consider doing school-holidays only for a year to test the business model? I know some people who do classes for kids (nature and bike skills) and only offer these in easter/summer/half-term holidays to start with and build a base.

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 12:57:37

Just seen your post cakebar. Thanks smile. I had considered the take home option.
I think after school might be difficult as DH's business is mainly evening based. But you're right about preschoolers. Do nurseries generally hire this type of thing though? I know our nursery hasn't. I think 3+ the ratios are 1:8 aren't they?

So much to think about grin

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 12:58:20

DD and I have been to a cooking class just this morning. It was the last one as they're stopping and we're both going to really miss it.

The company I work for occasionally as a face painter are looking to open a new one (with me as the possible teacher!) to fill the gap.

They do classes in a community centre and at a couple of the local pre schools. Nothing is cooked on site, it's all packed into little take-away trays to be taken home and baked. DD is 3 and loves it.

badguider Thu 27-Jun-13 13:00:21
KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 13:11:12

Thank you bad! That's great news.
blather I really hope you're not near me grin. How much were you paying for your class with DD?

Seriously thinking of doing some kind of holiday class. The school I work at do a two week summer school run by a small group of teachers and they charge a fortune! it would be really cheeky to ask to run I there though wouldn't it
I wonder if the local primaries would let out a room...

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 14:46:08

It was £4 for the cooking, a craft or some colouring afterwards and drinks and biscuits.

I'm not sure how much they charged the ore schools but I think they mostly went for the private ones which had a bit more money.

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 14:59:32

And FWIW, I stayed with DD for the lessons and didn't mind a bit. Yes, I can cook with her at home but I thought that the ingredients, recipe planning and social aspect was worth the cost. Plus, there was no tidying up obviously. Our class did savoury and sweet recipes alternately and we've tried things I would never have attempted at home both from an ingredient perspective and from the method side too. It turns out DD is a fantastic runner-iner-er, something I would have probably thought beyond her before we started attending.

We have a crafty cooks near us and futurefoodies too. It seems there is room for more than one.

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 15:00:53

Rubber-iner-er not runner.

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 15:11:02

Thanks again blather.
I'm not sure they'd be any profit at £4 a class though if you had to hire a hall and get ingredients. Do you think your class was run by volunteers? Or maybe the hall hire was free? Was there about 8-10 kids?

Now wondering if I could possibly use my DH's business facilities. Don't think there is a kitchen though...and it's a bit out the way but very easy to walk from the high street and has parking! He doesn't really use it during the times I would run the classes.

Only thing is, it's not quite in the thick of the affluent area I was hoping to target (but really not too far). Certainly something to think about.

DonutForMyself Thu 27-Jun-13 15:20:37

Apparently Mini Pinnys is quite new, only a FB page up at the moment but website due to go online soon www.minipinnys.co.uk


Bibblebobbleparsnip Thu 27-Jun-13 15:32:04

Just wanted to say that this sounds brilliant! Are you north yourself? If you're near me I'd love to come trial it!! wink
It sounds like it's completely do-able as a business- but lots of hard work, especially with little ones not yet in school. I work from home 1.5 days a week with a 3 yr old & 1yr old at not yet at school (6 yr old is in yr1) and I have had to put 3yr old in nursery and am thinking that I may need to do the same with the baby as I'm not able to concentrate properly with her crawling around the office. It's expensive & I don't like the thought of the baby in nursery yet, but feel it's fast becoming a necessity. hmm
Is there someone who could mind your little ones for you while you have a session? A family member perhaps, who wouldn't expect to be paid/would be cheap? Otherwise you'll eat up all your profits child care!

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 15:38:29

Definitely not run by volunteers and run in a rather drabby scout hut. I don't think they were making much to be honest. On average, I'd say they got 6-8 kids at the session I went to but the nursery sessions were a lot more popular thanks to the 'captive audience' smile

You'd need a kitchen for drinking water supplies at least.

OP there is an Mumsnetter who does this. Let me find her name and I'll come back to you.

It's ELR. Maybe send her a PM?

Could you teach adults instead of kids? You could charge more, and would have less worries re numbers/safety.

Maybe something like Seasonal Cooking Classes, where every month you cook different dishes based on what's in season. That would appeal to both foodie types and austerity types, as seasonal foods are usually cheaper, but sometimes it's things people don't really know what to do with.

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 16:07:34

So many replies!
dreaming not sure about adults. I teach secondary now so I suppose half way between. I'm a good cook/baker but not sure I'm an amazing cook. I kind of think you'd have to be really special to teach adults.
I do like the seasonal thing though. If I'm doing school holidays, that would be quite easy to pitch.

pete thank you! I will do.

bibble I hear you! No way could I do it with the kids in tow. I like the idea of starting with the school holidays. DH is a part time teacher too, so would have half the week off. It'd do him good to see what it's like to have both of them together for a few hours too. I'm more central smile but thanks for 👍.

So glad I posted.

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 16:09:57

How central KidsCooking? You might not be that far from me after all!

cakebar Thu 27-Jun-13 19:27:28

A school holiday 'camp' type options sounds fab, I know lots of people looking for a few weeks of different things in the summer holidays.

KidsCooking Thu 27-Jun-13 20:18:27

Just wanted to say 'thanks again' for all the help you've given on here. Its really helped me make up my mind to give this ago. I'm going to be busy over the next few days coming up with a mad, quick plan if I want this to begin over the school holidays!
Now I just need a name...

I need to research this properly. Doe anyone know if I'd need a special qualification/certificate etc? confused. Is a CRB interchangeable? So, I obviously have a CRB from the school, but the area is cynically under a different authority.

Damnautocorrect Fri 28-Jun-13 18:36:55

I second the adult suggestion, I used to work with alot of 18-24's. they couldn't boil an egg because they never had cooking lessons. So maybe trying to catch those and 'off to Uni students'

Damnautocorrect Fri 28-Jun-13 18:42:38

Give your local authority a call on the regulations for your own home, there's less regulations than you might think, (one of the splats works from home, not sure on the other). You'll need to do at least your basic health and hygiene course (can do it online).
I'd also suggest primary school after school classes, you might not make money on them but a good way of getting your name out there. Especially if you do parties (have a look at cinnamon squares parties)

KidsCooking Sat 29-Jun-13 11:52:13

Thanks, Damn.

I've looked at the certificates and I'm a little unsure which one I'd need confused level 1 or 2? I'll probably have to ring up.
Some more good ideas! Thanks. I was thinking I would need to maybe do some fetes etc to do some advertising that way. I wish I had a few more weeks before the holidays kick in. It's going to be really difficult to do what I want to with only a couple of weeks. I was thinking of asking my DDs nursery if I could do a practise type session with the preschoolers (+ the girls would love holding the baby for an hour or so).

I think one major problem I've got is knowing what to charge. if its school age kids then I wouldn't need the parents to stay (and I'm fine with that being a teacher of 30+ kids). I don't want to over charge and get no one sign up (which I'm worried about anyway if I hire out a hall) or not charge enough and not make enough iyswim.

Primary schools don't have ovens and cookers do they? I mean they might have a school kitchen-but wouldn't there be other rules about using it for this type of thing? I'm secondary and obviously we have food tech rooms which would be ideal.

I was so excited (still am) but now I'm getting cold feet about actually getting on with it and organising what I need to do. I think I'm most worried about noone signing up!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 29-Jun-13 15:22:41

How about a class for teens about to go to uni? Expand it to teach frugal shopping eg buy 3kg of pasta or 1200 size tea bags rather than small packs?

It's cheaper than them running out of cash and tapping mum and dad.

KidsCooking Tue 02-Jul-13 10:47:03

Thanks, Fluffy. Another great idea.

I've been very proactive! I think I've found a venue. Right in the centre of the 'town' with great parking and next to bus station and rail station (so fab for directions etc). It has a full catering kitchen and room attached. And all for a fab price (less than £10 an hour!).

Next problem is advertising. I'm quite capable of getting a web site up and running and fb page etc. I was hoping to do school fetes etc but I've been looking at local ones all morning and they seem to all be over already. Any other ideas? I haven't got a lot of time. Even though the venue is cheap, I don't want to sign up and be out of pocket.
Can you do things like 'cupcake decorating' at car boots? Or is that not possible confused. Is it worth getting some posters printed to drop off at schools? Or a waste of money as they are unlikely to be put up.

You've all been so helpful and I really appreciate it. If I hadn't started this thread and given the support I'd still be just thinking about it flowers.

NotDead Tue 02-Jul-13 10:51:28

good idea. funding widely available for healthy eating inpoorer areas. Also ask local indie butchers or small chains or fish shops or delis or known foodie streets to sponsor/promote.

HeathRobinson Tue 02-Jul-13 11:03:37

Advertise in local shops, do a leaflet drop, leave some leaflets at nurseries/schools/colleges depending on which age group you're targetting.

Could you do a weekend 'they cook, you shop' course (1-2 hours?), aimed at young teens, pre-teens where the parent doesn't have to stop, can go shopping, get a haircut, whatever?

KidsCooking Tue 02-Jul-13 11:52:37

Heath I was thinking about a Saturday morning class too. My DH has his own classes at the same time (totally different business) so i'd have to rope in DM to babysit.

Thanks for the idea to ask local businesses to advertise. Hadn't thought of that! hmm.

V excited. If this works and actually has full classes I coul easily cut my hours to 3 days. Next hurdle would be getting school to agree and I have to give up my promotion opportunity (a position I've been working towards for past 3 years). But a little bird tells me it's already been 'decided' that it's going to an inexperienced, younger, MALE colleague which is what prompted this business plan in the first place.

I'm rambling.

<off to design advertising>.

ojbsmum Sat 13-Jul-13 22:18:16

Just seen this thread Kids.
How are your plans going?

I'm also a teacher trying to avoid returning to work post-children.
I took the 'easy' route and now tutor at weekends and joined Usborne and sell books at toddler groups, fairs etc. Much less stressful than your plans. I really hope it's all working out...

nkf Sat 13-Jul-13 22:21:50

I think it's probably doable but I doubt it will make much money. It's a bit of a mummy job, if you know what I mean. Have you looked at those music type franches? Or Tumble Tots? I think they might be a bit more of a goer.

nkf Sat 13-Jul-13 22:24:11

Read on a bit and found out it's coming along. Good luck.

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