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Mums who take their preschool children to classes, quick question :)

(25 Posts)
TheStoryQuilt Mon 03-Jun-13 06:59:13

This is the first time I've posted on here and I'm really delighted with all the people who have taken the time to read and help. Thanks puffinnuffin for sharing your experience its invaluable advice to someone just starting out. TinyDiamond its good to hear how you feel and it confirms to me that there are definitely people out there who would go to summer sessions. MerylStrop, I think you have hit the nail on the head and I can see a way of moving forward now. Having worked so hard on this and being now at the stage where I'm ready to go, to wait until September seemed like a lifetime away. However, its only 3 months and if I put my energy into some 'one off' taster type sessions and advertising over the holidays I think this would stand me in good stead for September.
Now...just need to have a word with my DD and suggest she stops getting up at 5.30am so my brain can work a little better smile

MerylStrop Sun 02-Jun-13 23:16:32

I've got a 3 year old and 2 primary school age DC.
I used to hate it when everything shut for the summer.
I would do some special/"one-offs" during the summer (to test the water), that are different to the weekly sessions, maybe that can also involve kids up to 8 or so. Nearer the start of the hols. By late Aug people are super flakey. Next year some of your regulars will want that, but if you just do a couple they will be special and people will make a point of going to them.

TinyDiamond Sun 02-Jun-13 23:09:58

I have a 21 month old. we do quite a bit but soon everything will be stopping for summer which is gutting as she loves the sessions we go to (music and movement, forest school, singing, swimming)

puffinnuffin Sun 02-Jun-13 23:02:40

I used to run Pre-School Music classes. I found in the holidays the majority of people didn't want to come during the summer (extra expense or they were away on holiday). I tried running summer classes for a few years and gave up due to not enough demand. It also makes it confusing with payment. I wouldn't do a pay as you go thing as you will still need to pay the costs of the halls etc.

Also extra siblings can be an issue and parents won't want to pay for them. Will you have enough equipment for extra older children?

Personally I would stick to term times only and then use the holidays to advertise your classes.

DontmindifIdo Sun 02-Jun-13 19:27:23

OP - you might find it hard to get space to rent for your class over the summer as well, most are church halls/rooms and if they are taken up with holiday clubs already you might struggle.

WhispersOfWickedness Sun 02-Jun-13 19:24:12

I have to admit, I hadn't thought of the fact that people would have school age kids as well as preschoolers to entertain in the holidays too blush I'm hopefully never really going to have to deal with that issue as there are only 20 months between mine and one school year, so the maximum age the older one will be when the younger one goes to school is 5.8yo so not too hard to accommodate into sessions for slightly younger ones (or the little one can tag along for slightly older activities!) smile

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 18:50:24

Great to hear your comments Dontmindifido, I think there must be lots of people out there who have had the same experiences as you. However as my class is new I am beginning to think that starting in September would mean that I could appeal to everyone. Good point about the insurance Boys, I would have to look into that. Thanks again for all the advice, it really has been helpful.

DontmindifIdo Sun 02-Jun-13 17:12:41

Have you thought as well it might be worth doing a "pay as you go" just for the summer holidays? It will mean you take a risk on the room hire though...

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 02-Jun-13 17:09:13

You may have trouble finding insurance for older children to attend at same time as under 5's

This is often why church groups shut during sch hols

DontmindifIdo Sun 02-Jun-13 17:08:02

I actually would love it for preschool activities to carry on in the summer - mainly because there's nothing to do for a preschooler round here in the school holidays. All the toddler and baby classes, play groups, and activities stop, all the church halls are full of holiday clubs instead for older DCs. Last summer, DS at 2.5 years old, there was nothing for me to do with him and it just rained and rained. Fine if you've got an older DC and are bringing your younger along with them, but if you only have a toddler, then there's very little on in the school holidays for them to do.

oh and all the state funded pre-schools also stop for the school holidays, so those parents suddenly have to find something to do.

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 16:44:12

I don't see the problem with older siblings, I'm sure the younger ones will enjoy the class all the more having big brother or sister along and joining in. I suppose it depends a lot on the type of activity, somethings lend themselves more easily to a wider age range.

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 16:40:57

Really ! sad

NarkyNamechanger Sun 02-Jun-13 16:39:04

Probably not.

I hav older children and although thy are very good and would happily sit with a book or DS, people aren't usually very welcoming.

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 16:23:53

Hi Monster, yes that was my initial concern as there are lots of lovely free things to do in my area, especially in the summertime.

MonsterBookOfTyRexs Sun 02-Jun-13 16:17:58

I was going to say yes I would attend the class in the school hols, but I changed my mind. Reasons are mainly due to the fact that there is so many free sessions at surestarts and museums plus trips to the seaside/theme parks to do. So I don't think I would.
A realistically affordable holiday club, then you would be talking grin

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 16:17:58

lol, poocatcherchampion ! I'm in the Brighton area, am going to put my website up tomorrow if anyone wants a bit more information (am I allowed to say that ?? Hope so)
NETBD thanks for sharing what works for you, very kind and helpful.

noteventhebestdrummer Sun 02-Jun-13 16:12:21

Payg in the holidays and book by the half term during school time?

I do this with music lessons and it works pretty well.

poocatcherchampion Sun 02-Jun-13 16:09:56

your class sounds good! where are you running it?

I don't mind tto or full time, i might still come in the holidays although not every actual week for a year! its always good to have a payg offer anyway

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 16:07:29

Hi Scaevola and DIFM, yes I'm sure once you have children both school and pre school age these things become more difficult, my DS is 2 and my DD is 7 months so your opinions are really helpful. I don't see any problems with siblings coming along during the holidays, the more the merrier smile DIFM, classes aimed at older children is something I would eventually hope to develop as I am a primary school teacher so have plenty of experience and ideas for this age range.
Thanks for your help.

DoingItForMyself Sun 02-Jun-13 15:56:57

I would also say that if you're running during the holidays you should make provision for siblings to come too (whether that's a special discounted session or specific classes aimed at older children running at the same time - obvs you'd need a helper for that one!)

scaevola Sun 02-Jun-13 15:56:10

I would have done before any DC was school age, as term time rhythm just didn't have an impact on me. Once you have one at school, it all changes and I'd only be sure of using term time ones. Unless older siblings (say up to age 5 or even 7) could come along to the non-term time sessions too.

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 15:52:42

Thanks for reading and replying Startail and Whispers you both make really good points. I wonder perhaps would a good option be to run during the holidays but allow people the option to pay for a block of classes that they can use over a period of say 4 months so they could attend when it suits them rather than be pressured to attend or lose money.

WhispersOfWickedness Sun 02-Jun-13 15:42:13

I have preschool children and fortunately my local children's centre still runs its classes in the holidays. That's when I'm most in need of groups to go to as DS isn't in preschool, gets very bored at home and all the local attractions are full of school age kids and very busy. So I would definitely attend groups in the holidays as well as term time!

Startail Sun 02-Jun-13 15:36:18

Term time only please. Swimming runs in the holidays and you always miss classes and curse because you've had to pay.

Gymnastics keeps it's own holidays and is very confusing.
I think the serious competition groups don't want six weeks off.

TheStoryQuilt Sun 02-Jun-13 15:30:25

My question is, do you or would you attend during school holidays ? I have asked a few people who attend and run classes in my local area and researched quite a few online and the vast majority seem to run term time only. I understand this is due to a combination of reasons, parents having school age children at home, people preferring to get out and about in the summer weather and time off for the people running the classes.
I want to start a storytelling class and have got almost everything in place to be able to start very soon, However I'm wondering would I be better to wait until September, would you attend a class in the school holidays ?
Thanks for reading.

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