Stay and play/ parent& child group(20 Posts)
I am thinking to set up parent and child group. Spoken with with ofsted. I can do two hours per day for how many days i want No registration needed.
I am just wondering from where to start. I mean is there any policy and procedures to follow , insurance , etc
Plus i have my 8 months old baby. How about taking him with me and run class. Opinions please.
Unclear what you are doing - if parents are there with their children then it's like a toddler group so I would talk to the Pre-School Learning Alliance which I think has information for toddler groups. Insurers like Morton Michel may also have insurance products designed for a toddler group.
Parents perspective here: unless you had a helper, I think you might struggle with bringing your own child.
When I was on maternity leave (up to 12 mo) I took my LO to new parent classes / baby massage etc held in local church halls / community centres. Some were free. Some were £1. You needed someone to watch the signing in sheet (presumably for fire safety) and welcome parents while another helper ran the activity and then sorted the drink/snack and tidied everything away while the other led the songs at the end. I think it would be hard on your own.
Since going PT at work, LO and I have attended a free local stay-and-play. They got a Council grant to provide a healthy snack for the kids as well as tea/choc biscuits (!) for the grown-ups. They are based in a community centre with a large toy/games cupboard, outdoor playground as well as organise a craft activity each week. It's on for 1.5 hours and I'd struggle to see how you could make it profitable. What else is available in your local area?
What I would have loved to have, and might work for you and your own child, is a parent/child exercise class (put some wellie into "head, shoulders, knees and toes", parents v toddler races, hula hooping etc) and/or a baby first aid course. I know there's buggy exercise classes in my town but they're for baby aged children, not toddlers / pre-schoolers. I think that's where a gap is in the market. All you need is a hall and a CD player (and insurance etc...). Gym-tots type classes, to me, were not worth the money but both me and my LO would have loved a parent/child focused exercise/movement class.
(Sorry - that was long!).
The answer will depend on precisely what you’re planning to do, and that isn’t clear.
Is it childcare? A parent and toddler group? One of those baby clubs for the anxious bourgeoisie (like that odious thing on C-Beebies)? Or what?
What type of venue are you planning to use? How much is the room rent? What toys/games do they already have or secure storage for yours? Do you need to consider infection control for the toys? Can you use their cleaning equipment or store your own? (I've walked in on projectile vomiting at one toddler group I attended and you'll need some sort of 'spill kit' for toilet training accidents). Do they have a nice child friendly toilet onsite? (Eg very popular church hall based one here has child insert seats on the toilets, locks can be opened from the outside (seen this required more than once!), step stools for the sinks and hot/cold mixer taps).
Do they have parking? Are they on a bus route? Is there secure buggy parking?
Are you planning to provide a snack? You'll need to look into Food Hygiene Certificates. Do they have a kitchen area for food prep / tidying up / dishwasher / plate and beaker/cup storage? Can you store food there?
What age are you catering to? There's a big difference between 12-24 month toddlers and +4 year pre-schoolers.
What time do you plan to run? Popular groups here are just after school drop off time or just before lunch (as said church hall also ran a cafe).
What activities will you offer - obv based on age of participants. Are you going to run just in school term time or just break for Xmas / Easter?
Do you have a First Aid Certificate plus access to a First Aid kit or storage of one.
What plans have you got to help avoid the inevitability Mum cliques forming?
What is your USP? Why should I attend your group rather than the established one in my local church hall that costs me £1 run by lovely church folk who also arrange ad hoc nights out for the parents (eg Xmas dinner)?
As I've said upthread I'm a parent. I have no professional childcare experience but I've been lucky enough to attend some great toddler groups and have made a few Mum friends doing so.
I've gone PT at work to spend time with my LO so I want that time to be meaningful and fun for both of us. I can put her in a Baby Ballet class but that is not us spending time TOGETHER. That's what I really want from a parent/toddler class.
If you've identified a need for something in your local area, go for it!!
Are you able to "volunteer" at a local one to see the running of it from the other side?
(again - sorry that was long!).
What about a forest kinder club?
One we went to was 6 or 8 weeks (can't quite remember!). First week was "sounds" so listen to the bird song, rustle of leaves etc. Next week was "touch" so compare a pine cone to a petal etc; next week was "colours" etc etc
It ran in a local wood. They set up a hammock in the trees and had ground sheets for story time. Brewed tea in a storm kettle. Lots of bug hunts and "painting" on trees with (squashed raspberry) coloured water.
Everyone wore wellies and waterproofs (and insect repellent).
It was run by a group encouraging kids to connect with nature so it was either free or a nominal £5 IICRC so not sure how you'd make a profit. You had to register in advance as places were limited.
I'm not sure it would be suitable for your 8mo at this stage.
Hi all. Thanks a lot for lovely advice. I am an early years practitioner so thinking to start playgroup with parents n toddlers but more of learning environments e.g. sensory , vision etc (related to EYFS).
My point is from where to start. As ofsted does not cover such groups. Local council isnot sure about it either. I can start on my own but donot want any legal hassle. If it makes sense e.g do i meed to register with any authority or am I answerable to some one. Do i need to follow any policies and procedures( like in childcare we have to work by ofsted n eyfs guidelines, look for safeguarding, etc)
Our parent and toddler group has some kind of insurance. Not sure what, as it's not one of my jobs - public liability I guess?
You just need insurance.
Then you need to write all your own policies and procedures, do risk assessments, make sure your first aid is up to date and safeguarding to cover your back.
But essentially it's up to you how you run it.
Call your local council as a starting point, especially I you know where you want to hold it.
Thanks @fitzbilly any idea from where to get insurance.
I mean is it similar to car insurace or need business ?
Morton Michel, parenta.com might be worth a try but I think they specialise in childcare which you are not providing.
Maybe do a search and call a few providers for advice?
You will probably not break even with a toddler group. General admission £1 to £2 wont cover rent, insurance, snacks, crafts, cleaning products.
Most toddler groups are run by a Committee and fund raise to address this.
If you are thinking of earning money this way you wont.
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