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how much would you pay for this baby/toddler/pre-school class?

(16 Posts)
blushingmare Wed 09-Dec-15 20:01:12

I'm thinking about starting up a series of baby/toddler/pre-school classes and wondered if people could tell me what they'd be happy to pay for this. (And if you'd go!).

I'm a children's physiotherapist with a specialism in sensory integration. I have many years experience of working with children with sensory processing difficulties, DCD/dyspraxia, attention problems. Having had my own children I've realised that a lot of the activities I do with my patients are beneficial and fun for all children and that maybe parents would like some advice and ideas on how to support the physical development of their babies and children. I also know that there are some children that could do with a bit of extra help in developing their motor skills and that this could be achieved in a toddler group type session and giving parents advice.

So I thought I would run 3 classes for different age groups. The general principle would be to do a physical activity circuit, using lots of different obstacle course and soft play type equipment. Followed by a more focussed activity working on a particular skill, followed by a calm down time using sensory resources. Obviously the activity and type of equipment would depend on the age group. At the end of each session there would be tea & coffee and a snack and play for the children and during this time I would talk briefly to the parents about a different topic each week - ie. activities that help develop crawling, games to develop fine motor skills, baby equipment that is good to use and what isn't so good. I would give a hand out on this topic each week with ideas for them to try at home.

Would this kind of thing be/have been of interest to you?
What would you pay for it?
What numbers of children would you expect to see in a group like this?

Many thanks for your input!

Highlove Wed 09-Dec-15 20:12:34

Yes I would. No I've not. Dunno - maybe £7-8 per session?

Highlove Wed 09-Dec-15 20:14:10

Oh. Probably not a massive group - maybe 12 max? Guess it depends on how much space there is - it would irritate me if we were all on top of each other!

Lilipot15 Wed 09-Dec-15 20:23:36

That sounds a great idea, I'd come!
Cost depends where you live. Where I am folk would definitely not pay more than £5 per session and even then consider it steep.
You'd need to consider getting folk to sign up to, say, blocks of 6 weeks.

I think the fact that you're a professional working with children already gives you credibility - some of the paid things we've done have been run by folk of varying skills....one was very obviously done by a mum who fancied something "easier" after mat leave and had no skills with large groups of early years kids. Needless to say we haven't returned to that one.

Numbers wise, 12 maybe? Depends if folk bring sibs. I go to a group where quite a few of us have close age gaps so bring two along and it's boisterous to say the least! But very fun and friendly grin

Nicknamegrief Wed 09-Dec-15 20:29:58

Not more than £5-7 per family per class (depending on where you were and based on reputation). If you were established and recommended by other mums then £7.
I do think you would actually struggle to break even on that sort of money, with the cost of equipment, transport and insurance.
There are plenty of other similar activities out there that cover most of the things you have already mentioned, so competition Is fierce.

BikeRunSki Wed 09-Dec-15 20:32:38

Sounds quite a lot like GymBobs/Tumble Tots. My youngest is 4 now, but I would have paid around £5 a session for that.

MrsA2 Thu 10-Dec-15 07:29:23

£5 or possibly £6 max. I'd like a one-off (paid) trial and then would expect to commit to a half term block of c. 6 classes. I wouldn't expect more than 12, max 15 - given that most weeks you'll get a few kids who aren't there for sickness/holiday etc.

toastandmarmaladewithacupoftea Thu 10-Dec-15 21:54:40

That sounds great - I would definitely have been interested in this. What age groups were you considering?

Is your intention for it to be mainly fun, or genuinely therapeutic - for parents who are a bit worried that there might be some issues (although perhaps below the threshold for getting help through the NHS)?

I live in the outer-London suburbs, and most 'fun' classes are £6-£8 for a half-hour class. I think you'd struggle to get more than that for a general-purpose class, and I agree that numbers would have to be limited to 10-12.

But if you could target it in a more therapeutic way, I expect you could charge more - but might also need smaller groups. You'll know better how many children you can help at one go.

Look at the success of cranial osteopathy if you want to see how willing parents are to pay quite a lot on fixing/improving problems. And you're a qualified medical practitioner, in an specialty which is known and recognised as helping specific conditions - so a lot more credible than cranial osteopathy, although not yet trendy.... People don't hear much about sensory integration until children are a bit older (say 2-3?) if at all. You might need to find ways to get information about your classes out to parents - and what kind of problems they can help.

blushingmare Fri 11-Dec-15 00:05:15

Thanks all - you raise some good points! My thinking behind the idea is that all children would benefit from activities to promote a healthy sensory system and to aid their physical development, so the classes would be aimed at all children. Also, my thinking was parents would benefit from and be interested in getting professional developmental advice and ideas for developmental activities and games. They would be particularly attractive to parents who are worried their child might have difficulties, but wouldn't be aimed at that group particularly. There are plenty of baby and toddler groups around me, and lots of music groups, but very few physical movement type groups and I haven't found any that make use of soft play stuff etc.

I was thinking probably 3 age groups. A newborn - just before mobile baby one, a mobile baby - walking and a toddler/pre school one. Could need those categories refining though!

TBH, I think a PP is probably correct in saying I probably wouldn't break even. I don't know how anyone does with these classes that charge £5 ish - by the time you've paid tax on that and venue hire, insurance etc, you don't have much left! And yet there are classes that are run as businesses around us, rather than just charitable playgroup type things.

I guess I was wondering if having a qualified professional running a baby/child development class would justify a larger fee, but from the sounds of it it doesn't sound like it would. That doesn't surprise me - I think as a mother myself I would baulk at paying much more than £5 or £6. Maybe it would be better to focus on the group of children who have some needs, but I just feel like these things would be beneficial to all children, not just those with established difficulties.

ThatsNotMyHouseItIsTooClean Fri 11-Dec-15 00:12:21

Baby sensory & tumble tots are both about £7 a class here and you have to pre-book a block of lessons.
When deciding you age groups, think about siblings. For the first two, you would probably be OK as you could fill the class with PFB. For the toddler/pre-school group, what happens about younger siblings? Can they come? Can they join in? If so, do they have to pay too? If not, where will they go?

Nicknamegrief Fri 11-Dec-15 11:52:22

Talking Tots was set up by speech and language therapists, TinyTalk was set up by a teacher for children with hearing impairments and the pre school gymnastics programme (with BGA) was devised by an Olympic medalist (who also ran classes).
Many of these classes have started by someone with that sort of professional background, in order to make it a 'career' they then franchised their ideas.
There is no need to pay a premium for someone with the relevant 'professional background' when the typical child will develop all these skills with playful parenting, IME.

Thurlow Fri 11-Dec-15 11:55:29

For a qualified professional - say you advertised your experience - I would probably pay £7-£8.

Rosenwyn1985 Fri 11-Dec-15 12:42:06

Although a different subject we pay £6.50 for a hour French lesson. You can have a free first session to see if you like it. Siblings are half price and free under a year old. It includes the first half hour which is songs, games, dancing, story. Then free play and a language orientated craft with a snack included. The price is actually £7 but you get discount for booking early. This is a franchise and taught by a qualified teacher. Group size is about 15 max. Hope that helps. We're in the south of England.

singingcygnetsmusic Tue 28-Mar-17 18:56:59

Please bear in mind people running these classes have a lot of expenses: venue hire, purchase of instruments and props, insurance, travel, etc.; not to mention their time and skills. I was asked to take over and run an established session and was paid by the school I work for. When it was decided that it was no longer viable, I did not want to cancel the sessions as the children and adults involved were such a lovely group. I have consequently been running it unpaid for over a year. Sadly, I will have to start asking for donations, but those involved have been nagging me to charge for some time! They have also asked me to set up other classes, for which I will probably charge something like £3 for half an hour (£2 for siblings). It is a joy and a privilege to work with children (and adults!), but it is also necessary to make a living!

justonesherryformedicinalpurpo Thu 30-Mar-17 16:09:11

Sounds great! One of the groups we go to is Toddler Sense which has soft play for the first half and then role play for the second with different set ups and themes each week. It is definitely my fave! And we pay £7 a class. It is also paid by term in advance which would be a good way for you to secure payment.

I don't mind the cost because we get SO much from! I love that they can burn off energy and socialise with other toddlers and then we focus on their imagination at the end. Definitely worth the money imo!

We go to Baby Ballet and Monkey Music as well and they are both very popular and also charge £7 a class so that seems to be average atm.

firawla Thu 30-Mar-17 16:17:20

If it was a really good course, slightly longer sessions and smaller group setting I would pay a bit more than others have said, if I felt I'm getting some really useful info on development as well as it being fun. For eg I've paid about 66 for 5 weeks baby massage in a group of 8, which works out over 10 a week but I really liked the class and I'm hoping to sign up for that lady's follow up class. I would definitely be interested in something like what you mentioned

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