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Help! What Would You Do?


marley
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Hi

Thanks for all the advice given so far (if I havent said it already on the thread concerned)

Here is my mnext dilemma....

We are school and holiday club and open the 6 week hols. Bookings so far are very low for the holidays ...some days 1, 2 3 children to a max of 13. To break even we have to have 10 children attend which we have only got for the last week before school starts. We have got activities planned with people coming in to do workshops but this has failed to increase numbers. We have advertised in all the local villages and at fairs etc.

 

As a committee it is not financially viable and we would be losing up to £150 per day if we did open . However, parents do depend on us. Last year they made a huge loss over the holidays because of this we are thinking of closing on certain days.

 

Anyone have any advice? What do you think? We have tried everything we can think of!

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Can you get the local paper in to do a small feature article on you? This might drum up some interest among parents who for some reason haven't seen your adverts and flyers.

 

Good luck - as someone who struggles with low numbers I feel your pain!

 

Maz

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Not sure how out of school clubs work (and I'm thinking that this is a silly idea even as I type!!) but are similiar setting experiencing the same issues? Could you group together somehow? Really not sure how it would work though?!

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I presume you have advertised at your local schools? What about advertising at local businesses? I am never shocked by how late some people leave childcare!!

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Have advertised everywhere we can think of (we are club based in school)...going to comm meet tonight so will let you know. HAve worked out we stand to lose £1800 if we open everyday with nunbers as they are.

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Hi Marley Is there a local extended services provision in your area, if so they advertise online to all secondary schools right down to preschools for various activities throughout the summer. Not sure what age you target, just a thought what about the local radio, local papers, flyer drop or posters around your local community, including doctors, library, church halls, children's centres, swimming pool, need some fantastic theme to draw them in bouncy castle day trips, sports,etc.

Good luck

Edited by bridger
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are you able to close on the quieter days and incorporate that days planned activites onto another day ? are children choosing specific days because they want to do the planned activity or because the parent needs the childcare ?

eg if you have pottery on monday with 4 children booked and painting on tuesday with 12 booked can you do pottery and painting on a tuesday and not open on monday (sorry bit longwinded explanation !!)

are parents using the club as a means of childcare because they have to , or because the children like the activites on offer ?

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I would explain to parents the issue with insufficient children to cover costs... I used to let them know unless we had xx children we were not covering costs so could not open..

 

 

and then work out which days I could open with enough income to break even and only open on those days...

 

while offering a service and parents needing you, you also have to work out is it better to open a few days in the holidays offering a limited service, rather than close altogether which would be the alternative.

 

If parents know the problems you may find them able to help to recruit a few more children .

 

Inge

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Have you tried your localcouncil for summer playscheme funding?/ Or even parish council (if you have one?) Also, get the local schools involved, ask them to hand out fliers to all children to take home, plus ask them to put you on their internet sites. Target local companies as well, some of them may need care for holidays.good luck

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Guest jenpercy

I always tear my hair out every holiday - but then apart rom the odd day, it all turns out Ok. So far this hols, we have an average of 8.74 per day, but a lot of our regulars have not booked yet and we are hoping to make this up to 30 average a day by the end of the summer. We always find that we get more bookings throughout the summer as people who have made other arrangements find out that they have fallen through. We also get extra boookings from people who didn't want to comit themselves to booking too many days as a new starter.

 

last holiday, I thik that we had an average 14 a day about 10 days before and ended up average 21. Makes it hell to plan staffing but you need to hold your nerve.

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Hi all

Well already have our own website which is linked to from our primary school and other places...already we are advetised via extended services too.

Comm have decided where there are 3 or less to call parents tell them the situation and let them decide (one is a parent on our comm who said her son had to go!). Anyway have decided that we will take the loss as we can afford it at the moment (apparently!). Hers hoping the numbers do go up at the last minute. Going to send fliers out in school bags for the second time next week.

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Guest jenpercy
Hi all

Well already have our own website which is linked to from our primary school and other places...already we are advetised via extended services too.

Comm have decided where there are 3 or less to call parents tell them the situation and let them decide (one is a parent on our comm who said her son had to go!). Anyway have decided that we will take the loss as we can afford it at the moment (apparently!). Hers hoping the numbers do go up at the last minute. Going to send fliers out in school bags for the second time next week.

 

We send our flyers to several local schools including those we don't collect from. Please don't alert parents yet. It would alienate them and could mean that they pull, you get exta bookings and still haven't got enough. Have you thought of leafletting large employers - give then some for staff room.

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