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Afterschool Club In Pre-school With Pre-school And School Children


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We're an independant charitable rural pre-school within the grounds of a school. We run a breakfast club for 2-9 year olds from 8-9 am, with pre-school from 9-3pm, followed by afterschool from 3-4 for the pre-school children.



The school cannot make their afterschool club pay and it looks like they will be making their staff redundant. They have approached us to see if the after-school club leader could run her own after-school club in our pre-school from 3 pm. I suggested that it would be better (assuming we could cover our costs somehow) if our pre-school ran the club but apparently we would have to employ the outgoing staff on the same rate of pay and pension - something about tuppence?


Does anybody else do anything like this, and if so what are the implications? I'm assuming that the after-school club leader would need to register with Ofsted and have her own insurance - is there anything else I haven't thought about? Then pay rent to our pre-school. Then we'd have other mountains to climb such as the running of our after-school club (we only have one child at the moment), would the older children use our resources, we currently clean our setting at the end of the day ourselves whereas they would have had the school caretaker clean their existing club, use of the telephone, locking the office to ensure confidentiality and that's just off the top of my head.

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I think you mean Tupe...




I would be very careful. If school can't make it cost effective then you taking on the staff is going to potentially drain your financial resources. However, allowing them to rent your space will almost certainly result in resentment around hte issues you've suggested.


We had a kind of reverse situation in that we rented space from the school, whose grounds we were in, to set up extended school provision. We were lucky enough to get a start up grant and without it it wouldn't have lasted at all as numbers were very low for the first year or so. Since then, the pre-school has been taken over by the school and we have expanded so we have larger premises and the space to accommodate older children.

We were quite worried about the extended school sharing the pre-school even though we were technically all one group. The staff were lovely but we too worried about the sharing of resources and what would happen when we were trying to clear up and rest at 3pm and they wanted to come in. It's been OK though. We started out with clear guidelines of what our responsibilities are. Pre-school clears the room and leaves out some activities if the club want them and put away any they don't. If it's a messy activity such as paint or glue, we completely clear it and wash up the resources then reset it for the club. They then do the same. We also have a checklist to ensure that each group does what they should in terms of locking away paperwork, the dishwasher, bringing in outside equipment and so on.

If you rent the space to the club, would they take on your after school children?

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I can think of a million reasons why this could cause conflict... from using your equipment I would not want another group using the equipment bought and supplied by the preschool,(who would pay for breakages) to making your setting into effectively a packaway , as you would need to clear all your stuff out .. storage for the after school club stuff, responsibility for cleaning etc.


the staff transfer would only apply if you took over the existing after school club.. TUPE is the regulations about taking over an existing company or business and having to keep the staff on the same conditions.. this applies for a reasonable time after takeover which is what you would be doing if it goes the way the school suggests..


I would be thinking very carefully about the impact on your own setting, they start at 3 so your hours effectively be reduced as you could not both operate from the same space..

You would have to ensure they did register and not expect to come in under your umbrella and run as a separate group using your name and insurance etc..all things they currently probably do not have to think about. You do not want to be the responsible body/person if not running it yourself..


We did start one when the local school ASC failed, but they closed and we opened , extending our hours, employing our own staff to run it but we were in a hall next to the school, so not on school grounds, but close enough for us to go and collect the children from 2 local schools and walk them to the setting..

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Thank you both for your replies, echoing my thoughts and concerns.


Thinking about it, as we already run an afterschool club (currently only 3-4 pm because of demand but historically 3-5) could we not just increase our provision to include school age children as we do for breakfast club. Historically we used to have the reception class children from midday up until Christmas but they now go to School full time from October.


Even supposing we could, the difficulty would be firstly in ensuring it covers our costs, though the school fee is low I believe. Another problem would be meeting the needs of a wide age range of children. Historically we have had two year olds in ASC and when the school moves to primary status there might in theory be 10 year olds wanting a space. We do have a small enclosed garden that children could have free access to, and we could use the school playground and field to let children let off steam.


Breakfast club can be quite lively with a certain mix of children but its manageable with no more than 12 children.


Then we'd need to provide a tea which would be OK provided it was an early tea rather than a main meal which I believe they currently offer otherwise we'd need another member of staff to cook it.

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if you say no to the use of your room /space will the AFC close.. in which case there is no reason not to extend your hours and to include the older children..


I do know the setting I used to run when they did this they set it up as a separate club, with its own bit in the accounts for income etc to show that it did cover its own costs.. and where the 2 local AFCs failed and closed ( one was at school the other at church ) they seem to be thriving - think they both had fees set so low that it was unsustainable.


If as they found the school fees were very low they set the fees at a reasonable rate , and offer a snack tea as offering a meal also would add to costs considerably.. which would give it another reason to fail..


My thoughts would also be how will the school react if you did say no and then start offering the care.. it would need to be very clear that you were not taking over the club but starting a new venture or extending the one you already have..

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with the last post - the school are in no position to dictate to you over taking over the club as you are an independant business. If I were you I would consider carefully extending your service to include the older age range, look at the pricing structure and if you have to make an increase in fees make it as small as possible whilst still covering all costs, and conduct some market research re: costs of other provision locally and put together a business plan.

The age range shouldn't be a problem as long as your staff plan carefully and you will have to look at your resources and equipment to make sure you can meet the needs of the older children and include the cost of buying new equipment into your business plan. Sharing your facility with a seperate club is fraught with difficulties.

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Guest MaryEMac

Our playgroup rents the 'Community Room' from the school and we were told that we would be sole users. That was fine until school parents wanted an after school club and basically said that if they didn't get one then they would take their children to a school that did. These children were very bright and boosted the Sat results. So we were told that there would be an ASC in the community room and we would have to share storage space etc. It was a very difficult time for us as we had got the layout just right and we had to pack a lot away every day. We covered everything over that we didn't want them to use but I know that they did use stuff. The children had no respect for our toys and equipment, which we had fundraised long and hard for. Their adviser kept telling them that they should be able to use our stuff and that we were being selfish. We also paid for loo rolls and paper towels which they used and getting them to share the cost was like trying to get blood out of a stone.

After 4 years it folded because the original children were now leaving for senior school and there was no real demand for it. They couldn't afford to pay their bills or their staff. We now have sole use again and are able to offer full day sessions. It was a very difficult 4 years and I really wouldn't want to go through that again. school did ask us if we wanted to take it over but if they couldn't make it work what chance did we have?



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