Most parents are eager to provide their children with opportunities to explore athletics and the arts, but families are easily fatigued by evenings and weekends jam-packed with activities and classes. As a child care director, you are in the unique position to give your clients the gift of family time by partnering with your fellow local business owners to offer classes during your regular business hours.
Generally, all you need is the space to host an instructor and a handful of your students for each class. You will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of information and registration documents between your families and the visiting instructor, but you should not have to process payments for these classes through your school. In some markets, schools may earn a percentage of the revenue from these classes as well. Consult with other local school directors to determine what is customary in your area.
Ask Your Friends and Neighbors
Is your preschool located near a reputable karate or dance studio, or are you acquainted musicians or artists? Ask them if they would be available to teach a weekly class to your students. If they’ve never been approached by or worked with a preschool before, stress that you are suggesting that your families pay for the lessons - you are not asking them to volunteer!
You will of course need more space for martial arts or ballet classes than for art or music classes, and the instructor you approach can quickly help you determine if your available room will work. But if it is too small for one activity, don’t despair! Judo might be out of the question, but yoga might be ideal.
Turn to the Professionals
If you live in a bigger market, you might have access to franchise vendors like Tumblebus, Songs for Seeds, or Imagine Arts Academy. The advantage of programs like these is that they are designed to be mobile and work in a variety of spaces, and they already know how to work with schools and to get parents signed up. This is especially helpful if this is your first time offering outside classes at your school.
Clubs and Organizations
Officially, organizations like Girl Scouts and Camp Fire USA serve kindergarteners on up. But each of these groups has a well-developed, semi-official preschool program. Potential future Brownies can sign up for the Girl Sprouts, a fun introduction designed to get girls excited about scouting, and the Co-Ed organization Camp Fire USA has the Little Stars program. These programs may require a bit more initiative to get started, but if you have a teacher or parent volunteer with energy to burn, they are worth exploring.
Offering your families additional services is simply good business sense. Like after-school programs and summer camps, these offerings keep your families fully engaged with your school. They boost satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth, and make your school more appealing to new families.