Breakfast and After-school clubs – profit or not?

During our most recent Financial Information Networking Sessions (FINS), we had lots of discussions around breakfast and after-school club provisions.  We were surprised to hear what a huge range of pricing schools charged for this wrap-around care, from just £1.00 – £5.00 for breakfast club and up to £10.00 for an after-school club.

It is worth asking around to find out how much other local providers are charging as a benchmarking exercise to make sure that you aren’t pricing yourself out of the market, but also that you are charging a fair price for the service?  It may be that a price increase is justifiable and any profit that you make can be directed back into school resources.

If your current club is only open for one hour before and after school, this may not be enough to encourage parents to use it, opening earlier and closing later makes it more attractive to working parents and improves the marketability of your school.  Also, what activities are available for the pupils during the session?  Parents are more likely to enrol their children in breakfast and after-school clubs if they are receiving positive feedback on what they are getting up to!

It is not unreasonable to ask parents to book places half-termly and pay in advance, to help you ensure that you have the right level of staffing.  This also means that even if a place is cancelled, you are still receiving the income to cover the salary or overtime of your staff. Some schools at the FINS were charging parents for late pick-ups due to the additional staffing costs that they were having to incur.  Remember that you can use pupil premium funds for relevant children as part of their social well-being in order to make these sessions accessible to all.

Managing breakfast and after-school clubs more efficiently can make the difference between simply covering costs or making a profit, and increasing your self-generated income can only have a positive impact on helping to manage your budgets.