Type in “extra-curricular activities for nurseries” into Google and you’ll see a whole host of things advertised: ballet, French lessons, Sign and Sing, Pilates and Zumbini (for the under 2’s) are just some of the suggestions which come up in the search results. Whilst you may be lucky enough to have a member of staff who can teach these skills, the benefits of employing an external coach or teacher can outweigh the potential cost savings of relying on someone in-house.
Sourcing an external teacher means they’ll be passionate about the subject they teach, have had special training and provide their own equipment. They will also normally have their own insurance in place.
You may also find that the teacher you choose will provide lesson plans which link back to the EYFS. This is really useful for staff to include in learning journeys, but being able to participate in these lessons will help your team build on their knowledge, too.
Making your choice
Before you make your choice, it can be helpful to pin down the reason you’d like to offer these classes. Would you like to generate additional revenue? Improve parents’ perception of value for money? Perhaps you’d like to boost occupancy? Maybe parents have asked? Whatever your reason, considering these questions will help you to narrow down what kind of class you’ll offer, and whether or not you’ll pass this extra cost on to parents.
When doing your research, it can be helpful to visit the teacher’s website and see whether they have any awards or accreditations, what training they’ve done, their experience and importantly – testimonials from other settings.
Before committing to employing someone external, it can also be helpful to see them in action at another setting so you can observe them interacting with the children. You might want to ask the teacher for a copy of their lesson plans so you can see what they cover.
Check whether they have any specific space or access requirements – as this could potentially rule them out of being able to carry out a lesson at your setting.
Frequency of visits
Extra-curricular lessons could be scheduled every week, two weeks or every month depending on how well received they are and parents demand for them. However you could also consider the benefit of doing a one-off visit from a mobile farm, insect specialist or other “occasional” visitor. It’s worth bearing in mind though that the price charged by these specialists will be considerably more due to the less frequent nature of their work.
Extra-curricular activities can be very rewarding for children in terms of developing their gross and fine motor skills, helping them learn new social skills, and becoming more self-confident. If you can find an activity that will provide balance in terms of being beneficial for children, appeal to parents and provide value for money, you’re on to a winner!