The global pandemic saw more people working from home than ever before, but as many return to offices across the UK, the demand for childcare is once again on the increase. If you’re interested in running your own business with operational support, training and advice easily available to you, why not consider making a career change with a childcare franchise?
If you like working with children and you’re currently contemplating a career change, starting a childcare franchise could be an ideal option for you. Franchising is far lower risk than building a business from scratch, and as a franchisee with a childcare business, you could combine a rewarding, meaningful job with constant demand and steady profits.
Why start a childcare franchise?
The UK nursery market is worth £6.7 billion [LaingBuisson], and as the UK continues along the path to post-COVID normalcy, the demand among parents and guardians for reliable, quality nursery services is high. If you’re interested in making an investment in an undeniably lucrative industry that’s currently growing, childcare is a solid option.
Childcare is a growth industry, and in the age of technology whereby many jobs are becoming redundant or obsolete, the childcare sector is set to only grow in size and increase in demand. There will always be an industry need for qualified and capable childcare workers.
How to make a career change with a childcare franchise
Making a career change with a childcare franchise is as simple as completing the following three steps:
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1. Assess your skills
Most franchise opportunities come with extensive training and support in return for your investment, but even so, it’s helpful to head into a sector with some established, relevant skills. You might not need experience, but you will need certain soft, transferable skills to succeed as a childcarer, such as:
- Creative thinking and problem-solving
- Compassion and empathy
If you’re not sure whether you’d be best placed working in the childcare industry, you could take a look at the listed franchisee requirements to determine whether or not you fit the bill. Here are a couple of examples...
- Sherpa Kids - Sherpa Kids is a global company that runs before- and after-school clubs and holiday activities. The franchise is looking for a franchisee who has two qualities. They need to be passionate about working with children and able to grow a business.
- Banana Moon - As a Banana Moon franchisee, you can build and manage your own successful day nursery. You’ll need to be energetic and enthusiastic, and you’ll also need to be someone who gains genuine enjoyment out of working with and looking after children.
2. Do your research
When you become a franchisee with any franchise network, you’ll be required to sign, with your franchisor, a legally binding franchise agreement. This agreement will tie you in for a number of years and require you to meet responsibilities and follow guidelines, so before you sign, you’ll need to be absolutely certain that you’re making the right decision.
Do as much research as you can about every franchise opportunity that interests you, from location to customer demographics and market analysis. Before you invest in a franchise, always be sure that you have asked (and gotten answers to) questions like the following:
- What training and support will I receive?
- Can I get financial assistance?
- Will my franchisor help me to source a good location?
- How does this franchise resolve disputes between franchisees?
- What sets this franchise apart from its competitors?
- What is the success rate of franchisees?
- What percentage of franchisees renew their franchise agreement?
- How long is a franchise term?
- How does this franchise support underperforming franchisees/franchise units?
- What would a typical day look like as a franchisee?
Investing in a franchise is a major decision that you'll want to research carefully. Even after you've done your due diligence and narrowed down your options, it's important to get to know the people who run the franchise you're considering and find out the finer points of the business. In the industry, this is called the "discovery process." —Don Daszkowski, Forbes
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3. Achieve all the necessary qualifications
To work in childcare, you’re likely to require certain qualifications, though the qualifications that you need to attain will differ depending on the kind of role you’re looking to occupy as a franchisee and the kind of franchise you’re looking to invest in. Most nurseries, for example, will require practitioners to hold a Level 3 qualification. A Level 3 qualification can be gained through training or through an apprenticeship, and in the case of a nursery, relevant Level 3 qualifications include [Early Years Careers]:
- Level 3 NVQ in Caring for Children and Young People
- Level 3 NVQ in Childcare and Education
- Level 3 NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning and Development
- Level 3 NVQ in Early Years Care and Education
- Level 3 NVQ in Playwork
- Level 3 Diploma in Playwork (NVQ)
- Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce (Early Learning and Childcare)
On top of obtaining any necessary and relevant qualifications, you’ll also need to look into getting a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This is necessary when you’ll be working with children or running a childcare organisation, whether you’re a childminding assistant, a nanny, a playgroup or nursery owner, a children’s home director or a childminder. A DBS check will take roughly six weeks to come through (assuming no issues arise). A basic check costs £23, and an enhanced check costs £40.
If you’re thinking of making a career change, the childcare industry is full of opportunity
If, after discovering your possible next steps, you’ve decided that a career in childcare is right for you, there’s plenty more to do now. Find out more about what you can expect through Point Franchise’s range of relevant articles, covering everything from a day in the life of a nursery school franchisee to how to start your own childcare agency.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©