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  1. #1
    Emmalou's Avatar
    Emmalou is offline Senior Member 500+ Crafters Club
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    Default Running arts and craft classes

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    Hi everyone

    I have been thinking about setting up a childrens arts and crafts club in our local community centre but just needed some advice.
    I was hoping to have maybe 2 or 3 classes a week and group children according to age and I would like to incorporate cardmaking,beadwork,jewellery making,candle decoration and other crafts.
    Does anybody else organise or run childrens arts and crafts clubs that may be able to give me some advice?
    I was also thinking that would it be wise to organise it as a course,ie get the children to spend 1 or 2 sessions planning their items then a further 1 or 2 sessions making it and awarding some kind of certificate at the end of the 'term' for children that have completed the 'course'. And do I need any particular qualifications,would I need to register with the inland revenue etc etc etc.
    I have these great ideas then the reality hits home and it becomes a different story,but I know you wise folk out there will be able to point me in the right direction!!!

    Emma-Lou

  2. #2
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    janetdc is offline Senior Member Super crafter
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    Sounds like a good idea but I guess there are a lot of health and safety issues to deal with. Firstly you have to be CRB checked before you can work with children and I'm sure you would need to register as a business for tax and NI, and insurance of course. I hope somebody can help you who has done something similar.

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    I agree, you definitely need evidence of CRB clearance and health and safety risk assessments. You would also need a policy on discipline and some form of parental consent regarding action to take in the event of an emergency if the parents are not there. In which case, good practice dictates that you would also need another adult present. Bit of a minefield really. Can you offer the courses in conjunction with a playgroup/local school or holiday club so that you can come under the umbrella of their policies and procedures?

    I run a mother and toddler group and am the childrens advocate for our church - offering anything for children is a bit of a minefield, but not impossible!
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    I'm afraid I'd agree with the others! Yes you need a CRB (or new version when it comes into play - if they ever get it sorted!), plus there are health and safety issues and you'll need public liability insurance for this purpose - lots of places don't even offer it but some do, it's just more expensive of course.

    Don't mean to put you off - it's just complicated but not impossible! I'd contact your local council - when I was first looking at doing courses I contacted mine and they were actually really helpful. Ooo I might have some info still - will have a look for you...
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    First you need to ask around, see who would be interested, then you need to decide if you are running it on your own or if guardians need to stay.

    If you are running on your own, you would need to be CRB checked, and would probably need another adult helper, as depending on the age group you wouldn't be allowed to run on your own, this is to cover your own back, and it does make things easier to have help.
    As everybody else has suggested there are lots of things you need to think about, Craftsensations is right about contacting your local council, you should definatley do this.

    Or you could test the water by inviting children to attend, along with guardians, and then if all goes well you could then go solo!

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    I run a toddler art and craft session. It is for pre-school children at the local salvation army hall for which we are charged 12.50/week. It has all been said in previous posts about CRB, h&s etc., but I'd just like to add that we charge 2.50/family 1/2 adults and upto 2 children. We offer a main craft which varies each week and then one other smaller craft such as colouring or collage or it could be playdough, puzzles, water play. Then we offer a healthy varied snack which includes fruit, veg, cheese, cakes etc, the parents have a wide cohoice to choose from. The children also have a choice of squash or water and the parents a hot drink and biscuit.

    On top of this we end with some singing for the last 15 minutes. We have around 20-25 children each week, they come with their parents on a drop in basis, we don't have a waiting list or ask parents to sign up for any number of sessions. I find as a parent there is alot of pressure at the beginning of school terms to pay out for activities, swimming, ballet etc, so it is nice to have a group where you can pay weekly. The session is not for profit and although we have made a bit of money since taking it over at the beginning of the year it doesn't make enough to pay us for time. I run it volunteerly (sp?), it's not a business, if it was I'd have to charge more.

    Good luck with your idea. I write a blog about some of the crafts we've done at our crafts group. It's www.totscrafts.blogspot.com if you want to get a feel for the sort of activities we do.

    I just wanted to add its so rewarding, I love to look at all the finished crafts at the end of the session because although the children have done the same craft each way they've done it is different.

  7. #7
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    Emmalou is offline Senior Member 500+ Crafters Club
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    Hi guys

    Thanks for all your input. Everything just seems so complicated,and as for our local council (southwark)they must be the worst council in London. I was informed that it has nothing to do with them and I shouldn't be wasting their resources by bothering them with a private sector business idea(even though I just wanted to cover the costs of materials and refreshments etc,not take a wage!!!).
    I think this is something that is going to take a lot of research and dedication......but watch this space!!!

    Emma-Lou

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmalou View Post
    Hi guys

    Thanks for all your input. Everything just seems so complicated,and as for our local council (southwark)they must be the worst council in London. I was informed that it has nothing to do with them and I shouldn't be wasting their resources by bothering them with a private sector business idea(even though I just wanted to cover the costs of materials and refreshments etc,not take a wage!!!).
    I think this is something that is going to take a lot of research and dedication......but watch this space!!!

    Emma-Lou
    Emma-Lou - it might be worth you contacting some local playgroups or mums and tots groups, especially the church ones as they are run seperately from the council. I'm just thinking of my own toddler group - we have a lady who comes every week and does basic crafts with the tots, so she has all the protection of the church policies and insurances. Her costs are met by the weekly session fees (she just gives me a receipt for any supplies she has bought and I reimburse her). And her CRB check has been done by the church - free as she is classed as a voluntary worker.

    We also do evening groups for the school age children, again crafts are usually involved - if you have anything like this near you they may be grateful for your input (our helpers often struggle to keep coming up with new ideas for the kids!)

    Hope this gives you some more ideas!




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