[Opinion Piece] Children’s franchising attracts big business
Global statistics show that parents are spending money on their kids and educational and entertainment markets are growing at a consistent rate despite ongoing financial instability. This is certainly the case in South Africa’s booming education and childcare franchise sectors. The continued success of franchises in this industry proves that even in these difficult times, parents consider their children’s needs as a priority and will cut back on other expenses to provide for them.
A key insight derived from the latest survey conducted by FASA (Franchise Association of South Africa) is that the childcare, education and training category has proved resilient and continues to grow as people focus on improving their skills and preparing their children for the future.
Parents want to be able to provide their children with the very best – from baby stimulation classes to birthday parties, extramural activities, standardised out of school hours care and basic services like school transport systems. What makes this sector attractive to potential business owners or franchisees is the fact that the costs are not as high as other franchises. Opportunities range from investments as low as R7 000 to over R400 000.
For working parents, childcare is a constant challenge. There is no single solution to their needs – from full time daycare or nannies to after school monitoring centres, many use a combination of services. In this day and age where anyone can download a ‘start your own daycare’ kit off the internet, it is very important for parents to select the right childcare option for their kids.
A practical example of a children’s franchise is Sherpa Kids, an out of school hours care business. The start-up costs for a franchise are less than R200 000, which includes the franchise, training and working capital for equipment.
A Sherpa Kids franchise offers a primary value proposition to schools – taking over a service which most schools currently provide as parents require the support. Providing aftercare or holiday care is neither the school’s key responsibility nor is it something they are focused on or resourced for. The nature of the current service at most schools is ensuring pupils’ safety. There is opportunity to engage schools in leveraging this valuable afternoon/holiday time for the benefit of children, their parents and the teachers and school generally.
Sherpa Kids allows schools to outsource this school service without concerns about quality and reliability as the offering has a nationally managed infrastructure. It is based on a proven model operating in over 100 schools globally, is internationally quality assured and benchmarked by the Australian (ACECQA) and British (OFSTED) education authorities. The schools are a partner participant in the franchise venture and benefit financially from the success of the venture.
If you’re seeking to start a business of your own and have a love of children, a children’s franchise could prove a truly satisfying selection, both from a financial and personal perspective.