Should I offer wrap-around (before and after school) care?

Advice and guidance for why and how you can grow your business by offering before and after-school care for older children

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Written by Support
Updated over a week ago

This help centre article was written for registered Early Educators running their home nursery with the Koru Kids' Home Nursery service

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Why should I offer before and after school care?

This is a must-watch Facebook Live recording discussing before and after school care.

Benefits of offering before and after school care

  • Start earning sooner

  • Increase income without affecting ratios

  • More socialisation for children in your Home Nursery

  • Marketing opportunities at local schools for younger children

Ratios and exemptions

As long as you follow the ratio and space guidelines below you are allowed to offer before and after school care.

Ratio guidelines

The number of children under 8 must not exceed 6 children.

  • Normally you can have a maximum of 3 children under the age of 5. The exception to this is:

    • If children are at school, nursery, or preschool during school hours (9 am to 3 pm) and you only care for them before or after school, or if children only need care during the school holidays. In this, case you have up to 6 children.

      • If a child was in preschool from 9 am to 3 pm and the family wanted them to spend before and after school with a childminder, they would not affect the 3 children under 5 ratio.

      • If a child were to go to nursery from 9 am to 12 pm and then wants to go straight to a childminder, they would affect the 3 children under 5 ratio.

      • If a child were to go to a childminder only during school holidays, they would not affect the 3 children under 5 ratio.

  • You must be able to demonstrate to parents and/or carers and Koru Kids that the individual needs of all the children are being met.

Space requirements

  • You must have the relevant space in your home for the age of the children attending:

    • Children under 2 years old require 3.5 m2 per child.

    • Children who are 2 years old require 2.5 m2 per child

    • Children who are 3-5 years old require 2.3 m2 per child.

    • There are no space requirements for children 6 years old and over.

  • You could use other areas of your home for after school children - e.g. a living room you don’t usually use for childminding during the day. Remember to perform a risk assessment if you're using a space you don't normally use.

To see how many children you can accommodate, please download a copy below of our ratio and space calculator as an Excel sheet (go to 'File' > 'Download' > 'Microsoft Excel').

Marketing for before and after school care

Before and after school care is a great way to earn more and there are loads of families looking for this type of care. That said, you still need to spread the word and market your service!

Self-marketing and putting your business out there is the most important thing you can do to get enquiries and contracts. Here are some things you need to do to grow your list of potential families:

  • Update your profile - make sure you adjust your profile to reflect that you offer before and after school care. There is a section to state which local schools you can pick children up from.

  • Post on social media - use Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms to share information about your service with local groups. Respond to parents in Facebook groups who are looking for childcare.

  • Contact local schools - get in touch with schools nearby and tell them about your service. They may have waiting lists for after school care. If you have your own children at a local school, that's a great place to start!

  • Order new flyers: We will send you updated flyer artwork to include before and after school care. Instructions on how to order new flyers can be found below:

    • Step 1: Download your A5 artwork which we have sent you

    • Step 3: Select the paper stock as Silk

    • Step 4: Select the paper weight as 250gsm Silk

    • Step 5: Select Double sided

    • Step 6: Select No to lamination, spot UV or foiling

    • Step 7: Select a quantity.

    • Step 8: Add to basket and upload the provided artwork.

    • Step 9: Wait for them to arrive, then get flyering!

  • Get flyering - Ask schools, libraries or businesses nearby to add a flyer to their noticeboards and promote your service in their newsletter. Also hand out flyers at school gates - stand near the school gates during pick-ups and drop-offs and let parents know that you offer before and after school care. The more conversations you have, the better!

  • Catch people's eye - wear a high-vis vest with your details on it and chat with parents at the school gates. Or join a play session at the local children's centre and chat with parents about your childcare setting.

We'll also help by contacting our database of parents who need before and after school care and will update your Koru Kids profile. But in order to get enquiries from families, you need to put yourself out there and show people what you can offer.

Practical tips for before and after school care

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be on a different Ofsted register to look after older children?

All Koru Kids registered childminders are registered on the Early Years Register, Compulsory Childcare Register and Voluntary Childcare Register. This means you can look after children of any age.

How would I divide my time between the older and younger children?

One suggested approach is to have snack time as soon as you get home with everyone sat around the table. This is great for socialising and the younger children will learn skills from the older ones.

You can then encourage the older children to do homework whilst you play with the younger children in the same room. That way you're on hand to help with an homework queries. If they don't have homework to get done, they can play and chill out or maybe snuggle up with a good book.

Of course, you can adjust this to suit the needs of the children in your care. Setting up a shared activity would be a fun way to spend the afternoon.

Do I need to give the children tea/dinner?

If the children are staying after 5pm, we recommend serving tea/dinner. This can also be discussed with parents.

How do I manage a school run with younger children and babies?

Most babies and young children have already had their afternoon nap by 3pm (normal school pick-up time). Investing in a double buggy or buggy board will help if you have more than one baby/toddler (you may already have one for your daily outdoor activities). It's another trip outside for fresh air and the younger children are usually very excited to go to a playground, have a run around and see other children!

Can a family member become an assistant to help out with the logistics of after school care?

Yes, absolutely! Assistant roles can be voluntary or paid. They would need to do the relevant assistant training and background checks to become an assistant. Please fill in this form if you are interested in hiring an assistant.

Training and activity resources for before and after school care

We've compiled a list of resources, tips, and training for looking after school-aged children.

Talking to families about before and after school care

Families of babies and younger children may have concerns about older children attending the setting. Whether you already have children in your setting or are touring with prospective families, it is best to let them know as soon as possible that you are opening your home nursery for before and after school care.

Talking to them about the benefits and how you will manage the logistics of school pickups will reassure parents.


  • By taking on before and after school children you are able to keep your fees lower (as you are making more income).

  • You will be taking the children out in the afternoon for the school run which means more fresh air for everyone.

  • Younger children become familiar with school settings.

  • Socialising with nice older children - this is a great opportunity for the younger children to learn skills from the older ones.


  • Explain that you will be picking up from local primary schools that are within walking distance. Babies and toddlers will be in a double buggy/buggy board.

  • Parents may be concerned about nap time - the main post-lunchtime nap will still be at home. Any babies who nap around 3pm can sleep in the buggy.

  • If you do need to drive to a school for pickups, explain to parents how you will coordinate this and ensure you have suitable car seats for all children.

  • Explain the routine and benefits for when you get home - refer to the above about dividing your time.

What if I'm not ready to offer before and after school care?

If you're not ready to offer before and after school care, no worries! This is your business and we respect your decision. If at any point you change your mind, all you need to do is let us know. We'll update your Koru Kids profile and let potential families know that you're offering before and after school care.

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