Will Early Childhood Recreation Be The Next Sector To Boom?
According to the Affinity and Guardian Early Learning Group, private equity has moved into the early childhood sector in a big way, often buying up to 100 to 150 centres at a time. Given that the top four providers account for just a quarter of the market, further consolidation and mergers in the sector is expected.
The two biggest listed owners and developers of childcare centres in Australia, the Folkestone Education Trust and Arena REIT, have 33 childcare centres under development combined and have explored merging in recent years.
With more than $200 million worth of childcare assets changing hands in 2016, buying a centre may seem like an unattainable proposition. While the industry now looks untouchable for small to medium business buyers, other industries are benefiting from entrepreneurs getting boxed out of the childcare market and flowing into more accessible opportunities.
Does early childhood swimming provide small to medium investors with the next sector that will boom?
According to James Rice, who heads up new franchises recruitment at JUMP! Swim Schools, “We’re fortunate to be positioned in an industry where demand continues to outstrip supply. We’re also seeing significant demand from Australians looking to run their own business but who don’t have the capital to break into traditional childcare opportunities.” JUMP! offers swimming lessons in small group classes for children as young as 3 months and up to the age of 10 years. The franchise has reported a substantial increase in demand from Australians looking to invest in the childcare sector. New business operators keen to work with children and capitalise on the time-poor nature of the average Australian parent are seeing the sector as a viable alternative to traditional childcare.
According to James, “Parents in two income families are time poor but also want to expose their children to the best options available. Swimming schools which are open for classes six or more days of the week benefit them greatly.”
The trend has seen JUMP! Swim Schools rapidly expand from its original centre in Queensland to centres all across Australia, and demand in Victoria and New South is spiking. The company expects to sign up 17,000 new students by the end of 2017, bringing the total number up to 29,000. They currently have over 100 franchisees signed across the globe, with 30% of franchisees now running multiple franchises and 70% starting the franchise at break-even point.
Mr Rice went on to say, “New franchisees entering the industry understand that suburbs in Australia need swimming schools committed to teaching small children to swim. Often within a few months of opening up they have a well-established client base.”
An Under Supply Creating a Lucrative Business Opportunity
In the UK as in Australia, there are not enough swimming pools to cover the demand from parents. In its second nationwide industry survey, the Swimming Teachers Association reports that 82% of the swim schools who took part in the research believe they had seen a 3 significant rise over the last five years in the number of babies, (youngsters aged two and under), they teach weekly.
Furthermore, it was reported that Franchise swimming Schools had the biggest waiting lists at 81%. Almost 86% of the 206 respondents also said the baby swim market had not yet reached its peak, although many warned that growth could be capped because of pool time availability
Parents are actively seeking to enroll their children in swimming lessons which provide small, intimate classes, qualified instructors, warm water, and a clean, modern and private indoor facility.
JUMP! works on a model which generates low, break-even numbers and simple profitability controls. Its service offering is differentiated by the fundamentals of teaching in intimate, warm surroundings and, importantly, unique, specially designed pools that the brand provides.
“Now is a better time than any to try your hand at running a business and being your own boss,” explains Mr Rice. “Especially in our country where swimming is seen universally as a lifelong skill that needs to be cultivated and there is evidence that parents will spend to ensure this skill is developed”
Want to Dip Your Toes in the Water?
JUMP! is currently seeking franchisees for across the country and have several sites on offer, so now is a great time to join them at the ground floor for the perfect opportunity to tap into a large and secure market. Franchisees will also enjoy a great lifestyle business and the chance to control your own financial future through JUMP!’s proven models.
If you’re interested to find out more or think you’d like to become a Franchisee, fill out JUMP!’s franchise enquiry form. We will be in touch with you soon via phone or e-mail.