We interview Hayley Murphy from Keep Fit Kids at Altrincham Leisure centre which is the first of its kind in the area to offer Pay-As-You-Go childcare!
Leaving children for a few hours or arranging days when parents need someone to look after them has always been a difficult process. Many nurseries make you sign long contracts which can tie you up in knots. Parents can end up having to pay nurseries when they go on holiday and the fees can be very high.
Hayley’s new business brings a fresh approach to childcare, offering a flexible option that suits the parents, giving them back control. You can book up to Friday for the following week and even use their amazing drop in service if you just need a few hours to yourself!
Born in Whiston hospital Hayley fell in love with childcare at the age of 21 when her mum started a nursery in Prescot. Wanting to understand business she spent a year doing nursery finance and sustainability before helping open a nursery under the Government funded Sure Start scheme. By 2008 she was heading up a day nursery in St Helens quickly followed by Area Management.
After setting up a day nursery in Haydock, then Thatto Heath, Hayley developed a thirst for working with children with disabilities, including autism, ADHD and Aspergers. Never one to stand still, when her own children were very young, Hayley started her own childminding business.
“In 2013 a friend said ‘Please can you help with a new place in Liverpool called Waverton House Day Nursery? After just 6 months we got an outstanding from OFSTED. I left them last February to move to Altrincham with my partner. I got a job in a local nursery but it was very established and I wanted to do things my way so in August last year I left”
I decided to call by here at the Leisure Centre looking to set up a fitness class for children. They said they had a studio I could hire. I started junior exercise classes here twice a week. Children can attend from 4 up to 14. After a warm up we do sit ups, press ups, squats, lunges, skipping ropes, circuits, and kettle bells. We also play lots of fun games. It’s nothing heavy as it all gets packed away in the evening.
I decided as it was such a nice space I would asked the manager if I could set up a crèche and he said they were desperate, knew nothing about it and didn’t have the time! We spent the back end of last year decorating, cleaning, carpet cleaning and painting and opened on the 4th January!”
Hayley originally started the crèche offering 4 hours a day, with the children being able to stay for a maximum of two hours. Then OFSTED agreed that the children could stay for four hours. Then some parents asked if she could have their children for longer so an application has gone in to offer full childcare facilities which will mean the crèche can operate as a full time day nursery.
“It will be a Pay-as-you-go day nursery so parents will only pay for the hours the children are here. They won’t be charged for a full day if they only stay 6 hours. There will be different spaces to create cosy areas and sleep spaces. We have nappy changing and washing facilities in the back but we are having a sink and work unit fitted in two weeks and there are toilets just across the hall.”
The business now consists of Hayley, Sian and Ange plus a couple of ‘bank staff’ who can be called in at short notice. Ange has been in childcare for 20 years and Sian is an apprentice but she’s already on to her level 3 NVQ. All the carers are DBS checked too which is the official certificate required to work with children.
For the exercise classes Hayley offers Mondays from 4.30-5.30 for 7-10s. Wednesday they do 5.30-6.30 for ages up to 6-10s. The cost is £4.50 if booked week on week or £4 an hour when block booked in advance – details are in the leaflets below.
They are working towards ‘Mini Mudder’ for the children to enter for next year which they are all very excited about. The emphasis at the moment though is to build up the crèche. It costs £5 an hour which is perfect for working mums or parents that just need a few hours to do the shopping or just want a little time to themselves.
“I think that is something that day nurseries lack because they are so hell bent on making a big profit. We are here 6 days a week and it makes such a strong proposition for working mums who can maybe only work for a few hours a week. They can simply drop their children here for the hours they work. A Pay-As-You-Go day nursery is a totally new and innovative thing in Altrincham.
It’s a working mum who understands the challenges of working mums and non working mums. It’s about flexibility, it’s about giving ownership of childcare back to the parents. I don’t want to come at parents with a list of terms and conditions and a 10 year notice period! You’re not paying when you are holiday or when you are off sick or on bank holiday. I want to say to people, ‘put that money in your own pocket.’
I have watched parents in distress and I take that headache away. I am a mum of 4 kids and I know how expensive it is! The only rule we have is that of someone does cancel on the day they do still get charged but that’s the only rule! Parents can pay on the Friday for the week ahead.”
Hayley is hugely passionate for her new business and it really comes across when talking with her. She has put her heart, soul, and most of her savings into this amazing new project which offers something totally new and innovative for the hard working parents of Altrincham.
With such an attitude we know that Hayley will succeed and H&A wish her all the very best!
Take a look at some of the photos of the, now painted, bright interior and check out the leaflets below!
Keep Fit Kids operates at Altrincham Leisure Centre
Oakfield Rd, Altrincham WA15 8EW
Hayley can be contacted on 07928 500094