It’s a noble concept – no question. But kids that age go to school for 9 months out of the year and are only available from 3:30 PM till early – mid evening. That is if they’re not playing sports or have any other activities. And the kids from wealthier families spend a lot of time at summer camps. To survive, you would also have to offer programs for adults (the kids’ parents), like the YMCA’s do – there would be way too much down time and no revenue if you didn’t. I see where you’re coming from here – our kids need help! But as far as a business model goes, I don’t see it working too well if you’re solely targeting this age group of kids. I hope I’m wrong & you figure something out. Good luck!
The reason why the Y has done so well in this area is because they have made it their specialty to work with families and kids of all ages. Your biggest competition would be the Y and other sports leagues that target primarily kids at those ages. Also, you need to check to see if your town/city offers similar programs because they can do it in a more efficient and cheaper way (they are government you see). If there is no such competition at the area where you live, then your idea could be a good one.
In our area we have a lot of youth only programs: gymnastics, dance, karate, yoga…. and so on. Many of the exercise studios offer kid friendly programs, for example I know of a pilates place that offers teen specialized classes, and a number of yoga places that do. For general workout places families with kids go almost exclusively to family styled gyms. Remember that a big reason the Y is so popular is that the parents can come to the same place with the youth and do their thing with the babies in the baby room, the toddlers in the pre k classes, the youth in youth classes, or in the lobby doing homework, and the older youth in the gym.
And in families where the parents do not work out it is either because of lack or resources or lack of interest. In either case the kids are usually not motivated to ask to join a gym, though they might ask to dance or do gymnastics because their friends do. To get people in your door you either need to appeal to the parents, or to the kids, or to have a school or corporate connection that will help monitize what you offer as well as advertise it.
Are you thinking of a kind of upscale ‘botique’ place where people drop off kids? You will need to think about staffing accordingly.
Are you thinking of a more family friendly place? Here you get back to the question of money and motivation. One big question is do you have Ys and/or JCCs in your area? They tend to have lots of kids programs, and lots of resources to promote them. And due to quite a lot of factors provide their programs usually very inexpensively. Our local Y has a large teen program and a ton of the town teens (of all ages) use the facility.
It could work really well, depending on your area, how carefully you do your research, and so on … but I think as Karen says you need a careful business plan, and especially to look into what is available and what people want.
Really hard to answer this question. Would depend on what is available, whether enough parents think this is good for their kids, competition from other activities such as sports, enrichment activities and school (my area has kids very scheduled with little time to add more). Certainly most areas have a need for such a place, but whether there is a “want” is very hard to answer.