Discover Tumble Tots, the award-winning and highly successful physical play franchise

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The Tumble Tots logo with the wording Skills for Life and bold red and yellow colours to represent this physical play franchise

Meet the team behind the physical play franchise where little ones get to develop fitness, social skills, self-confidence and so much more. Could you be their next franchisee and bring Tumble Tots to your local community?

Franchisee Case Study

Photograph of Megan from Tumble Tots the physical play franchise



Start Date: APRIL 2016

Meet Megan who wanted to combine her love of working with children together with her background in events in order to run her own business. When the opportunity to purchase a physical play franchise with Tumble Tots came up she jumped at the chance!

Before going to university, I had thought about becoming a teacher as I loved working with children. I had previously volunteered at primary schools and helped at the local Brownie pack. However, I went off to the University of Derby to complete my BA Hons in Events Management. I always knew I wanted to run my own business at some point in my life, but found the hours needed for working in the events industry were not ideal.

My mother had previously run a Tumble Tots franchise when I was little, so I already knew all about the programme and the benefits it could offer. When she received an email saying the Macclesfield and Wilmslow franchise was up for sale, I jumped at the opportunity. It let me combine all the skills I have learnt through university, allowed me to run my own business and around hours that suited my lifestyle.

As I was already buying an existing franchise, I had the opportunity to come into one of their centres to see how the classes were running and the business was operating. This is the main reason I made the decision to buy. Meeting with Head Office as well helped me understand the support I would receive.

Seeing the environment I would be working in, how much fun the children were having, the relationships between the grown-ups and the business owner – it made me realise how much of a difference I would be making to a child’s development.

I already had personal savings in place for when the right opportunity arose.

The contract, even though it is long, is not very complicated to understand. I did not need any extra help with it. I would suggest giving yourself a few days to read through it 3 or 4 times to make sure you have processed all the information. If you still have any questions, Head Office are extremely helpful and will explain anything you need. Alternatively, you can contact a local solicitor to go through it with you. Some do offer free advice and are happy to do small jobs as a one off for a minimum fee – normally around £200 depending on where you live.

I have had the business for 7 years now and would not look back. Best decision I ever made! It is hard work and to begin with you must put in a lot of hours, like you would do starting a business from scratch, if you want it to be successful. However, the major benefit of being a franchise is the support you receive from Head Office. This alleviates a lot of struggles you find in your first couple of years of running a business. If you have any questions – customer service, legal, HR, insurance, marketing, the list goes on, Head Office have all the answers. They are there 24/7 to help you create the best business, without pressuring you to do more or be more than you would like to be. There are endless amounts of training documents you will receive access to and courses you can attend to learn more. Charlotte from Head Office is also more than happy to come and visit your centres to support you and your team in person.

Being part of the brand also helps with marketing and an instant customer base. You are selling a programme a lot of parents have already heard of.

As my own boss I can create a lifestyle I like and gives me a lot a flexibility with my personal weekly schedule. Whilst classes need to run regularly on a weekly basis and you need to be present for them, when you would like to do the admin side of the business is up to. You can fit it around family time or events etc. The business is a physical job and keeps me on my feet every day. Compared to my previous jobs sitting at a desk, this is a huge benefit to my overall health and happiness.

If you are looking for a new challenge, a job where everyday is different, meeting a wide variety of people and having a work/life balance, I would 100% recommend a Tumble Tots franchise. I plan to keep the business as long as I can!

Franchisor Interview

Photography of Charlotte Bedford from Tumble Tots, the physical play franchise



Charlotte shares the story of Tumble Tots – from it’s origins in 1979 through to now having over 40 franchise branches across the UK. Find out what makes an ideal Tumble Tots franchisee and what you can expect if you join the team of this award-winning physical play franchise.

Tumble Tots was first created by former British Olympic gymnastics coach, Bill Cosgrave, who identified that children coming to his gymnastics lessons were not equipped with the necessary fundamental movement skills to take part. Bill therefore developed special classes to teach children these basic but important skills, prior to moving on to do gymnastics. This then evolved into the progressive physical play programme that we know and love today, teaching far more than just agility and climbing, but also ‘Skills for Life’.

In 2019, Tumble Tots celebrated its 40th anniversary since first opening the doors in 1979, proving that this children’s pre-school activity continues to stand the test of time and that physical play will always be an essential part of a child’s ongoing development. Tumble Tots has seen many changes over the years but has always had children’s health, happiness and wellbeing at the heart of its aims and objectives.

Currently, we have over 40 franchisees across the UK operating in over 170 different centres across 60% of English counties. However, there are still areas in England, Wales, and Scotland that we are looking to expand into. Last year we opened classes in Harrogate and Market Harborough and have further plans for Bedford.

Our franchisees across the country have a vast range of qualities, experiences, and different backgrounds but all have two things in common. They are all passionate working with and shaping the lives of early years children as well as working a flexible self-employed role operating their own small business. An ideal franchisee has great communication skills, is self-motivated and has the ability to motivate others, is confident and open to personal development.

Our initial investment is approximately £25,000 and additional working capital is required for a van and initial overheads. Payment can be spread over a 12-month period (subject to equipment repayments) and for new franchisees, launching a new territory, the first year’s franchise fee is free.

Included in the start-up package is a brand-new full set of colourful wooden and foam Tumble Tots equipment, totally unique to the Tumble Tots programme which cannot be found in other activity class. In addition, franchisees are provided with an extensive marketing pack including printed posters, leaflets and promotional items, a personalised website and email address, branded social media accounts and online listings on our partner directories.

Annually, franchises contribute towards comprehensive business insurance and national advertising and promotion. The earning potential is ultimately determined by how many classes run each week and the number of children attending which is reflected in the franchisee’s efforts in marketing and customer service.

Tumble Tots classes run weekly during term time, but just like any business owner, the more time a franchisee can invest, the more successful they will be. The hours and days that a franchisee operates classes can be flexible to suit their personal life but to sustain a profitable business, it is recommended that franchisees operate at least 20 classes over five days. As well as actively working in classes, franchisees should also allocate time to other aspects of running a business such as marketing, admin, and finance.

Franchisees receive a minimum of 70 hours of training in their first year, but the support we offer is ongoing and unlimited. Initial training includes hands-on guidance on how to run the classes in the Tumble Tots programme which usually takes place on-site over a two-day period in the run up to classes launching. Going forward, regular reviews, refresher courses and bespoke training is available. In addition, franchisees are given virtual and/or face-to-face tailored marketing advice and operational support to help achieve their business goals.


Photograph of a class in full swing with little ones lying on play mats and having fun with Tumble Tots children's physical play franchise

British Franchise Association Established

Children’s Activities Association Founding Member

Institute of Children’s Activity Providers Member

Highly Commended in the Most Loved Sport or Physical Activity category at the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2020, 2021 & 2022

Franchise Direct Top 100 Franchisees in the UK 2020

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