How you are going to run the nursery has to be part of the planning stage. I've worked in nurseries where it seems the architect has designed a building they like and then given it to the nursery. The staff have to then spend 20% of their time overcoming the basic design of the building.
An example. The lots of rooms issue (mostly a pre-school issue): "wouldn't it be nice if we had a nursery with several rooms so that you could have a quiet one, an arty one etc?" thinks the architect or nursery owner. But then they leave it to the staff to try to organise the reality of it. If you have free flow then you may very well have one child in each of rooms need a member of staff each at 1:1 staff:child ratio with the rest in the garden. It just doesn't work and it should have been thought about at the initial planning stage.
Another example. The storage issue: Storage shouldn't be an afterthought. I've worked in nurseries where if you wanted a large piece of green paper it would take 20 minutes of travelling to the art cupboard, taking out stuff that's been piled on top of the paper, taking out all the paper to get to the colour you want, then putting everything back in the cupboard again. Staff want to spend their time with the children. The design of the building makes a difference.
Then there's the cloakroom: If you want the pre-schoolers to be able to get their coats and boots on themselves you have to give them a decently designed space to help them do it. A corridor where they're always bumping into each other will not help. Not enough pegs mean a child's coat will often be under a bag which is under another child's bag which is under a coat. I worked in a nursery where willies were stored in a huge tub. Every time the children went out a member of staff would spend half a sodding hour organising wellies when all they needed was a £50 rack. A peg Each, chairs to sit on, a boot rack etc would save staff huge amounts of time by helping the children be able to do it themselves.
Having an awareness of equal opportunities and realising that working fathers use nurseries too. The owner should have a qualification and experience in early years. The rest of the staff should be experienced and highly qualified.
I am considering opening a children's nursery, but want to find out what the important services we can offer are, apart from the obvious a loving and caring environment. What are the other things that would help working mothers.