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A New Style Nursery.

(11 Posts)
TiggyD Sun 01-Jun-14 15:44:00

In a line:
A top quality homely nursery with emphasis on the outdoors. (Ideally a chain of nurseries eventually).

Broken down:
Top Quality. I've experience of the low end of childcare. Places that make do with no equipment budget and poorly paid staff, often reliant on a lot of students. Life is a constant struggle. The middle quality nurseries are suffering from the government cap on the fees they can charge for the "free" places. If that goes up to 30 hours per week many nurseries are truly stuffed. I think there is room at the top. If you can make a nursery that is very clearly better by miles, I think enough people would pay a premium. And I think I know a few ways to keep costs down but quality high.
With staff you get what you pay for. A lot of managers are of the belief that great staff are incapable of recognising that £15,000 per year is greater than £14,000 per year. They're not. They want paying well, job security, and good conditions. I do believe that good staff save money in some ways. They use resources better, move on less frequently, are sick less, and generally make life so much easier all round as well as being better with children, parents and each other.

Homely. We would be competing with pre-prep schools for the over 3 year olds. They are very school orientated of course, but a lot of people are quite against schoolified environments for such little children. The nursery would provide the homely atmosphere many people are really keen on. Smaller numbers per room, a homely look, a learning through play style.

Outdoors. Not a month goes by on Mumsnet without somebody saying they'd like to set up an outdoor nursery. Backpacks on and off to the woods. There are a few round the country. I'm an outdoor type person. I walk, cycle, and camp, but I really don't like the idea of being fully outdoors. On a wet and windy day with driving thanks. I know children love to be outside, but feel they need the security of a warm and snug building as well.
The nursery would have an impressively large garden with all the usual toys and equipment, but more wood and less plastic. There would be a lot of natural "loose" material: planks, logs, branches, etc. The nursery would also have land. Woodland ideally, or a large grassy field would be good too. It wouldn't be garden and agricultural/woodland is fairly cheap. Access to a common or public wood would be great as well. The right location is kind of essential. Near people with some money would be handy.
There would also be a 'barn'. A cheapish agricultural type roof on posts would do. A few lights and you can be sort of outside every day of the year no matter what the weather is.

The building. Another big saving here. If you're setting up a top notch nursery in a town you're going to need a fancy expensive building. As this nursery will be a natural outdoorsy nursery you can have a much more 'rustic' cabin type affair. I've even seem some rather fancy tents that would have been fairly good if it wasn't for the fact there were very few windows. It's almost certainly going to have to be a new build because of the reasons below.

TiggyD Sun 01-Jun-14 15:44:44

Got to get ready for a BBQ, but will add more soon.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Sun 01-Jun-14 15:55:14

Ok. Are you asking for opinions? Ideas? What would be the hours and what would you charge. Tbh that's the first thing I wanted to know from when we were choosing and then we visited those that fitted our criteria (for us I work 8-4.30 at the minimum and as I pay for childcare it had to be £1000 pm or less, ideally with a term time option)

Theincidental Sun 01-Jun-14 16:00:47

If you're interested In Finding premises check the new permitted development changes to planning which now allow agricultural buildings I be transformed into schools and nurseries without full planning.

My Ds goes to an outdoor nursery on a working farm. It's absolutely brilliant. We don't pay a premium for it and I couldn't afford to either.

What your proposing does already exist in our area and is great. It's also completely full with a waiting list.

TiggyD Sun 01-Jun-14 16:04:16

Ideally a millionaire investor who wants to set it up and give me a job. grin
Not sure on the business side of things. Opening hours would be the standard 8-6 or 7:30-6:30.
Term time works if a nursery offers a holiday club to use the 'spare' staff, or employs nursery teachers who want term time jobs. I would definitely want the latter, and the former if there's demand.

NigellasGuest Sun 01-Jun-14 16:06:04

so it would be very exclusive because you won't be taking any funded children?

Floundering Sun 01-Jun-14 16:09:49

Hope you're not in Wiltshire [[ these folks havde it all sewn up!!]]

Brilliant idea, works well for them. Ring the owners for a natter they're very approachable. grin

PS No not related either!

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Sun 01-Jun-14 17:58:22

7.30 start to 6 or 6.30 I should think, to accommodate drop off times to get to work.

Sounds delightful. My son's nursery is amazing. It doesn't have a massive garden, but they have made the most of it. There is an undercover part too so they can go out in all weather. They provide full waterproofs so the kids can get stuck in. They are also creating a specific mud pie area. Brilliant.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 06-Jun-14 19:50:18

Tiggy I suspect I know where you are and if you are I suspect you be in competition with Jubilee and the new StGabriels nursery.
Of course St Gabriel's can then seamlessly over boys through to 11 and girls to 18. With acres of grounds, sports facilities, swimming pool and a head of department who is very proactive for outdoor learning.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 06-Jun-14 19:51:06

Seamlessly offer I mean.

laurabee21 Wed 11-Jun-14 14:44:23

Sure you want to go it alone? If you'd consider a franchise, you could have a look at the NatureTrails one here:

I considered this for a while before deciding it wasn't a good fit for me, but they were very friendly and professional.

Good luck whatever you decide to do!

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