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Nursery owners not qualified - would it put you off?

(23 Posts)
morelovetogive Wed 08-Jun-11 16:25:17

A friend and i are looking into the possibility of setting up an innovative and exciting new nursery in our local area. We know there is a shortage of childcare in the area and this particular nursery would be unlike anything else locally and infact quite possibly in the country. Our main stumbling block at the moment is the fact that neither of us has the appropriate qualifications to run a nursery so would have to employ a manager to fulfil that role and we need to look at how the finances stack up in this situation.

I am just wondering whether it would put you off as parents if the owners of the nursery while involved in the day to day activity were not qualified themselves provided all other staff were appropriately qualified? My friend currently works in a diifferent field with children and i my experience and involvement in the nursery is the part that makes it unique. I also have experience of working with both children and adults with learning difficulties so we do have relevant experience. And, most importantly in my opinion, we are both mums that are passionate about providing children with the best possible day care for children in a nurturing environment that gives them opportunities to learn and develop through a wide range of experiences. Mostly in the great outdoors!

nannynick Wed 08-Jun-11 16:56:13

Parents would not know that the owners of a nursery were not childcare qualified. Parents may not even meet the owners as the manager (and assistant manager) would be dealing with day-to-day operations.

purepurple Wed 08-Jun-11 18:41:22

The owner of our nursery is an accountant. It doesn't seem to make any difference to the parents.

cookielove Wed 08-Jun-11 20:20:12

I think if you are planning to be going into rooms with the children and supporting the workers that way, among lots of others i am sure, then yes i think you would want to get some kind of qualification, or work towards one, and also a crb check.

But if you don't plan to actually interact with the children on that sort of level then no, i think you'll be fine unqualified.

princesbold Wed 08-Jun-11 22:18:23

You will have to be able to satisfy Ofsted that you are able to provide the correct and appropriate leadership even before you will be given ofsted registration. You would not be giving children enough opportunities to flourish if you plan to spend most of the time outside, currently ofsted would expect the children to be able to make the choice themselves ( free flow )Ofsted have no interest in the ownership, only in the responsible person.

morelovetogive Thu 09-Jun-11 11:24:54

"You would not be giving children enough opportunities to flourish if you plan to spend most of the time outside"

Personally i think quite the opposite but i do agree that balancing that with Ofted requirements might be challenging.

Thanks for the feedback, thats useful smile

menopausemum Thu 09-Jun-11 20:21:55

Until fairly recently I was an advisory teacher working in nurseries across the whole of the local authority area. I saw several nurseries where the owners were committed parents but not qulaified, with varying outcomes. Generally they fell into two camps. Either the owners wanted to be in overall control and employed a manager who they didn't listen to, causing no end of problems as they didn't understand the intricate workings of childcare and education. Then the others really wanted the best for the children in the nurseries but didn't spend enough time there and were constantly disappointed that they couldn't maintain the quality. I think it is possible to do properly but you will need to gain an in depth understanding of the early years foundation stage and all the peripheral documentation which you need to work to, plus I'd try to get some experience in working in a full day care environment even if only briefly as a volunteer whilst you're waiting to open. Plus, (and I know I'm nagging on here) make sure you employ the best trained staff you can afford and make sure they are well supervised until you are confident they are doing what you want!
Having said all that, I wish you the very best of luck, we desperately need some innovative, top quality day care. If you are in my area I am looking for somewhere for my new grandchild, most of the nurseries where I am are hopeless.

morelovetogive Fri 10-Jun-11 11:53:18

Thats really encouraging, thank-you smile

purepurple Sat 11-Jun-11 08:40:27

"You would not be giving children enough opportunities to flourish if you plan to spend most of the time outside"

Personally i think quite the opposite but i do agree that balancing that with Ofted requirements might be challenging

I agree with you OP, anything that you can do inside can be done outside too. With careful planning, the inside provision can be replicated outside but on a larger scale giving more opportunities for children to develop.

princesbold Sat 11-Jun-11 19:27:09

So what happens in the middle of winter ?

princesbold Sat 11-Jun-11 19:29:03

How are you able to get around employment laws that might state a minimum/maximum working temperature ?

LetThereBeCake Sat 11-Jun-11 19:30:54

there are other forest nurseries in this country and plenty in mainland Europe. You have waterproof clothing and outdoor shelters. No probs.

princesbold Sat 11-Jun-11 19:35:46

Europe, is that were they all eat organic bean sprouts ?

Funtimewincies Sat 11-Jun-11 19:43:01

I think that princesbold was making the point that Ofsted want to see children choosing whether to be inside or outside, not whether one is better than the other.

I agree that, if your role as owners is separate, then no qualifications are needed but if you plan to be on site on a daily basis, then some training would be preferrable.

ninah Sat 11-Jun-11 19:51:10

Forest school = old hat
as long as you are professional and capable and have managers in place with the relevant childcare experience and qualifications you should do OK
but if you sell outdoor play as a 'new' concept with lots of exclamation marks you are attracting scepticism

TiggyD Sun 12-Jun-11 15:24:06

There are lots of nurseries who say they really value the outdoors. Few get close to making the most of it. You need staff who are really keen on the outdoors as well as the indoors. Where will it be based?

SuePurblybilt Sun 12-Jun-11 15:29:45

There are a fair few forest or outdoor nuseries already, it might be an idea to visit some to get an idea what they think. If you're bringing the outdoor qualifications to the mix, you're Forest School trained already I imagine? So that would count as a childcare qualification in my eyes. You say that you and your friend have already been working with children so you must have some relevant qualifications - paediatric first aid or safeguarding or something? Is it the EYPS you're worrying about?

ProfYaffle Sun 12-Jun-11 15:33:36

My dd's nursery was owned by an unqualified parent (albeit one who had previously been a childminder) who employed a manager. It didn't bother me in the slightest, it's been a great nursery, very busy and successful and we're very happy with it.

KatyMac Sun 12-Jun-11 15:37:49

You will need to contact your early years team

In my area you cannot even get the forms to apply to OFSTED without the EY teams 'permission'

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 12-Jun-11 15:39:49

It wouldn't bother me at all. I would much prefer to leave my daughter with a couple of experienced mums than two seventeen year olds with a basic qualification is childcare.

Clarence15 Sat 18-Jun-11 09:04:44

As an owner it shouldn't matter too much, the important thing is to employ a very good manager and staff team. Good luck!

Kidybabyboom Fri 08-Jul-11 21:21:36

Management skills are probably way more important. The challenges of managing a large group of typically 17-30 year old women are many and varied. Proven leadership and management experience will put u in good stead. Parents would understand... Not sure your staff team wud respect u or your decisions as much, if u intend to b hands on. Why doesn't one of you get a qualification, then u can't b held over a barrel if your manager (appointed in charge of day-to-day childcare with ofsted), hands their notice in!

After all if you think you know enough, you will breeze an nvq3. Alternatively if one of you already has a degree?? Just do your EYP status top up (18m) which gives you a level 6 childcare qualification. Wud sound much better to parents?!!

why5am Thu 28-Jul-11 19:56:47

I'm moving my DD1 to a nursery set up and run by a couple who are parents. Neither of them have a childcare background. The manager is amazing and is well qualified and has been there for 8 years. Staff don't move on, unlike our current nursery which has a high turnover.

The new nursery has a waiting list of up to 2 years. Lack of qualifications in owners seems no barrier. Good luck.

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