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Opening a new drop in centre creche

(17 Posts)
Alipop Tue 06-Jan-09 20:53:49

Hi, Im new to this mumsnet web site but have been told by a few people how useful and interesting it is.
I am planning on opening a creche in the heart of manchester city centre, the creche is linked to an interior design centre so all the facilities in the creche would be design led, it would cater for children nought to 8 years old and would have fully qualified staff, a playcentre (wacky warehouse type) underwater theme, with reading corners, dancing corners, role play areas, eating areas amongst many other features. Do you think this is something that mums would use, they can use it between 1 and 6 hours per session and there would be a maximum of 30 children at any one time. I would really appreciate real mum's comments.
Thanks and i look forward to chatting to you

ilovelovemydog Tue 06-Jan-09 20:56:14

Open one in Bristol?

Alipop Tue 06-Jan-09 20:58:58

If Manchester works out then the plan is to open a city centre creche in each major city in the UK as a franchise. What do you think of the idea?

ilovelovemydog Tue 06-Jan-09 21:23:20

Personally, I would keep it simple, otherwise there would be total over stimulation. The soft play centre theme sounds like fun, but how would the children be supervised? When I take DD, I watch her almost exclusively, so would there just be someone watching this area?

risingstar Wed 07-Jan-09 09:52:56

I would think that a city centre creche would be a fab idea, the one in Milton Keynes is usually very busy. I agree that you need to keep it simple unless there are a large number of other creches in the area already. Don't fully follow the design led bit tbh unless you are trying to differentiate from other providers. Would you get that much business from users of a design centre? given current econmic climate, i would look at costs very very closely indeed. Don't think that people would pay a premium for location personally.If you are looking for the shoppers market, think about appealing to BOYS.

rubyslippers Wed 07-Jan-09 09:57:27

i am not sure

0 - 8 is a huge age group all requiring different ratios of staff

0 - 2 need 1:2 staffing so your costs would be huge

would an 8 year really want to sit in a reading corner, when they are more likely to want to play on a WII?

Alipop Wed 07-Jan-09 21:18:14

Hi, in answer to ilovemydog, yes i agree about keeping it simple but we do need to cater for a wide variety of ages. And yes there would be someone fully qualified working that section of the play area and ratio of adults to kids would be accomodated in all areas. So your child would be fully supervised in the soft play area. Also the soft play is not the sheer size of usual wacky warehouses as the whole creche is just 1000 sq ft. Most playcentres are in excess of 3000sq ft - but these are supervised by parents.

Thanks for the comments from risingstar - we will definately accomodate boys too, i have a son myself and playstation action areas are included in the plans as one of the things that boys of all ages like and for the younger boys we have vintage ride on cars and trains. The creche was originally formulated as the design centre can not allow access for children, however people who can use interior designers and the like would not exclude their children from the correct decor so therefore the interior and decor in the creche will be design led, ie we have italian childrens toilets/sinks and stunning pebble tiles that appear to have been set in water, the furniture is all from Hippins and all the beakers etc are all from designer brands. We will exhibit all these items in the areas leading to the creche and the companies that have supplied the items pay us for advertising space. We DO NOT sell the items from the creche at all but can advise anyone who is interested where they can purchase anything we have in the creche, this makes it almost a working extenstion of the design centre. However, we are looking at doing further creches in cities throughout the country which wont all be linked to a design centre and may actually stand alone. We are also doing mobile creches which can be hired for exhibitions, weddings, and events where children can be present but need to be occupied and looked after in order for carers/parents to enjoy the event to the full.

Hi Rubyslippers - we have thought about that and we can have a maximum of 30 children at any time and this includes a maximum of 4 under 2's at anytime - in my experience under 2's are easy to shop with as they will stay in a buggy without too much bother!!

KatyMac Wed 07-Jan-09 21:30:03

So will you be registered on the Early Years & the childcare register?

Is it first come first served or will you have a booking system, if so what?

What is the hourly rate?

How are you dealing with the food/drink issue?

KatyMac Wed 07-Jan-09 21:30:18

So will you be registered on the Early Years & the childcare register?

Is it first come first served or will you have a booking system, if so what?

What is the hourly rate?

How are you dealing with the food/drink issue?

KatyMac Wed 07-Jan-09 21:30:33

Whoops sorry

Alipop Wed 07-Jan-09 21:36:02

Yes we will be and with ofsted, we hope to be registered with as many credible organisations as possible and will go in for any awards we can too in time.

Well its both to be honest, we will take bookings for regulars and others will be on first come first served - the actual exact way it will be done hasnt not been qualified yet.

The hourly rate has not been confirmed but we are looking at £8.50 an hour, with discounts for regulars and people having over 2 hours a session.

We have a venetian style cafe on site, parents will be invited to pick off the organic menu and smaller versions will be made for the children at a small surcharge - probably £4 for a box with 5 food items and a drink. Biscuits, fruit and water will be freely available.

What do you think? Nothing is cast in stone yet as we are still researching. smile

KatyMac Wed 07-Jan-09 21:39:24

Careful with food freely available because of allergies you may need to confine it to one place because a bit of half chewed bbiscuit/strawberry/kiwi could be eaten by a child with an allergy

£8.50 out of my price range by a long way - what is the normal childmining rate (how much of a premium is that?)

KatyMac Wed 07-Jan-09 21:40:05

BTW the Early Years & the childcare register are OFSTED

Littlefish Wed 07-Jan-09 21:41:08

£8.50 per hour sounds like a lot to me.

I pay £4.00 per hour for a childminder and £2.50 for a toddler session at our soft play place. For this £2.50 we get tea, toast, squash and biscuits and we can stay as long as we like.

Alipop Thu 08-Jan-09 18:39:43

Hi KatyMac & Littlefish, Well it is a city centre creche on Deansgate (not sure if you know the area, but we are next door to the Hilton hotel at the designer end of deansgate - it is in other peoples words "the address to have"), with fully qualified staff looking after the children at the highest possible level, so this is why there is a premium and also we are providing designer goods and services. We have done market research in manchester and we believe this price is reasonable for the service and facility on offer.

Littlefish Thu 08-Jan-09 22:30:33

What sort of things will parents be doing while their children are in the creche? I don't know the area - will they be shopping? Having lunch? Working? I have to say that I still think it sounds expensive. I go regularly to Cheltenham to the "designer end", but I wouldn't pay that much to leave dd in a creche. Sorry.

My childminder is fully qualified (she's actually a qualified teacher and childminder)and looks after my dd at the highest possible level. As I said earlier, I pay her £4.00 - £4.30 per hour (depending on whether she is providing food).

risingstar Fri 09-Jan-09 20:26:24

Is this already an up and running creche that you are planning to take over in the design centre? Alarm bells are ringing for me! Do you want to make money from this? If it has or is being set up because the design centre doesn't allow children I think that this is a really mixed message. It is one thing to do it as a loss leader for the design centre to accommodate their no children policy it is entirely a different thing to get sufficient people through the door to make any sort of return. I really think that the price you are thinking of charging is high. Really be under no illusion that parents will pay a premium for fixtures and fittings, they will never see posh kids toilets due to security polices etc. Sorry, most kids like thomas the tank engine and plastic toys and bright colours. This is what will bring them back. I have no doubt that there are a few parents out there that will fit your profile but seriously i am not convinced that there will be enough that will come back time after time to cover fairly high costs. Especially at the moment, I don't think many people will be willing to fork out £16 for 2 kids for one hour (£32 for 2 hours). How many people will be looking at expensive designer stuff in the design centre at the mo? I really don't want to come across as negative but I guess (hope) you want honest opinions.

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