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top end of the market nursery

(14 Posts)
floramae Sat 09-Apr-05 01:07:20

My friend is a primary schol teacher with additional qualifications in children with social and emotional behavioural difficulties and early years education.

She has for some time been harbouring a dream to set up a private nursery at the top end of the market to specialise in nurturing posh, sometimes spoiled kids (my words, not hers, hope this does not offend ).

She has a wonderful and engaging personality ( my delinquents turn into total pushovers in her presence)and as a mum I really believe she has got that special someting that makes parents feel trusting and kids feel happy and secure.

Do you think this idea is a goer? Is there a market for this kind of thing?

She is based in Glasgow. She is aiming to specialise in 3 - 5 years old provision.

WHat do people pay for "standard" nursery provision from, say, 8 - 6 per month? How much of a premium do you think she could add for the special services she would be able to offer?

ScummyMummy Sat 09-Apr-05 01:23:56

Welcome to mumsnet, floramae. What special services can she offer, exactly? I am unclear.

floramae Sat 09-Apr-05 01:54:36

sheis trained in peer massage and counselling skills .
Will see her next week to ask the proper terms.

She has a training in providing a special environment for kids to work through social and emotional and behavioural difficulties - involves a big sand pit and drawing pictures I think

tigermoth Sat 09-Apr-05 06:55:17

Has she seen what local nurseries offer in the way of special services? I could be wrong, but it's possible other top of the market nurseries have some staff, at least, who are trained in dealing with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Also, state nurseries (don't know how private ones work) will be able to call on specialists if they have a child with problems - and may have a special needs co-ordinator. Mind you, as your friend is was a primary school teacher, she would know this far better than me.

Have I got this right? Your friend is hoping to cater for children with special problems who come from richer than average families? Is this because other top of the market nurseries tend to reject children with problems? I'm a bit unclear.

floramae Sat 09-Apr-05 09:45:17

Thank you for your replies.
Tigermoth the posh kids remark was not necessarily accurate (it was my words not hers)it's just to do with the part of the city she lives in.
The point about her own training is that she would not need to call in other specialists, the person doing the day to day care of the child (her and her business partner) would have the specialist know how there on site all the time.

Don't even think she is planning to target anyone in particular but wants to keep numbers small and having done her sums needs to charge x amount to make a living so wants to make sure her place offers something different from others.
Because it will be more expensive than other nurseries and because of the area she lives in the likeleyhood is the children will be from better off families

Do you think it would work?

stripey Sat 09-Apr-05 10:24:23

I personally don't as I think most 3 year olds would already be in a nursery if their parents worked (hours 8-6pm) or at a pre school nursery if not. I am not familiar with the Scottish system so I could be wrong?

Maybe they would move older children to a different nursery but if they worked and had a baby it would mean dropping children at different nurseries.

tamum Sat 09-Apr-05 11:00:05

I would agree with stripey, and I am in Scotland. I also can't quite see how she would advertise this- if you were aware that your children had real social and emotional issues you would surely be looking for proper professional support within the state system in an ideal world, rather than paying through the nose? Anyone who is not fully aware that their child has particular issues (i.e. parents of "spoilt" children) would not be likely to choose a nursery that they felt was going to be full of children with behavioural problems, let alone an expensive one, surely? To be absolutley blunt about it, if my child had behavioural problems I would want something a bit more structured than peer massage. Also, nurseries need to be in partnership with the LEA in order for parents to claim back a third of the fees, so she would need to bear that in mind too- if she wasn't in partnership her fees could seem astronomical in comparison with nurseries that were.

It sounds to me as though her best bet would be to emphasise the small group size and nurturing activities and try to charge on that basis, really. Sorry to sound negative but I can't really see it flying otherwise.

cazzybabs Sat 09-Apr-05 11:13:08

I work in a private school which is dominated by mothers who don't work and dads that do - so maybe that's a niche - farm out your toddlers and then do lunch or see your personal gym trainner - i am only jealous!

We pay ~£650 a month for 8.30-5.30.

The children to lots of craft - that looks really nice (ie have had lots of adult help because thats what parents (not me) want). What about offering music/drama/langauge/ballet as extras?

floramae Sat 09-Apr-05 14:35:26

these are exactly the kind of constructive comments I was hoping for and thank you all for replying so quickly. I will try to get my friend to join in mumsnet as she is better placed to talk about her idea .

I may be misrepresenting her somewhat, I am not trained in any of this myself!

JulieF Sat 09-Apr-05 21:38:49

I don't think it would wor for the age range she wants to target. Most chldren would be starting state school nursery, the "posh" ones who are looking for that type of provision would more than likely chose a nursery attached to a prep school.

KristinaM Sat 09-Apr-05 22:07:16

Sorry Flora - I agree with the other comments.

I assume your friend plans to open her nursery in the West End of Glasgow or Bearsden/Milngavie. There are lots of private schools there already offering 3-5 provision.

Lots of nurseries do crafts, offer ballet or French or Montessori. I would have thought that they would also have input from Educ Psych on children with SED.

You can't run a nursery for 50 hrs per week with two staff. So the other staff would just have the usual nursery qualifications.

As Stripey says, you need to provide places from 6 weeks old if you are running daycare. Parents dont have time to go to two different facilities.

Sorry to sound so negative but cant see how this would work.

Aimsmum Sat 09-Apr-05 22:14:19

Message withdrawn

Fran1 Sat 09-Apr-05 22:26:22

Every nursery has to have a qualified SEN worker,and aim to meet the needs of each child.

As others have said, i don't see how you can market this without appearing discriminatory.

Do you think she means she will open up an ordinary nursery, but her secret aim is to satisfy herself with nurturing said "posh spoiled kids"? And reep the rewards from watching the brats arrive and turn out the other end as little angels?

Coming from a nursery background she'd need to charge double if she wants to keep under staff:ratio etc.
The reason the uk is becoming dominated by the "big chains" is because there is no money to be made from the friendly independent nursery anymore, even when you do pay crap salaries and scrimp and save every penny you can.
The average nusery fees and staff costs mean there is little left over even when you max your numbers.

Would be good to hear more of your friends plans.

bubble99 Sun 10-Apr-05 19:53:54

We've recently set up two nurseries in South West London as we (DH and I) wanted to set up a worthwhile business - both morally and financially. Neither of us has training in childcare but as parents we knew what we wanted to achieve in the general ethos. In our experience you have to have an "angle" or something to set you apart from your competitors. We were so disgusted with what was offered by the chain nursery that our DS2 briefly attended that we had a model of how not to run a nursery. No flaming here about chains, just our experience of one in particular.
We wanted to set up a nursery which would provide above average care at an average price. We are very keen to retain staff so we are paying our staff salaries above the average and trying to create a sense of pride in "our nursery" for everyone. All of our food is prepared from certified organic ingredients and we have employed a chef who is fab and motivated.

We have one trainee in each nursery and when we interviewed for this position we were keen to offer this opportunity to someone who "needed a break." One of our trainees is a 17 year old with (very) mild learning difficulties and a mild physical disability. She is the original "odd kid" but she is gentle, motivated, keen to learn and wants to work in childcare. Her letter of application was handwritten and perfect. She was 15 minutes early for her interview, smart and although not as "bright" as some of our other applicants her attitude shone through.

I'm well off topic here, sorry.

What I'm trying to say is that your friend has got to be able to offer something different, especially if she is looking to charge above average fees.

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