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bubble99- can you advise me on setting up a creche. please?

(13 Posts)
pixiefish Sun 17-Apr-05 19:07:48

i'm a secondary teacher looking to get out. i have access to a property that could be converted to a creche. could you advise me on where to start. also could i own/run a creche without getting any further qualifications if i employed people who were qualified. ie i'd want to stay on the admin side really although i'd muck in with stuff if needed.


Peachyclair Sun 17-Apr-05 20:01:25

Can you contact your local sure start? They have childcare advisors who could answer all your questions, also the county council will have a chead of child services (not sure about exact title) whose job it is to register and inspect childcare establishments, they could inform you too.

hub2dee Sun 17-Apr-05 20:44:18

If you do a Web site, make it readable on Mac AND PC.

Have you done extensive googling on this ? That's how I'd start learning about legal / H&S / staff ratio obligations etc.

bubble99 Sun 17-Apr-05 21:00:03

The first place to check for info is the OFSTED website where you will find the "Creches -Guidance to the National Standards" document. When you say "creche" how many hours of childcare are you looking to provide per session? If you provide under a certain amount the rules are a lot less stringent. For example, if you provide less than two hours care per session there is no need to provide an outside play space or show how you will safely arrange trips to local parks etc.
Whichever type of provision you're planning there needs to be a "Suitable Person" who will undergo an interview by the OFSTED inspector to check that you are aware of The National Standards. More Info about this on the website. As you are a teacher and presumably hold a PGCE certificate you may qualify as a potential suitable person. I think, and I'm not sure about this, that you may need to have been teaching younger children and thus have knowledge and experience of The Early Years Curriculum. You can 'phone OFSTED and ask them directly if you will qualify. There is a long list of qualifications deemed to be suitable. NNEB, NVQ3. RSCN (paediatric nursing), social worker and others. When we set up OFSTED were compiling an updated list so if you contact them they should be able to advise.
If you don't qualify you will need to look for staff. The suitable person needs to have been qualified for at least two years before they can undergo the interview.
Thats some to be getting on with. CAT me and I can give you some more info.



bubble99 Sun 17-Apr-05 21:04:21

Hub. I wish there was a "Sticking out Tongue" emoticon. Yes, I know you're right and we will cross-platform soon. Got to keep the muesli crunching Maccy's happy eh?!

pixiefish Sun 17-Apr-05 21:13:13

cheers bubble. I meant day care nursery rather than creche. have only just found out that there's a difference. d'oh, how thick am i. Also there's the CSIW in Wales (just to complicate things) Registration is with them but I spose Ofsted inspects (or ESTYN the Welsh equivalent)

I have got a PGCE altrhough I'm not planning on being there full time.

Will have a think- dh is keen and i think it's a good idea albeit a lot of work to set up but if it gets me out of teaching

hub2dee Sun 17-Apr-05 21:21:57

Macs will take over the world. Muesli eaters will be knighted.

bubble99 Sun 17-Apr-05 21:30:49

Hi Pixiefish. OFSTED require two suitable person interviews per provider. The Registered Person who is the owner of the establishment and doesn't necessarily have to be qualified in childcare. And the manager who is responsible for the day to day running of the place. This person must have a suitable qualification. You would presumably be The Registered Person if you are going to take the administrative role. Everyone has to be police checked. Not sure what the system in Wales is but I would imagine it's similar.

pixiefish Sun 17-Apr-05 21:39:04

I've been police checked although i think i'd have to be again as you have to have a new check whenever you change schools or authority (not sure which)

So I need to set about thinking of a manager. Someone with over 2 years qualification in childcare- spose I could start and recruit later on couldn't I? The building i'm thinking of using is a house my dh owns. It's 3 bed and has a 1 bed flat at the back plus a 2 bed flat at the back. There's a tarmac area that is enclosed that i'd turn into an outside play area. We could quite easily keep all the age groups totally separate but we need to spend some serious money dong up the flats and we'd need to sort the house out. There are tenants in it at the moment (the house but the flats are empty- well not empty as dh has stock in them but unoccupied) will have to apply for change of use i spose- local planning officers are awkward but there's no point going on with it if we can't get planning is there... so much to think about

bubble99 Sun 17-Apr-05 21:56:32

Planning permission is the first hurdle you need to get over. I'm not sure how tough it is where you live but we had major problems with planning permission in Richmond and it took us two years from finding the building, which had previously been a pub and had pub/restaurant usage, to gaining nursery usage. You'll need to submit plans to show proposed structural changes and the best piece of advice I can give you is to employ a planning consultant to handle the case for you. The first time round on one other building we tried to DIY and it was difficult. It costs money but planning consultants are often ex-planning officers and therefore know how to negotiate their way around what can be a fraught process.

IlanaK Mon 18-Apr-05 13:25:55

Just to add my 2 cents here:

I started a nursery 6 years ago in Essex. I have a PGCE Primary and had a lot of trouble with social services (at the time they registered nurseries, not OFSTED) and had to prove how much experience I had with early years - thankfully I had a lot. Now, I was the day to day manager at the time so this was the issue. If you will just be the registered provider, it will not be a problem. Thinnk of all the large nursery chains - they are not owned by ualified early years people usually.

I agree with what has been said about planning consent. I had huge battles with my planning department. I new built, but within school grounds. I had all kinds of conditions put on my application and had to prove social links as it was on green belt land.

However, one thing no-one has mentioned yet. Before you spend any money on anything - even planning consent, you need to assess local need. I know that everyone thinks nurseries are a profitable business, but it really depends where you are. Also, as you plan to administrate and not manage, you will have the additioanl costs of a manager. Call all the local nurseries (pretending to be a parent) and find out what spaces they have avaialble. There is not always enough demand for all the nurseries that are opening up.

Running a nursery is not cheap - staff costs are high, and you can only set your prices at whatever the local market is so there is a limit to what your incomings will be.

I am not trying to put you off - just think you need to do a lot of research first.

Feel free to contact me if you would like.

Bubble99 - do you run a nursery? Would be interested in chatting if you do

bubble99 Mon 18-Apr-05 23:45:54

Hi IlanaK Dh and I own two nurseries in SW London. One opened 3 months ago and the other will be opening at the beginning of May. Neither of us is trained in childcare (our three children don't count!) but have been nursery users as parents for the last 5 years. We got into this business purely by chance.Three years ago the nursery both of my DS's attended lost it's cook. I'd trained as a chef before I trained as a nurse many years ago and agreed to step in to help. I ended up with a lovely part time job, cooking for the children three days a week. The nursery building was owned by the church and was sold to private developers. As a result the (fantastic) staff were made redundant. DH and I had talked about opening a business of some description and after much discussion and extensive research decided to open a nursery. We spent two years looking for suitable premises, going through planning applications many times and we ended up with two bulidings. Both are in areas of need so we went for them both. It's hard work setting up, as you know, but we're getting there. How about you? Which area are you in?

pixiefish Tue 19-Apr-05 16:13:57

Thanks Islanak.

Am going to have to give up work this summer as my mum isn't going to be able to have my dd for me so everything is going to have to be reassesed. Will have to put these plans on hold until dd is in school as I won't have the same disposable cash that I've had

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