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Setting up a nursery

(11 Posts)
redshoes Sun 24-Apr-05 21:56:54

Am thinking about setting up a small nursery. Anyone approached banks re funding for premises? Alternatively, could start by using downstairs of my house...any tips? If I started via the childminding route (lots of quals in Law, none in childcare, but 4 children...) would staff, ie childminding assistants, need to be qualified childminders themseves? And finally, please tell me there is money in it!

Bonkerz Sun 24-Apr-05 22:12:58

assistants do not need to be childminders themselves but they are unable to be left unattended with the children. You could register as a childminder, you will have to do some training etc but atleast this way you will get the experiance on the buisness side of things. As for money, when i was training to be a childcarer my tutor used to say that you cant go into childcare for money. I suppose it depends what area you live in really as to weather there is money in a nursery. Also it depends on why you want to do it. I have worked for a number of people who did not work in the nursery but owned them and employed managers etc and to be honest the only way to make money is to cut on quality of care really. If you charge too much you wont get the children in and if you charge to little you wont meet costs. If you pay staff too little you wont keep them and that means staff turnover will be high and thats not good news for quality of care. To make a nursery successful in my books you have to have consistent satff, enough staff, and a warm friendly environment which puts the children and not profit first. My last boss wanted profit and the nursery went dowm hill and is on the brink of closure now. Hope this helps!

Fran1 Sun 24-Apr-05 22:50:16

No there is not money in it, until you become enormous chain that takes over the country, charges ridiculous fees and pays staff zilch. But then you get the reputation to match also. Somehow they survive as they wipe out the independent nurseries leaving parents no choice.

Yes you need qualified staff to meet ratios and either you as the owner needs to be qualified or you need to employ a qualified manager.

I suggest you start your research with Ofsted inspectors of daycare. And maybe some work experience in a nursery would give you better insight? It's not as easy as it may sound and you really have to be doing it for the love of children, not the money.

honeypot01 Sun 24-Apr-05 23:38:42

you'll have to be police checked and have your house police checked and other checks too. They're very particular. My friend was going to be a childminder but they wanted her to adjust things to her house, silly stuff so decided not to go ahead. Assitants i think would have to have at least an NNEB or studying it not too sure thou.

TwinSetAndPearls Sun 24-Apr-05 23:54:19

You will have to make adjustments to ytour house to be a childminder but if you have children te changes may not be that many. I have just been inspected and all I needed to do in preparation was put safety film on my glass doors and make sure I had a first aid kit. I got a grant to cover all of these costs and have found the process qute straightforward.

jothorpe Mon 25-Apr-05 19:40:04

My gut feeling here is that Redshoe's last statement says it all - if you want to make a fast buck, running a nursery isn't for you. Yes you could possibly make money from it but small nurseries I know don't make lots but do provide a reasonable standard of living for the owners.

Yes you can use the downstairs of your house. You would need planning permission, which can be tricky to obtain in a built up area. Planners tend to be concerned about: Noise and Traffic.
You could start as a childminder, caring for say 6 children (if you get permission to do so) and could perhaps increase this number by using assistants (though having a childminding assistant does not automatically increase your numbers). Two Registered childminders working from the same premises is a good way of getting numbers increased... typically to around 10 children. Certainly once it's 12 children I think you are classified as a nursery... and thus Planning Permission is a requirement!

Registration of a nursery can take some time... the paperwork alone is estimated at taking 6 months, though in my past experience if you aim for 6-9 months you would be about right. Becoming registered as a childminder is faster, with average of 3 months, excluding any training you require (ICP, First Aid etc).

I have posted some links to some Childminder On-Line Support groups on another message thread - here which may be helpful to join to ask specific questions about childminding, max number of children before getting planning trouble, childminding assistants etc.

sallycinnamon Mon 25-Apr-05 19:58:21

I've looked into it too. There's so much red tape its put me off a bit. You have to have so many square metres per child, and that changes depending upon how old they are. Theres many more equally confusing rules and regulations. I think your idea to start small is a good one.

KatieMac Mon 25-Apr-05 20:39:25

To be a nursery you need NVQ3 qualified staff and they need to be registered to give nursery care if you want to accept nursery vouchers (in the case of C/Mers)
If you want to talk more CAT me, I'm a c/mer who can have 9 under 5's upto 12 under 8, we are 4c/mers working together with 3 assistants and I barely made my tax allowance last year

redshoes Mon 25-Apr-05 20:58:05

Thanks all. Busy researching on Ofsted etc sites. Think I will definitely do it, just how to start. Will probably do it in partnership with friend who has ancient NNEB qual. We have great ideas (though still no quals!). It will be such a fab nursery! Thanks Katiemac will CAT you tomorrow.

bubble99 Wed 27-Apr-05 11:54:13

Hi redshoes. Feel free to CAT me as well. We've recently set up two daycare nurseries in SW London.

redshoes Wed 27-Apr-05 20:17:03

Thanks bubble will do.

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