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How far would you travel to get to a great nursery?

(9 Posts)
CoffeeAndCarrotCake Mon 17-Aug-09 16:23:05

I'm planning to jack in my current career and set up a nursery! I've found a wonderful site where the children would have loads of safe, enclosed outdoor space, but it would be about a 10 minute drive from each of the three main catchment areas. It's on a route which never has any traffic - even in rush hour though.

The nursery that my DD goes to is very close to a station, so I can drop her off and walk down to the train, which was a key point in my choosing it. People would not be able to do this with my (proposed) nursery - they'd have to drive (or get the bus) there.

Would this put you off choosing it (if you assume it is an amazing nursery in every other respect grin)

Thanks very much for any feedback - I'm very excited about this, but want to make sure it's actually viable. Any other thoughts, comments or tips gratefully received!

notevenamousie Mon 17-Aug-09 16:26:19

I used to make quite a trek to my old nursery (we've moved 100+ miled, it's still where it was and still marvellous!!) and what persuaded me was word of mouth. If my colleagues hadn't raved about it, I'm not sure what would have made me take the chance...

Sounds great what you are planning to do - am sorry I am not a load of help.

CMOTdibbler Mon 17-Aug-09 16:29:01

DS used to be (till we moved across the country) at a nursery that was well out of town - in fact it was on a farm outside a village. It was still very, very popular. Plenty of parents dropped off, and then drove to the station

atworknotworking Tue 18-Aug-09 07:59:23

Hi thats quite interesting, we have been pondering the same question as we are also in the process of buying a nursery.

We looked at a couple that were good well set out, good floorplan, great outside space, but had very low take up rate mainly as they were off the beaten track a bit. Some of the key things we looked at were

why is occupancy low ie: bad report/reputation/run down/location
how we could improve the business and would that realistically increase occupancy
and the sustainability of the business
who your client base is likely to be

We decided that the one that we liked the best just wasn't a goer, you can have the greatest nursery on earth but if no one can get to it you won't be in business long. So we plumped for one that had a good position thats a bit run down but has a realistic potential to improve in all areas. It's hard to not think with your heart as I really loved the other one but with my business head on it just wasn't viable.

I would check the demographic out on the local council's database and work out who your client base is likely to be, also you may need to charge a higher rate if the occupancy is low or you expect it to take longer for people to get to know about you and if you did this would it price you out of the market.

Loads to think about, but it's very exciting isn't it I know just what you mean keep us posted love to know how it works out for you

blueberrysmoothie Tue 18-Aug-09 09:32:11

Where are you planning to open the nursery?
Personally, if I was travelling onwards to work by car after dropping off DD, I wouldn't mind a detour or a longer journey. However, I am in London and use the tube to get to work, as do the vast majority of other parents at my nursery. However great a nursery was, I probably wouldn't consider it if it meant loading DD into the car to get there and then driving back home and parking before heading off to the tube.
Sorry if that isn't the answer you are hoping for!

stubbyfingers Tue 18-Aug-09 09:48:17

In my local area, I know that there are lots of families who walk to nursery, and for me personally, ease of access is important as we only have one car.

Also, if you're choosing childcare for while you are working FT, it already feels like your DC's have a long day in nursery and they are tired by the time you pick them up at 5. If I had to drive some distance to drop them off, then that makes our day even longer. We would have to leave the house earlier and get home later and I wouldn't want this if I could avoid it.

Thirdly, depending on your pricing structure, a longer day in nursery (to allow for extra travel time to pick up) usually means more cash, so, say I would usually pick up my DC's at 5, if I had to travel even an extra 10 mins and picked them up at 5.10, that adds an extra £3.50 x 2 per day which is an extra £35 per week and an extra £140 per month. That would definitely put me off!

CoffeeAndCarrotCake Tue 18-Aug-09 13:43:02

Thanks very much for all your feedback. smile

The nursery would be outside of London, in a commuter-belt area, where most people would need to drive to the station if they were commuting by train - the station is a bit out of the way so not really walk-able for most. There are 3 stations within 5-10 minutes drive from the nursery. It is a toughie though, as I love being able to walk DD to her nursery every day.

atworknotworking - very exciting that you're planning the same thing! How far along in the process are you? Are you planning to live in at the nursery? It'd be good for secruity and fantastic for tax/living cost purposes, but would have all of the "living above the shop" drawbacks. You're right - there is SO much to consider, but I really want to stop work now and get started on this!! [impatient emoticon]

atworknotworking Tue 18-Aug-09 17:42:56

Were just about at the offer stage, was with the accountant this am sorting some bits and bobs out, it's taking ages and we still have a long way to go I'm sure, it's very frustrating as I'm a get on with it kinda person.

No I'm not planning on living there, I live in one atm (I'm a cm and my ground floor and part of 1st floor is all playrooms) I'm quite looking forward to not standing on bits of lego grin.

What do you do atm, do you work with children?

<<just being nosey>>

dontrunwithscissors Tue 18-Aug-09 20:52:05

Will you be able to get staff to travel out there? DD attended a nursery that was based a 5-10 minute drive into the countryside. It was very popular (it was a nature/green nursery, and they did some fantasic things with the children.) DD started there when it first opened. We had to move her after 6 months(for reasons unconnected to the nursery), and I had already started to notice staffing problems (lots of new faces that disappeared after a while, lots of agency staff). I read their most recent inspection report a few weeks ago, and they are clearly having many problems, which (according to the report) are related to recruitment problems. I don't know for sure that this is of transport problems, but it's my suspicion. It's a real shame as the owners were so committed to offering excellent care. I wouldn't send DD there now, based on that report.

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