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Your opinion needed!!

10 replies

Teachergirl8 · 23/01/2011 19:58

Hi,
I'm thinking if setting a new nursery up in uckfield, east Sussex. Im aware that there are a few others in the area and was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on what makes a nursery stand out for you? (even if you're not in the area) is there anything that we could offer that other nurseries don't? I'm a teacher and it has always been a dream of mine to run a nursery any help would be gratefully received!!

OP posts:
Mollie1 · 23/01/2011 22:16

A good outdoor space is always a stand out point. We have a lovely garden and this is one of the things that is ALWAYS mentioned on our booking form 'Why did you choose our nursery?' question.

TiggyD · 23/01/2011 22:59

To do it the business like way I suppose you need to research all the other nurseries in the area and decide what they offer, then offer something different.
If I were to follow my heart however, I would find a site with a couple of acres with access to a common or footpaths to take the children down. A huge garden full of interesting areas, a wooded bit and a large covered area. But all that would be pointless if there's loads of those types of nursery in Ukfield already.
You can get very nice cabin style buildings that you can just sort of drop in. Purpose built is always better than trying to convert a house.

KatyMac · 23/01/2011 23:02

I agree about the cabin nursery......one (which I designed) is being marketed by a log cabin company

Start with your site; everything else can be tweaked

Teachergirl8 · 24/01/2011 08:15

Excellent ideas thanks,really helpful, what about opening times? Would it be better if we opened earlier till later?

OP posts:
KatyMac · 24/01/2011 08:31

Great idea - can you sell it to staff?

They want to work times they can get childcare for, which means they are tied by OOSC opening times

TiggyD · 24/01/2011 10:51

Most nurseries open 8 - 6. Staff used to work 8-4 or 10-6 when I first started in early 90s. It was hard to cover either end of the day. Everywhere changed about 2000 and now staff normally staff do 8-5, 8:30-5:30 or 9-6. There is still an hour either end of the day when things get a bit tight. Finding a person who wants to come in for an hour or 2 a day would be fantastic and they're worth their weight in gold! Many nurseries now get staff to work 8-6 most of the week and give a half day off on one of the days.
I suggest opening 8-6 to start with and see what demand there is. Nurseries that offer 7-7 for example, usually open 8-6 for a normal day but children can get booked in for the extra hours, a bit like babysitting. Very few parents seem to want early/late childcare.

dribbleface · 24/01/2011 11:33

Opening late and staff - we have a cleaner/nursery assistant who cleans til 5pm and then provides assistance in the nursery. Its lovely because it is usually older ladies who take the role and they bring a lovely feel to the nursery. The children LOVE them (most likely as they get away with murder Wink but i liken it to a fun granny). To be clear we still have all the other staff qualified so keep Ofsted happy.

TheVisitor · 24/01/2011 11:40

7.30am opening would make you popular, as would an before/after school/holiday club, as it means parents only have to drop siblings to the one place.

As mentioned, good outdoor space.

An excellent manager who is Degree qualified in Early Years or similar.

Staff who are willing to progress in their career and go past an NVQ3.

A cosy, homely baby room, with chairs where the staff can sit and feed babies. Your baby room is usually the first room that parents see and it needs to be dead right.

Very clear policies that the parents have access to.

xandrarama · 25/01/2011 15:36

I'd also suggest a really good website with lots of info available on it - not just opening hours and fees, but also all the policies, rough schedules (in terms of when meals and snacks are, + activities or planned outings), plus what the week's meals and snacks are going to be.

My DD's nursery has the week's meals up on the wall, but when DH is doing pick-ups/drop-offs he never remembers to check it, and I like to make sure I am not giving her the same thing for dinner as she's had for lunch or tea - so it would be great to be able to see that online. (tbh these days it's more a case of me being reassured she has eaten something decent during the day, as she refuses whatever I give her at home!)

Teachergirl8 · 19/02/2011 09:45

Thanks for the advice. KatyMac; what company is it advertising your log cabins?

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