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Aren't we all ! But seriously we have made an offer on a building that has been empty for 2 years but that has the right sort of planning.Need a check list of things to do and ideas on making it look a million dollars on a shoe string!!

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How exciting! What's the building like (number of floors, arrangement of rooms, outside access?) What's it been used for previously?

 

If I was going to choose one thing to spruce up a place, I'd choose fabric. You can get metres and metres of it from charity shops (ends of lines, curtains, etc) and you can attach these to walls that are less than perfect!

 

Second choice......paint and lots of willing helpers!

 

Third choice......loads of fibreboards fixed to walls for fantastic displays.

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How exciting! What's the building like (number of floors, arrangement of rooms, outside access?) What's it been used for previously?

 

If I was going to choose one thing to spruce up a place, I'd choose fabric. You can get metres and metres of it from charity shops (ends of lines, curtains, etc) and you can attach these to walls that are less than perfect!

 

Second choice......paint and lots of willing helpers!

 

Third choice......loads of fibreboards fixed to walls for fantastic displays.

 

And don't forget Ikea if there's one even remotely near you - fantastic for lots of cheap things to decorate and adorn with!

 

Maz

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Am bribing Hubbie to take me to Ikea.The building was a Nursery upto 2 years ago but has been empty since and in a state hoping to open in the Autumn so needs to be more than just friends and family helping out-re-wired,roof checked ,new loos etc but then I want it to look brill.Anyone seen anything good on the web? I am after a community play things look without the price tag

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Guest Wolfie

There's also a website called School Surplus which lists end of lines from a few major suppliers - I've had a few bargains from there in the past!

 

I think it's www.schoolsurplus.co.uk - I've forgotten how to make the link work! :o

 

I've just tried that link and it takes you to an Ebay shop with not many items for sale at all - they've obviously scaled down the operation, thee used to be pages and pages of items! Sorry about that!

Edited by Wolfie
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I agree with the fibre board displays - make sure you put as many as possible at child height and to make them interactive and the children able to display which work they choose to.

 

I work in a nursery that opened last July - We find our local recycling WRAP extreemly valuable for paper, material etc and most of our creative resources come from them.

 

I would advise not to overlook the importance of your outdoor area and to look closely at what features it already has and to build on and enhance them rather than buying lots of expensive plastic items.

 

Good Luck

 

Sam

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Guest Wolfie

Slightly off tack but relevant I think(? :o ) - I've been on a masterclass in writing bids for funding today, run by someone called Bob Jennings. It was brilliant - he was basically saying that there are thousands of "pots of money" out there that are never spent because people don't put bids in. Not only funds like National Lottery but also loads of charitable trusts. There are more places to apply to if you are a regsitered charity but overall there are loads anyway.

 

The Directory of Social Change apparently produces books full of charitable trusts with info on their criteria for funding projects and there's also a monthly publication by the same publishers that do Practical Preschool, called something like Practical Funding.

 

It might be worth doing some research and applying to a few?!

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The second most important thing i can think of besides choosing your staff carefully, is that our parents will often donate loads of stuff that we already have, so i think pick carefully what you need and why and leave the little things that most children already have and grow out of quickly and ask for donations.

 

a few more tips from my own experience:

  • start with basic all rounders
  • leave themed stuff e.g. pirates until you see them in the sales
  • invest in a laminator, one that does a3, a guillitene and a binding machine
  • make your own board games, flash cards, lotto games, picture name cards etc...
  • go to wales and buy loads of material from abakan fabrics, loads of pegs and some cane from agarden centre; dens are very in!
  • visit local charity shops for books, dressing up clothes, anything really
  • decide on your layout/areas now and what you need in them and prioritise.
  • cork tiles are a good way of creatively displaying the childrens work, you can put them up in patterns, or make them fit into strange places, and they just glue on, so no nails and hanging things so they dont fall!

Remember its meant to be fun, and enjoy it! its a once in a life time for most people to set up their own nursery.

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:( seriously? we have one but noones ever been found asleep on it yet! although when i first started out my supervisor could be found asleep on the comfy chairs in the next room after a hangover, on any day ending in a Y! but you didnt hear that from me xD:o Edited by alis2son
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We had a couple of comfy armless adult chairs next to each other. Children who were feeling unwell would sometimes lie on them whilst waiting for their parents to pick them up. They were also sometimes used to sit a child on whilst they received 'first aid'. We were a preschool and any of our breastfeeding Mums could use them.

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Hi what fun you must be having!

We have child size sofas in each room which define the book area and are always in use. Thay are strong enough to take adults too. Your furniture is your biggest outlay and you need to decide the layout of the room before investing in storage shelving etc.

We still have small tables and chairs which we use for lunch and snack time but use tuf spots more and more for playing. Our teacher advisor is very keen on no tables and chairs and everything being done at floor level. Bit hard on ageing backs and knees!!

I agree your outside area is vital to get right and we have logs and dens and huge sand pits. Tesco and Sainsbury vouvher schemes are wonderful and have provided lots of free equipment.

As a private business I have never been lucky is accessing grants but you may be more lucky. What about start up grants?

Good luck

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As a private business I have never been lucky is accessing grants but you may be more lucky. What about start up grants?

Good luck

 

Unless you are really lucky in your area, there is no money for nursery start up grants due to saturation of places and the current drive on sustainability of existing places.

Revenue money we have at the moment is for creation of new places for extended schools - breakfast, after school and holiday clubs. We also have sustainabilty and inclusion for existing providers.

 

In our area we have Coal Regeneration funding and some Social Enterprise money, so it's worth speaking to Business Link, who may be able to advise on this?

 

Another good list to get on is the B&Q list - they will regularly contact settings that have registered an interest when they have end of line carpet tiles, wallpaper, paint etc. However, we have told so many settings in our area about this, there is now a waiting list and being on the list is time limited to one year at a time :o

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