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Hello im due to open a new pre-school after half term but im not sure what to do as we have had very little interest and have only got 4 children enrolled despite lots of advertisment,handing out leaflets,word of mouth and open mornings/afternoons.So at the moment on some days we will only have 2 children attending which wont cover rent let alone other expences.Do i open or do i postpone to later date but risk losing children already enrolled.I have put a lot of time,effort and money into this pre-school so i dont want to give up,but im just not sure what to do next,any advice would be great.

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Congratulations on this new venture!! :o


Can I suggets that you ask if there is some flexibility with the 4 children so that they all attend on the same day?


Maybe, only open for those sessions to begin with and unfortunately operate at a loss to begin with until things pick up, which they undoubtably will as you get underway and people can come and visit while you're open proper.


Don't know what else to suggest but good luck!


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How exciting, blueliz6


I think probably most groups starting from scratch run at a loss to begin with, and it is a chicken and egg situation in that you need to open to attract more children but you need more children to pay your expenses.


I agree with mps09 - it would be better to see if you can get all four children attending together so that when prospective parents come to visit they will see a group of happy children playing and learning together.


What did your market research tell you about the need for childcare in the area? Your business planning will have been based on a minimum number of children attending in the first term, and only you can tell what the impact of having four children on roll will be on your group and personal finances. I guess you need to work out how long you can run at this level, and set a date when you need to review progress and make a decision about what to do next.


If you decide not to open, where will these four children go in the meantime? Do you run the risk of losing these children altogether, thereby worsening your situation? Are you committed to paying rent even if you don't open?


Sorry, that is a lot of questions - but hopefully answering them might help you think your situation through.


And as a final point, my group is celebrating its tenth birthday this month. It opened all those years ago with four children on roll. Numbers have fluctuated since then but currently we have 18 on roll and are managing to keep our heads above water!


Good luck - and let us know what you decide to do!



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I've just recently opened a new setting, we opened in September. At present I have 3 staff (including me!) and am looking to employ a fourth member, look at other settings in your area and see if you can offer something different. I noticed that in our area settings took children in from 2.5 (I started the same) so I dropped our age to 2 year olds and have been inundated with enquiries (hence needing a 4th member of staff).

I also agree that if you can only open for a few days a week to begin with this may help. I, like you advertised with open days, leaflet drops etc, speak to your PLA advisor as they can help you with marketing. Also invite your Health Visitor in as they will recommend you to parents!!

You really do have to keep plugging at it and try and keep your name in the fore front with parents, I also invited our local paper in to write a piece about the Pre-School (they listed my contact details with the article).

I hope some of this has been a help if you have any other questions please ask, can't promise I will know all the answers!!


Good luck (it does get easier!!)



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Good suggestion so far, also contat your LA they may have some start up funding you could apply for. (if you haven't already).


Keep up the advertising, try and be a bit creative in this, ie: adverts on your car windows and friends and famil cars too. Any roundabouts near your setting? Some Local councils rent advertising space on these for passing drivers.


Try a forum search for more creative ideas on advertising.


The Autumn term is always historically the leanest one for many settings, but hopefully word of mouth will spread quickly. Is there anything you can offer that other settings don't can you find an extra special Unique selling point? If yes shout out loud about it. Without sounding tacky and worded carefully maybe consider offering, for a limited period, a free session when you book 2 (or 3). It is actually hard work when there are fewer children, I remember this when my preschool numbers were low just before I closed my preschool.


Only you know if you can financially sustain the start up period, best of luck and here's hoping numbers increase quickly.



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Thank you for all the replies and helpful ideas im going to speak to parents and hopefully get all children attending same days till things pick up.

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Great advice so far. I opened my nursery eleven years ago with two staff and one child! Don't give up, and I'd agree with the suggestion above about offering something unique. We opened for four hours which was unheard of in those days (8.30 -12.30, so that parents could drop off the nursery child before going onto school), and offered music and movement as a specialism.

Good luck and keep us up to date :o

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