Jump to content
About Us

Setting up new nursery - eek!


Recommended Posts

Hi all you lovely and knowledgeable people : )


After many years of working with children I have been offered the chance to set up a new nursery in an old children's centre. I am very excited but there's so much to learn!

I am currently thinking about staffing; we will have up to 24 children, incl. up to eight 2 year olds. We will be open from 8am-6pm (that was a council requirement). I am hoping to have 3 L3+ key people (incl. myself) and up to 3 assistants. I am getting a headache trying to work out staff rotas, I was hoping to stick with the CC 37.5/week and have early and late shifts to cover setting up and tidy up. I also want to make sure that keypeople are there to greet their children and to feed back at the end of the day.

Would any of you lovely people be willing to share your staff shifts with me to get me started?


in anticipation



PS: We are hoping to open in April, but maybe that's ambitious...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have staff working 7.30 - 4.30, 8 - 5 and 9 - 6. They have an hour for lunch, unpaid. They work the same shift all the time (other than the occasional swap). As far as possible, we try to allocate key children so that key people see them in at the beginning of the day or are there at the end of the day but for children attending 8 - 6, obviously you can't have both. Parents and children soon get to know the other staff though, so it works fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi and good luck!

I set up my first nursery in 2003 (with business partner) and second in 2005. Between the two we now have around 250 children on role and 50 staff!

It is very, very rewarding but if you have never been an employer before then that is the biggest learning curve. I recommend joing the Pre-School Learning Alliance (and getting your insurance through them) - that way you get access to 24/7 legal help which is brilliant.


Anyway, staff shifts: For key-person reasons, we ensure that anyone with key-person responsibilities works a full day (which is 8am-6pm) However, if full-time, these people only work 4 days, so a 36hr contract. Some also do one breakfast club a week (starting 7:30am.) But not all work full-time: I have a Mon, Tues, Wed key-person for example so she just has key children that fit in with her days. I then have my own 'supply' register of staff who are happy to come on ad hoc shifts to cover courses, fluctuations in children's numbers, holidays etc. These staff members, however, are un-contracted so under absolutely no obligation to accept shifts.

Hope that has helped!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do similar to Stargrower, we're a big nursery too. In terms of key people we work in teams. Baby room, Toddler room and Pre-school. One member of staff will take care of the settling process with a view to becoming the key person, however if a child gravitates towards another staff member then we go with the child's choice. Working in teams that stay the same means that everyone knows everything about the children and their families so if a key person is off for whatever reason any other member of staff can give high quality feedback to parents and can provide high quality care as everyone know the child's 'little ways'. We prefer this to an official 'buddy' system as it offers more flexibility and means that parents are happy to chat to any member of the team knowing that details will be passed oi to all in the team.

Our setting is also semi open-plan, this means that children see members of staff from other teams during their day (in the garden, at meal times, during 'free flow') which means that settling for transitions between rooms is straightforward as there are no 'unfamiliar' faces or unfamiliar nursery areas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Stargrower, JJA and Rebecca


thank you very much for your quick and helpful replies! I know I'm on a steep learning curve, but a chance like this doesn't present itself twice, so I've decided I'm going for it! No doubt I'll be back here with lots more questions soon : )




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)