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Hi This is a tricky one and one that I am not able to talk to my staff about yet so any advice from all of you would be very welcome. I am the director and manager of a nursery school which I have run for 16 years. I have been through so many changes and feel maybe now is the time to think of moving on (or over). Increasingly, as I am sure many of you find, I am so tired at the end of a day that there is nothing outside of the 'job'. So I am thinking how do I do it? Do I sell it and how do I get a valuation? Do I appoint a manager and just take a back seat? Do I carry on knowing that it is increasingly hard to keep enthusiastic about yet more changes? Any advice would be very welcome. Anyone want a very successful and thriving nursery school?

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I would love your nursery school but i bet your in the wrong area. This is something i have wanted to set up but can't find a suitable location. i'm in a committee run at the moment which is trying my patience!!!!!!

I'm not really sure what to advise but i'm sure someone on here will be able to give you some advice. Good Luck with whatever you do.

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Hi Chill, I can only tell you my experience, I will try to be brief :(


Started work in preschool as an assistant, when my son was 3 yrs ( committee run)

became supervisor

became involved with PLA

Qualified as a Tutor

as son became older, started tutoring, but still supervisor

Left preschool after 15 yrs

became early years advisor, made redundant

went back to tutoring at local college btec etc

observed a student in a preschool which was up for sale

bought the preschool 2001

promoted my supervisor to manager in 2005 ( sept) so that I could be available at home to become a foster parent.


I am finding it very difficult to "let go" of the daily doings at the preschool, which isn't making my managers job very easy. We can talk it over and recognise each others strengths and weaknesses. I am now busy with fostering and have decided to be really strong at have faith and let my manager get on with things. I should only deal with finances etc from now on ( can't resist producing the termly newsletter though)


Last year I felt totally demorolised and wanted to sell up ( similar reasons to you), ranted on the forum and got fantastic support.

What I'm trying to say is that I am glad I didn't sell up, only owned my business for 5 yrs ( nearly) but it was always my dream, and there are real benefits in terms of freedom ( of own expression and basics such as time management / time off) by being your own boss.

Unlike you my business just ticks over, doesn't make much profit ( even got a tax rebate last year) but it is good for cash flow. :oxD as a second income to my family.


Do you have a manager in mind? My manager has been with me from day one, and she had her children at the preschool I originally worked at with my son many, many moons age.


Just heard a preschool may open in my local primary school, this will most probably close my business, but even now, with this threat, I want to carry on, even just for the sake of keeping my loyal staff in employment in a place that they are happy in. I had also hoped it would be a business for my ( tep) daughter to take over, once she felt ready to.

I often lose faith with all the changes, the supposed raising of the profession when in fact I feel that all the extra training, government intervention etc has only served to demorolise and make very experienced and valuable people feel unconfident in what they know and can do well.

It's just all the jargon that changes, not the real skills of knowing, teaching, loving and promoting young childrens development and early years valuable positive experiences. that's what I am still in it for.

What would we do without the innocence and shear joy of all our young children?


You have a difficult decision, and like susan say's have you thought about what you would do instead.



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Thank you Peggy You have hit the nail on the head on several counts. Most significantly, like you, if I appointed a manager could I really leave her to it? But overall I think thia is the route to go and I will have to let the baby (Nursery) go and I will have to trust. With the very uncertain future of private nurseries it would not be a good time to sell - I could not sell it with a positive forecast. So I do think a manager is the answer and I have to be clear about how much I step out of the picture. Having said that, whether it will be this September or next September.....

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Do you have someone in mind, or will you be recruiting from outside?


The cons are that you are still the registered person and therefore ultimately responsible for everything.


The pro's are that you will have time to research better the forcast for the future, time to promote your nursery in ways other than what you do now, and not being hands on every day does give you more status with the staff, a more distant yet effective "boss" role. ( rather than work colleague). My staff now have to do even better at record keeping, evidencing their work etc because as I am not there everyday and still want to know what has been happening they have developed this area of their work, which also ensures they are always ready for inspection. :D

They have become more reflective practitioners because before when I was in every day they felt I could "see" what was going on, I made the daily decisions about areas to develop etc informed by the practice I observed. Thi now being their role has effectively improved their knowledge and skills, and especially team work. We are only a small preschool with 5 staff.



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I have 20 staff (all part time) so def. have some in mind. Do you think it could be tricky still having to remain the registered person, especially with drop in imspections as the chances are I would not be there. But I suppose many owners may not necessarily be there? Thank you Peggy for you comments - there are all useful especially as you seem to be making such a system work.

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The main thing I have found as the "absent" registered person is that there needs to be very robust monitoring systems in place at the setting, which it is the managers job to ensure are consistently implemented.


The "new" manager will need a very good induction into the role as it is very different from supervisor / practitioner. This could be done for a period of time with you "shadowing" and "role modeling" until you pass over the full responsibility of management to him/her. Good communication is also paramount. I think also the new manager would have to undergo an Ofsted suitable person check, which is quite robust in ensuring that person knows all the policies and procedures.


I did ask once on the forum about whether I could change from being the registered person and giving this responsibility to my manager, but decided to remain the registered person just because it is a very high ( for want of a better term) responsibility to ask/expect the manager to take on.


Maybe you could ask Ofsted how this works in practice. In the case of committee run preschools the "registered person" ie: The Committee, can change every few years. The responsibility to adhere to all laws is great though, so you should consider this seriously.


I also personally felt I would lose some "ownership" if another person was the "responsible person", even though I own the preschool I would think a "responsible person" would act / practice in ways that they felt met their obligations, which I may not always agree with, it would be hard to say, change your way of doing something to a way they disagreed with but still expect them to be the "responsible person". ( I do wish I could write more consice sentences :o )


As for drop in Inspections, I see that this is a shared experiences for all staff, my manger would inform the Inspector of daily practice, deployment, policies and procedures etc. My role to provide evidence of recruitment, training, monitoring systems, legal obligations are met etc. Staff their roles within the preschool. I deal with all finance, admissions, Child Protection referrals, staff training, most of this paperwork is at my home office which I have informed Ofsted of in writing. My manager will phone me when ofsted arrive, always available on mobile if out of the home/office. I can arrange with the Inspector that they Inspect my role, either later in the day on their 1st days Inspection or for me to be available on the second day. If you consider large chains, 2 or more settings may be Inspected on the same days, so even the Area manager is not available in 2 places at one time. The manager should be able to have everything relevant to the everyday practice ready and available for Inspection, other "organisational" evidence can be provided "during the course" of the Inspection by you.

This is all hyperthetical of course as I haven't had an Inspection since becoming the "absent" registered person xD


I'll certainly let you know how it all works out when I do have one.

Certainly a lot to think about. And most of my advice is on hindsight, being that I am the type of person that does things first then thinks thoroughly through about the "best way", afterwards, it's just the way I am. :(



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Peggy - talking about running your own pre-school, with your wise words, you should run the COUNTRY!!!!




Aw shucks, thanks Kymberley :( :wacko:


Just told Hubby I'm going to go for Prime Minister, he said, I'd never get the staff!! :o:(:( ( He hasn't got a lot of time for polititions)


I must admit, if I did the face of Early Years would look a whole lot different, and we would be paid a whole lot more. xD



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