Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Nursery Project


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I'm new to this site and not currently involved in an existing nursery. I am also not a qualfieid nursery teacher. I am however looking to set up a private preschool / day nursery for children aged 3-5 (between 50-70 children - full time) and I want to make it fantastic. I have the advantage that I own a proprty that is in need of complete refurbishment and this is where I would set up the business (nursery). I plan to refurbish it to a high specification, focusing on both the educational and play requirements of 3-5 year olds. I am looking to employ nursery nurses and also qualified foundation stage teachers. What I would really like from this forum is comments and advice from those who do work at nurseries as to how I can make this "super" nursery? What do you wish you had at your nursery? What would make such a difference to the children's development? What would be your ideal classroom size? 10 children / 20 children? What extras would make a differncce - light sensory room / relaxation room / parents room? What knid of outside space is best for 3-5 years olds? I would really appreciate any information you can give me. I am completely au fait with all OFSTED requirements so no worries with that but I want to go above and beyond OFSTED standards (if I can!) it is just a business plan at the moment but I really want to do everything i can to make it work and a success. I appreciate your time :0)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Muffin and welcome to the forum!!!

 

The ideal nursery?! Sounds like a huge and exciting project. My ideal nursery would HAVE to include a sensory room with those fibre optic lights and bubble tubes etc (really expensive I know!) and also a seperate sleep room for the younger children. I'll have a think about other nifty things I would like and get back to you, although I'm sure you'll be inundated with ideas from others!

 

Welcome, once again and enjoy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cannot wait to read what this post will bring, just imagine, :o what a brill idea to ask the knowledgeable people here what they think, excellent idea for your research, think I will wait to see what the more experienced members suggest and read with interest, good luck. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh, the ideal nursery, hmmmmmm

 

I have worked in a few nurseries, some i have thought have been fab, others have been awful.

 

The nursery i worked in before the one im at now was a brand new nursery, very big had huge rooms, with low child sized modern tables and chairs, and shelving. very light, large windows and a garden on each room. however it felt clinical, and not nursery like at all.

They had a reception area (that was staffed by a receptionists and on occasions nursery staff) parents liked the reception area and it created a nice image. we had cctv and fingerprint security to get in and out of the nursery.

The rooms were set up as baby one and two, each catering for 6 babies, these rooms had cots, low tables and chairs and low shelving units in. The babies kitchen as inbetween the two rooms, and on the changing area was also in between the two rooms (on the other side of the kitchen) this worked well for staff when they had to warm feeds or change babies. a very useful set up. also there was a large window between the two rooms so that staff could see into each others rooms.

 

The early toddler room was also split into two rooms, 9 in each. again low equipment, shelving, and sand trays etc,.... all very child friendly, baby room 2 looked into toddler one (useful for familiarising babies with toddlers before they move through). very open planned, no dividers, areas were kind of made by the use of low level shelving to create play areas.

they had a changing room (for nappies/toileting) between the two early toddler rooms, which again staff could access from their own rooms.

 

toddler room was large and catered for 21 children, very open room, with large book/carpet area situated under window (lots of natural light). low level shelving, this time tables were higher for the age of the children (but accesable at the same time). had a craft area and sensory area and the rest was sectioned of by rugs and low shelves, but in the main it was hugely open planned in there.

They had a bathroom of their room, with changing facilities, and four toilets and low level sinks for the children toilet training.

 

Pre-school room, this was th only room that was clearly divided into areas, and it worked well for pre-schoolers, again they had a large carpet/book area with a low level window so lots of light. child friendly equipment and resources. their bathroom was also located off their room.

 

we also had a sensory room, with bubble tube, optic fibre strands and projector as well as music and soft play equipment, up to 9 children allowed in here at any one time.

 

we also had a studio, which was a massive open room, it had a storage cupboard with indoor physical play equipment, ie balancing beams, cars, balls etc.... these would be taken out so that the children could use them in the studio. this studio easily held 25 children. was a great space, but shame about the laminate flooring (was a bit lethal as children ran)

 

The whole nursery had air conditioning, which in the hot weather i believe would have been a god send....

 

also the pre-schoolers and toddlers had a growing area in the garden, a water feature, and a race track in the garden... was situated by a major road tho, and although securly fenced off traffic noise was horrendous.

 

so what did i not like about it....

 

i felt it was too large, particuylarily 21 children in toddler room, too much to function in any semi organised manner and even harder to observe and work closely with smaller sets of children.

 

babies would have benefited from a seperate sleeping area.

 

i would have liked to have seen it a little less open planned and perhaps more defined areas.

 

it was too business like, to clean looking to be a nursery. all rooms only had limited numbers of display boards and work was not allowed on the walls (other than display boards) or allowed to hang from the ceiling).... think minimilistic look, and you have got it.....

 

for me it was simply too big, and wanted to be the 'best and newest' nursery around... with all modern equipment (very into wooden everything including toys), at the compramise of it being the best nursery for the children.... a very inpractical nursery on some levels....

 

and then i have worked in smaller nurseries, which i feel carry a more nursery feel to them, where i am now we display lots of the children's work all over, all very child friendly.... yep the equipment may not be the best, and sadly we don't ahev all the technology of cctv or finger print scanning security systems, or air conditionning... but you can tell its a nursery and that the kids are very much in mind....

 

all i can say is think how it would appeal to a child, have it bright and cherful,....

 

its so exciting for you,.... good luck with it all,

 

Ps where is it your opening your nursery, do you have any vacancies lol

 

pps, i feel smaller groupings of children, where possible are better than larger groupings i think young children benefit from being in smaller groups.... just my opinion anyway

Dawn

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gosh what a response, thank you so much! it is very exciting and really hope I can pull it off! It is great to get some feedback and I think avoiding the clinical "ideal" is sound advice. having the advantage of refurbishing I can hopefully create spaces conducive to small class sizes. I had thought about taking the three levels, babies / toddlers / preschool, however I felt that to make the nursery purely preschool with a focus on education (QT's etc) I would perhaps be tapping into a more niche market (yes i'm dreaming of online preregistration and waiting lists - not sure how realistic that is?!) Do you think I will encounter any issues with just catering for 3-5's - competition of local private schools / other nurseries etc..? Or would it be better to think about the three age levels from the start?

my plan at the moment is to have four separate classroom areas - each class with 12-15 children - probably separating 3-4's and 4-5's. i was also looking at having a sleep room - would this be appropriate for 3-5's i wasn't sure if it was more for the younger vhildren? Perhaps a quiet room, soft bean bags etc.. would be preferable to cots / beds? possibly a separate indoor gym area, dining hall (low level tables), kitchen, parents room, staff room,staff toilets, children's toilets - low level loos and sinks (do I need separate girls and boys for this age group - is fine if I do but wasn't sure? With regards to outside space I have an area that is currently paved but could be resurfaced with soft playground tarmac (not sure of the lingo! :0) ) another area laid to lawn and also a tennis court in need of a bit of repair but am thinking it would be a good space and safe too!

Does anyone else have experience of security measures at nurseries - I have thought about CCTV inside and out, parental webcams, fingerprint entry etc.. Is there anything else i should be looking at?

Technology... have looked at interactive whiteboards, computer systems etc.. is there any other technology I should be considering?

With regards to recruitment, if i can get everything underway, I will indeed be looking - quite a bit to do before then though but will keep this updated! Am based in the south west / bristol area. Looking forward to hearing more from you all! x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

 

I also am currently involved in helping set up a new nursery for a wonderful couple whose 3 year old daughter will be our first customer. We are lucky to be set within 4 acres of grounds (not all accessible though), offering organic, home cooked food, and strong links with the outdoors, nature, care for the environment etc.

 

I personally believe that the best thing you can do for your nursery is to select your staff well, for without passionate, caring, dedicated staff for whom childcare is not 'just another job' - all the 'bling' and all the extras will be worthless. So, please pay your staff that little bit extra, treat them well, be fair and approachable and you will be well rewarded.

 

Wishing you every success.

 

M

X

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Muffin and welcome. What an exciting project - I think we are all probably a bit green at the moment (Steve do we need a green smilie xD )

 

[i had thought about taking the three levels, babies / toddlers / preschool, however I felt that to make the nursery purely preschool with a focus on education (QT's etc) I would perhaps be tapping into a more niche market (yes i'm dreaming of online preregistration and waiting lists - not sure how realistic that is?!) Do you think I will encounter any issues with just catering for 3-5's - competition of local private schools / other nurseries etc..? Or would it be better to think about the three age levels from the start?]

 

What does your market research say? In our area nursery classes are struggling to fill places due to the drop in the birth rate. Also with many parents wanting 'wrap around' care, and possibly having younger/older siblings, the 'convience' of a 'one stop' may be an important consideration when choosing care and education.

 

Have to say I totally agree with Monica - while a wonderful building and lovely equipment might help to attract customers initially. The quality of the care and education is what is likely to keep them using your provision, so staff recruitment is vital. I also think if you look at some of the past posts on this site (particularly those from Peggy), you will see that it is not the just 'qualifications' (although they are important) but the 'qualitities' of the staff you employ that make for a successful nursery. Coo I've come over all preachie :o

 

Wishing you the very best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a genuine question, as I'm interested to know what people think... If you plan to have a designated 3-4 and 4-5 area/class, how likely are people to send their 4-5 reception aged children, when most children begin school at this age. I'm just very aware that in my short teaching career, I haven't known children to actually START school in Y1, when they have to (other than those moving here from over-seas, who still think their children are young to be starting school - quite right!)

I agree with the comment that parents would probably prefer a 'one stop shop' for their children. Also, even if they only have the one child, working parents are probably more likely to send their child from young, then leave them in this setting, than send them to a nursery which caters for all ages, then move them to your setting due to the educational provision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my plan at the moment is to have four separate classroom areas - each class with 12-15 children - probably separating 3-4's and 4-5's. i was also looking at having a sleep room - would this be appropriate for 3-5's i wasn't sure if it was more for the younger vhildren? Perhaps a quiet room, soft bean bags etc.. would be preferable to cots / beds? possibly a separate indoor gym area, dining hall (low level tables), kitchen, parents room, staff room,staff toilets, children's toilets - low level loos and sinks (do I need separate girls and boys for this age group

 

as long as the rooms are spaceous enough 12 - 15 children should be fine. I personally struggle with having 12 (3 - 5 year olds) in my room, but my room is on the small side... tends to be crowd control, more than play and learning.... but we do have a group of incredibly lively characters at present, so that may be why we struggle.

 

Our pre-school children sometimes sleep, they all have rest time after lunch and those that fall asleep are left to sleep. so i love the idea of a seperate quiet room /sleep room for this age.... somwhere chilled out and away from their own room would probably be great for this age. currently ours sleep/rest in the room we use all day, and i find that teh children struggle to distinguish that lights of and pillows out means rest time since we are still in the room they play in.

 

our pre-schoool boys and girls use the same toilets, (we have four toilets, and low level sinks /loos). Our staff room is small, uncosy and horrid and doubles as the laundry room.... so yeah have a nice staff room for your staff :D

 

Does anyone else have experience of security measures at nurseries - I have thought about CCTV inside and out, parental webcams, fingerprint entry etc.. Is there anything else i should be looking at?

 

my last nursery had very updated security, finger print scanning, cctv in recpetion area, and outside (cctv was not used in rooms, or in children's gardens) key code system to get into main building (after reception area but before children's rooms) then the finger print scanning to geyt into the corrider where all the rooms were... this security worked well, but be mindful to keep reviewing it as staff leave... i know i left my place, and returned two weeks later to return my uniform and my key code and fingerprint scan still worked which meant i was able to get into the corrider with the children without any problems.... fortunatly for the nursery i was not a 'problem' member of staff, nor was i returning to cause trouble, but for arguments sake if i had a grievenace and wanting to instill revenge etc i had access to the children... shudder at the thought of that happening to an unscrupulous ex member of staff... so yeah once staff / parents leave remove them form your security system immediatly.

 

i would also provide complete care from babies, through to school age, look for something that little different, what could you offer that other nurseries don't... ie our nursery opens a lot earlier than most nurseries in our area (which is a big plus in our parents eyes)... my last nursery ahd a weekend creche, offered parties, and a holiday club / also before and after school club. they also had a service at reception where staff would post on your personal letters for you, we also had a little shop for last minute essentials, baby milk, napies, teething jel, calpol etc,.... you know the things you may run out of.

 

 

good luck with it all

 

Dawn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that you need to research the likely need for places very carefully as there are so many initiatives for Early Years going on at the moment. There is a lot of competition and numbers of children are falling. Empty places could be a financial problem. Parents are much happier to just have to visit one building for their children if they have more than one. Children's Centres are popping up all over the place now and these are one-stop shops working within the Extended Schools initiative providing wrap-around care, holiday care etc. I also agree that your 4-5's are likely to be in school. I know LEAs are different on this but here 'ooop north' children usually begin school in the September of the year in which they turn five. Wrap-around care is being provided for those who need it, and some centres will bus children to their schools and back again.

Sounds a wonderful project- I'm sorry you aren't local to me I would love to be involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree with JacquiL - loads of government initiatives at the moment which can offer subsidised places. This is especially the case in the Bristol area.

 

There are also a large number of schools in Bristol which can offer nursery classes.

It would make more financial sense to include babies and toddlers. We are daily having to turn down enquiring parents for the baby, toddler and 2-3 age rooms because we are full. However, we rarely have parents looking for preschool places throughout the year.

 

Whereabouts in Bristol are you looking? That would make a difference. Perhaps PM me - There are some areas surrounding Bristol which lack nursery provision that cater for the working parent.

 

You sound very enthusiastic and that is the first pre requisite to success. Keep us in touch with what is happening. Good luck!

Rebecca

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something I would not be with out is our indoor sand pit it is in the wet play area it is 3x6 ft and is fully tiled with a bout a 2ft area around each side - the children just sweep the sand back in at the end of their play. It can be used in all weather and is always clean - no cats ####.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would recommend you look at different approaches such as Reggio, Montessori, Steiner, froebel as well as the FSC & BTTM Documents and guidance. What will your philosophy be, your ethos, this needs to be very clear at the onset so that the staff know what their goals and your aspirations are.

If you can visit as many other settings as you can, Penn Green is an inspirational setting to visit, research websites of different providers, look at Ofsted reports from a variety of settings in your area. This will show what others are offering.

 

Have you looked at the Community play website, some good ideas there.

 

I agree with others that the staff are the most valuable asset in any setting, non-qualified as well as highly academically qualified.

 

oh and last but definately not least, see if you can get some childrens ideas, what do they want, what is important to them when they are away from their parents for periods of time.

 

If you ask most adults what do they remember fondly about their childhood it will most definately be "the outdoors", freedom to express themselves in whatever form they choose. Awe and wonder helps to build fantastic long lasting memories.

 

Welcome to the forum and Good luck, it sound like a very exciting time in your life :D

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again,thank you all for your feedback. It has definitely given me food for thought. it sounds as though I really would be better off offering a one stop shop nursery. As I said previously this had been a consideration but I think I had talked myself into it being a better option to focus on one specific age group and tailoring everything to them. With regards to number of places split between ages, what do you think about a 10 / 20 / 20 (baby / toddler / preschool) This is something I need confirmed before the project gets underway but am sure I will be able to flex it once I have everything approved. Does it seem a realistic start out number? Also if I am going to cover the three groups I think I may be in need of more advice with regards to facilities! I had some positive news on moving the project forward over the weekend which is fab so will keep you all posted. Thanks so much again for all of your advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With regards to number of places split between ages, what do you think about a 10 / 20 / 20 (baby / toddler /

 

 

Keep in mind ratio requirements ie:

 

10 babies will need 4 staff ( ratio 1-3) whereas 9 babies will only need 3 staff.

 

20 toddlers (aged 2-3yrs - ratio 1-4) will need 5 staff

 

20 preschool ( aged 3-5 yrs ratio 1-8) will need 3 staff, yet 3 staff could care for up to 24 children, or 2 staff for 16 children.

 

Then consider staff needing to leave the room, ie: 1-8 ratio for preschool you would be better off financially to have 24 children and 3 staff, 2 staff are left if 1 staff has to go to the loo etc, if you had 16 children and only had 2 staff it would leave one adult on their own if one adult had to leave the room.

 

hope that makes sense. :o

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok - I'm getting there. With Peggy's and others comments in mind I am going to plan around catering for x9 baby places / x20 toddler places / x24 Preschool places. I am looking at employing the following, please could you give me your feedback on whether my expecting people to work full time (40 hours per week etc..) is realistic. The nursery / preschool will be open from 8am - 6pm Monday - Friday 51 weeks a year.

 

Nursery Manager - Full Time

Nursery Nurses x3 Full Time - Babies

Nursery Nurses x2 Part time - Babies

Nursery Nurses x5 Full Time - ToddlersToddlers

Nursery Nurses x2 Part Time - Toddlers

Foundation Stage Teachers x1 Full time - Preschool

Foundation Stage teacher x1 Part Time - Preschool

Classroom Assistants x2 Full Time - Preschool

Cook x1 Full Time

 

A slightly less easy ask but if anyone could let me know the expected salaries / £* per/hour for the above positions I would appreciate it. I do not intend to under pay my staff and fully appreciate the comments that it is the people themselves and not just their qualifications that will make the business a success and to get the right people I may well have to pay a premium. I have an idea of salaries but it would be interesting to hear from others.

 

Also with regards to facilties I have listed below - again your comments / suggestions are very much appreciated :0)

 

Baby Room - do I need a cot per child here?

Toddler Room

Preschool Classroom

Indoor Playroom and Gym

Relaxation / Sleep Room (possibly sensory room depending on budget)

Cloakroom

Parents Room

Staff Room

Managers Office

Bathroom + Baby Changing Room

Dining Room

Kitchen

Outdoor Play areas - Soft Play / Grass Area / Tennis Court

 

And last one for now.. In addition to other security measure previously mentioned, is security tagging i.e. bracelets for babies etc current / required / favoured?

 

Thanks again for your comments,

Nicky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • 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)