Friday, 14 March 2014

How to Start your Own Nursery

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84

If you’re looking for a new challenge in your childcare career, setting up your own nursery could be the ideal business for you. The UK Government is now offering a start up grant to individuals who are looking to start up a nursery in England. Although it may seem like a daunting prospect, many people make a successful business out of running a nursery and it is extremely rewarding. Below are some of the things you’ll need to take into account: 

Research, research, research
First things first, you’ll need to carry out some thorough research and draw up a business plan. You’ll not only need to check out the competition, but you’ll also need to think about how many children you want to look after as this will affect the type of property you choose and how many staff members you employ. Cost is a big factor here, and it is essential that you plan out all of the costs carefully. 

Communication is key
Nursery managers need to send out communications quickly and easily. These communications can include collecting payments, calling parents to let them know how their children are getting on and sending out the monthly newsletter. Nurseries can save time and money by reducing the paper, photocopying, calls and administrative work involved by using the type of system offered by a company like Parent Mail.

It won’t be easy
If you think that looking after your own children gives you the experience to run a nursery, you’re mistaken. You need to be an enthusiastic individual with a lot of patience. One child crying for attention is tiring enough, but when you have 20 or more kids to look after, it’s a different story. If you can cope with the tantrums and tears however, this is a job that comes with many rewards.

Qualifications and checks
Along with your own experience and qualifications, it is important to remember that all members of staff will need to be fully qualified and have the appropriate police checks to work in your nursery. You’ll also need to ensure the premises are safe and secure and that it complies with legal obligations under the Health and Safety Act, Food Safety Act and Ofsted.

Making Money
If you’re looking for a business that will make you a lot of money, this may not be the right industry for you, even when the nursery is full. With many of your fees going on staff, premises, food, nappies and equipment, it can be difficult to make a profit. In a recent report by the National Day Nurseries Association, UK nurseries were asked about the most challenging issues they had encountered in the last six months. Three of the biggest concerns were increases in the cost of utilities, achieving a profit and the cost of business rates. If you are going to be successful, you need to have a real dedication to caring for your children.

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