Plans to double free nursery childcare to 30 hours in England from September for working parents has seen take up rates of 80% during pilot schemes that run earlier in the year. Whilst some nursery operators have been critical of the level of funding available from the Government, for Newtown Pre-School & Playgroup it represents both challenges and considerable opportunities.
As a family oriented business it’s been run by Norma Chisnall for the past seventeen years and to meet the increased demand the decision was taken to expand the available space by over a third. It was also a great opportunity to refresh the available facilities and develop new areas of child care such as a breakfast club for the nearby primary school.
“It’s a big investment for the business and to make it work for us, a breakfast club would make the project much more viable both economically and for us as an employer by offering more hours for our staff, since we are looking to recruit to cater for the extra numbers,” according to Norma.
Key issues faced by Newtown Pre-School & Playgroup
Once the funding was in place the search for a suitable supplier who could extend the existing modular site began. “On a tight budget we had to look to get the best value and approached a number of companies such as Wernick and Springfield Mobile. But because we identified the need to have a self contained kitchen and food preparation unit we weren’t prepared to compromise on quality or accept reconditioned units,” Norma adds.
In addition the chosen supplier would have to be able to respond quickly with a turnkey project that involved groundworks and integrating the new modular units with the existing building to be ready for the influx in September.
What Springfield did
Following a factory visit it became clear that Springfield offered the best quality and value and were able to meet Newtown Pre-School’s deadline. In total the three bay 9 M x 7.6 M extension was manufactured in a cream finish that blended in well with the existing site and provided all the facilities needed to hold the seventy pupils already enrolled and meet the needs of the new breakfast club.
“Nurseries and playgroups do have specialist needs and we’ve got a lot of experience in this area, from safety features on doors and windows, anti-scald taps right the way through to finish of carpets and fittings it makes a huge difference when learning environments are properly thought through and we’re delighted to help so many youngsters take their first steps in education in our buildings”, adds Lyndsey Duggan, managing director of Springfield mobile.
Summary and key benefits
Springfield manufactured and installed an extension to the current facilities at Newtown pre-school and playgroup on time and within budget, to allow for the expansion in nursery places created by the Government’s new childcare scheme for working parents.
“Creating the best classrooms and play facilities makes a huge difference to our children and staff and Springfield has given us the best possible platform to take our business to the next level,” concludes Norma.