Everything you need to know about starting up your own nursery

toddler-667300_640If you love working with children, and believe you can turn that interest and enjoyment into a profession, the idea of starting up your own nursery has probably sprung to mind more than a few times.

Working with children every day can be hugely rewarding but there are also many aspects to consider before taking the plunge and starting a business.

Here are some of the key points to think about: [Read more…]

Five Important Elements of Designing a Safe Nursery

nursery

Decorating a new nursery is exciting and fun. However, it also has to be a safe procedure. There are five important and practical things that you must always keep in mind in order to have a safe nursery.

  1. The Sockets and Wiring

Most modern sockets today have an automatic shutter, which means that if a child sticks an object or their fingers into them, they will shut off automatically. However, you do need to know whether or not your sockets have that failsafe mechanism installed. Keep in mind that even safe sockets should be covered, though, as children may also stick actual plugs in there.

Do also think about your wiring. Make sure it is all in good order and not frayed or broken and keep loose wires to a minimum.

Finally, install a smoke alarm. [Read more…]

My Latest Adventure In Childcare

My guess is that childcare is the number one worry for any working parent. Either it’s not up to scratch, it’s not flexible enough, you’d rather be at home caring for your own kids or it’s just too expensive.

Being self employed does give more flexibility, but I’ve found this has still given me some tricky choices. Especially as I have two children under age three, so the cost of childcare for both of them is very high. Like many self-employed mums, I’m stuck in a cycle where I couldn’t  afford the childcare until I got an income, but couldn’t find the time to earn an income without childcare.

The main reason I chose to become self employed was to spend more time with my children, so I don’t want much childcare, just enough to allow me to get some work done in the daytime i.e. when my brain functions better than in the evenings! And I felt my daughter was just about ready to mix with more children of her own age.

So here’s what I did. I’ve arranged for my two-year-old to go back to the nursery she attended last year for one morning a week. While she’s there, her baby brother will have his morning nap and my mum will babysit him for the rest of the morning.  (My mum doesn’t have the energy to care for both of them at the same time). With the childcare vouchers from my husband's job (you can’t get these if you’re self employed), this isn’t going to be too expensive.

That sounded like a reasonable plan, but knowing how good babies are at messing up a reasonable plan, I was a bit nervous. And I was surprised at how stressed I was at putting my daughter in the nursery. It was only one morning a week, the nursery is fantastic and I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t have to use full-time childcare like so many other mums. But it’s never easy, is it?

Well, we tried it for the first time last week and all was fine. There were a few tears (my daughter’s, rather than mine!) but generally my daughter was fine at the nursery. Best of all, it was brilliant to have three hours of day-time to concentrate on my work at last. I hope to be able to increase the childcare gradually as my daughter qualifies for nursery funding in just over a year’s time.

So if you’re wondering whether to use a bit of childcare to free up some time for your business, I recommend giving it a go. Of course it could all go pear-shaped next week (new government, please don’t cut back on the childcare vouchers!), but there really is a limit to what you can do by working in naptimes and evenings.

Have you got any childcare tips for self-employed mums?

Photo by AbbyNormy