How To Raise Nursery Furniture Finance
Get nursery furniture on finance to outfit your facility
Children's nurseries must be equipped to a high standard to meet certain requirements and parental expectations. Get nursery furniture on finance with Rangewell's support.
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Children’s day nurseries are a solid potential investment, with the UK’s growing demand for childcare ensuring that popular nurseries will generate great rates of return. However, finding success in running a nursery is not that simple – you’ll need to succeed in many different areas for your nursery business to flourish.
First and foremost, you need to operate the nursery in a way that meets the statutory requirements set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). You must also ensure your business meets Ofsted expectations and parental scrutiny.
The nursery should be equipped to suit the EYFS framework and cater to the varying needs of children in your care. This is one of the more expensive parts of owning a nursery and can be intimidating to new owners, especially those who have only had managerial experience in the past rather than ownership.
Children’s nursery furniture and play equipment can be expensive. According to one franchise group, the average cost of outfitting a 32-place nursery with the right equipment and furniture is £30,000. Another £5000 will go to outdoor play areas and surfacing work. Though this is simply an average, costs of £35,000 and upwards generally mean nursery owners need to seek finance for nursery furniture.
As experts in all things nursery and care finance, Rangewell can help you make the right choices.
We’ll guide you through the financing process, help you tailor your application and choose a lender to support your growth rather than hinder you with high fees or rates.
So whether you need to buy and furnish a new nursery or just equip a business you already own, we can help you completely free of charge. Speak to our expert team today, or read on to learn more about acquiring nursery furniture on finance.
What type of furniture do you need for a nursery?
When choosing furniture, equipment and toys for a nursery, you must keep the EYFS framework’s learning outcomes in mind. Your choices should, where possible, progress learning in these key areas:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Equipping a nursery is not easy, as children have unique requirements compared to adults. This, coupled with regulatory requirements that dictate certain choices in the buying process, means choosing the right furniture can be the difference between an Ofsted-compliant, well-reviewed nursery or a poor one that needs to be redeveloped.
Planning your equipment decisions
It’s worth considering how you’ll utilise your available space before you make purchasing decisions. Storage for your equipment and for items brought in by parents, such as prams, car seats and other items, can account for as much as 10-15% of the space in your nursery, so ensure you have suitable remaining space for any equipment you purchase.
In some cases, you might have to consider developing an outbuilding or storage shed. Whilst this may seem expensive, the benefits far outweigh the cost as it will allow you to equip your nursery with the best furniture and toys without impairing the available space. Rangewell can help you source development finance and even consult on your plan to help you make a decision.
Once you’ve considered space utilisation, you’ll need to decide on the type of equipment you buy. Ofsted has some clear demands for equipment in a facility, which include:
- Strictly managed access: no child should be able to leave the premises, and nobody should be able to enter it without a childcare provider being aware.
- Washroom requirements: There must be suitable provisions of handwashing and toilet facilities for the children within the nursery. Click here to jump to our guidance on washroom furniture.
- Access to outdoor space: There must be access to a suitable outdoor space, or you must have a system for providing reasonable access to outdoor activities. Click to learn more about outdoor areas.
- Provisions for safety: Minimise all risks to children or staff within the premises.
Taking the above into account, you’ll need to balance your nursery furniture finance requirements against the general needs of your staff and clientele. Different age groups require different levels of equipment. Furniture, specifically, is somewhat easier to choose than toys or equipment:
- Beds and cots: you’ll often need both if you’re catering to multiple age groups.
- Low tables: these should have blunted/rounded edges where possible.
- Chairs: choose varying heights to suit different needs.
- Storage shelves/boxes: these should be as safe as possible, with very few mechanical parts and the capability to be affixed to walls or floors.
Aside from furniture, you’ll also need to provide adequate toys and role-play equipment. Again, there are different expectations in place based on age groups – a baby room in your nursery should have toys suitable for infants, whereas toddlers will generally demand more engaging equipment.
Whilst there’s no defined list of must-have nursery equipment, you can decide based on what an Ofsted inspector might assess during a visit. They will generally check equipment based on:
- Safety: any furniture should be as safe as possible. Choose storage options that can be fastened to walls, tables with blunted edges etc.
- Age-appropriate: nurseries often have a mix of age groups, so you’ll need to carefully equip rooms to meet specific age requirements. Infants, for example, will need cots and changing mats. Toddlers will instead require beds and more involved toys.
- Educational: equipment should serve a development purpose. Items such as building blocks, which offer multiple learning opportunities, are preferable to single-purpose toys.
Providing inclusive equipment
Equipment and toys alike should be focused on inclusion, with an additional provision for specialist equipment to cater for special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Specialist equipment is generally more expensive, but it’s absolutely necessary due to laws that mean you cannot refuse a child access to your nursery on the grounds of a disability.
Finance for outdoor play areas
Outdoor spaces are a big part of an Ofsted inspector’s rating process. Outdoor spaces should encourage multiple learning opportunities, including both physical and mental development.
Children can benefit heavily from physical development outdoors, so inspectors want to see climbing frames, slides etc. This type of play naturally demands a safer surface, so you’ll need to fund play equipment and surfacing works.
Visual experiences are also critical, with inspectors looking for colourful and engaging designs that stimulate children as they play. Many nursery owners provide this by installing robust plastic panels that feature colourful designs but also increase the area’s overall safety.
Whilst inspectors want an outdoor area to offer multiple types of learning experience, they also want to ensure it has a purposeful design ethos. If a space seems too unfocused or random, it can see your Ofsted review fall flat, so consider consulting a play area specialist if you’ve got any doubts.
Sensory gardens are a popular concept that can fit into nursery design. A sensory garden encourages children to learn with all five senses and can be equipped with areas for both young children and infants. In general, however, a sensory garden requires significant development work to build the lawns, planters and sand pits required.
However you choose to equip your outdoor space, you can secure finance for nursery gardens via the team here at Rangewell. Talk to us today to see how we can help you negotiate the right deal to create an appealing outdoor play area that maximises your nursery’s reputation.
Finance for nursery bathrooms
Nurseries have specific demands around toilet facilities and access to washbasins. There should be at least one toilet for every ten children and a washbasin for each toilet. Guidelines also state that there should be a minimum of 4 toilets in the early years setting. You’ll also need to ensure staff have adequate toilet access with a separate washroom.
Purchasing decisions should be around hygiene, with technology such as sensor taps proving highly useful for young children to reduce touch-based contamination and save water. Wall panels should be fitted to make the washroom easy to clean and maintain. Fitting thermostatic taps or other forms of temperature control will also help you strike a balance between hygiene and safety.
Using asset finance to fund nursery furniture
Asset finance is a popular form of finance that sees a loan issued against the value of an asset. Whilst it’s usually reserved for valuable equipment such as plant machinery, some lenders will consider niche applications like nurseries – especially for larger developments like an outdoor play area.
In an asset finance agreement, the lender’s risk is lessened due to the inherent value of the asset. This reduces the burden on you as the owner as you generally won’t need to offer any securities and can apply solely based on the assets you need.
Asset finance is, however, just one form of finance agreement. Depending on your circumstances, better options for attracting credit to fund nursery furniture purchases may exist. If you’re interested in equipping your nursery to the best standards in order to win positive Ofsted ratings and attract more clients, contact Rangewell to see how we can help.