The Welsh Assembly's Flying Start scheme, aims to give children aged 0-3 the best possible start in life by providing access to high quality services. It required two new nursery buildings to accommodate 40 young children within 16 weeks. The delivery of the buildings within this timescale was absolutely crucial to the successful implementation of the project in the area.Solution :
Having identified the need for new, high quality nursery facilities, Portakabin, with its reputation for exceptional levels of service, provided the ideal solution in the shape of its Lilliput nursery building - specially designed to meet the needs of young children.
Tina Haddon, Flying Start Co-ordinator at Bridgend County Borough Council, explains, ‘It was critical that the new nurseries were delivered within 16 weeks to enable us to quickly start providing childcare provision in the area in line with the objectives of the Flying Start project. However, it was equally important that the company we worked with had the ability to provide high quality buildings, which wouldn't be compromised by the short lead time. After meeting with the Portakabin team it was clear that their level of knowledge and expertise in the education sector was excellent. This provided us with the peace of mind that the buildings would meet all of our needs, be delivered on time and that the project would run smoothly.'
To ensure that the buildings met all of the council's objectives and requirements, the Portakabin team met regularly with Tina and her colleagues throughout the planning period to design two Lilliput nurseries that would provide high quality, effective learning and working environments for children and staff alike.
Once the building designs were finalised, a dedicated Portakabin team was situated on site for the duration of the development to ensure that all aspects of the project were completed quickly and efficiently, and any problems that arose were dealt with immediately. Update meetings were held with the Flying Start team every two weeks, with telephone contact being maintained with Tina and other members of the team on a daily basis.
As a result of this excellent level of service and the quality of the completed buildings, Bridgend County Borough Council awarded Portakabin 10 out of 10 in its Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Tina continued, ‘The Portakabin team ensured that we were kept fully updated on developments with the project at all times. They accommodated all our requests quickly and efficiently and responded to any issues immediately. The standard of service we received was second-to-none, which led to us awarding them top marks in their post-project Customer Satisfaction Survey.'
The Portakabin Lilliput nurseries were installed at two Bridgend schools; Afon Y Felin Primary School received a 164m² 24-place nursery for 0-3 year olds, and a 125m² 16-place nursery for 2-3 year olds was installed at Bettws Primary School.
Tina said, ‘These buildings have gone into identified areas where no childcare provision was previously on offer. In the Flying Start scheme we see the learning environment as the ‘third teacher', so we wanted to provide the best possible accommodation. That's why we chose the beautiful, high-quality Lilliput buildings to go into areas where nothing like this has ever been available.'
The completed Portakabin Lilliput nurseries create an environment where children can learn, play and grow. Through the Portakabin education team's expert knowledge on the guidelines and standards required within the sector, the buildings reflect the latest thinking in nursery design and include a range of child-friendly features, from vibrant colours and furnishings to low-level windows and wipe clean surfaces inside and out. Both new facilities provide a welcoming and fun atmosphere, and include activity rooms with a special wet-play area, children's toilets, kitchen and laundry facilities, staff rooms and vital storage space.
As well as providing high quality accommodation and excellent levels of service, Portakabin also managed all the other aspects of the project through its Total Solutions package. This included everything from gaining planning permission and Building Control approval, to Health & Safety consultancy and service connections.
Tina concluded, ‘The fantastic management of the project not only meant that all our objectives were met within a short timescale, it also meant that our time wasn't taken away from our day-to-day jobs to supervise the development, as we had complete confidence in the Portakabin team. The new nursery facilities create the perfect practical and modern surroundings for children to start their development. The Portakabin team was fantastic to deal with throughout the process and their professionalism and support ensured our new nurseries were delivered and operational in a matter of weeks. Staff, parents and most importantly, the children, are extremely pleased with their new surroundings.'
All Portakabin Lilliput nurseries meet permanent Building Standards and are designed to comply with Ofsted National Daycare Regulations. They also incorporate Child Protection Act guidelines.
To ensure access for all, Portakabin Lilliput nurseries also comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) and Part M of the Building Regulations.
In addition, the buildings are covered by the pioneering Portakabin Customer Charter¹ and Warranty package². The Charter promises that all projects will be completed on time and on budget. If Portakabin fails to meet the agreed contract start or completion date, the customer will be entitled to an additional six months product warranty. This provides customers with complete peace of mind that their building project will be completed on time and to the agreed contract sum.