When the densely populated Clifton area of Nottingham was identified as having the city’s lowest number of childcare places per 100 children, the City Council decided to take action. An opportunity was identified to complement the existing provision at the local Milford Primary School, which catered for children over four years old.
The new building would be funded by the New Opportunities Fund through the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative, and would provide full daycare facilities for children under five years old.Solution :
The Council investigated a range of potential suppliers for the new building, including modular building specialist Portakabin. Officials from the Council visited the Portakabin head office and toured its manufacturing facilities to see the Company’s specially designed Lilliput nursery buildings being constructed. They were even taken to see an existing Lilliput nursery in use.
Helen Wallace, Project Officer at Nottingham City Council, says: “We were very impressed by what we saw, and by the knowledge demonstrated by Portakabin staff. It was clear that the Lilliput nursery had been very carefully designed to cater for the needs of young children and to comply with all existing regulations, which put it well ahead of the alternatives on offer. The people we met at Portakabin were clearly very up to date on current legislation, and understood the specific needs of nursery providers.
“Not only that, but we felt that everything we would need for the nursery was included in the Portakabin package, with no hidden extras to be added later.”
Following consultations to determine the Council’s requirements, Portakabin designed a bespoke solution for the 60-place nursery. Portakabin advised the Council’s groundworks contractor and, despite delays in the groundworks, Portakabin was able to deliver and install the building within the grounds of Milford Primary School on time – in line with the promises set out in the unique Portakabin Customer Charter. This Charter promises to deliver all buildings on time and on budget, and if Portakabin ever fails to meet his commitment, it will provide an additional six months’ product warranty on the building.*
The finished building includes four activity rooms with wet play areas, staff and meeting rooms, a wide corridor providing a bright and welcoming communal space, offices, a sheltered entrance, and a kitchen with a window looking onto the baby room, which integrates the kitchen staff with the rest of the nursery. There are child-level windows, bench seating, children’s storage units, a buggy store, toilets and changing areas, as well as milk preparation rooms.
The nursery – which is operated by Busy Bees, one of the UK’s leading childcare providers – has proved popular with parents in the area. It provides full daycare services, as well as a crèche facility – and the children who attend have really taken to it.
Nursery Manager Julia Coughill, says: “Places at the nursery are filling up fast and parents are happy with the new building. The children really like the bright colours and light, spacious rooms, and love the low-level windows. For staff, having bathroom and changing facilities in each of the rooms is a great benefit, since they can keep an eye on the children at all times.”
* Terms and Conditions apply. A copy is available on request.