Why did you move from associate director of a nursery group to setting up your own nursery?
My job stopped being about the children, and that was what I went into childcare for in the first place. The further up the ladder you go, the more it becomes about paperwork and numbers, and that wasn’t what I wanted to do whatsoever. So, my husband and I found an old community centre and converted it ourselves in the evenings, and we opened the nursery three weeks after I left my job.
How easy was it to finance?
You can apply to your local authority for a start-up grant, but ours rejected our application as they said there was ‘no need’ for the nursery in the area. The closest childcare facilities were eight miles away, and although we initially had space for 18 children, within less than six months we had expanded to take 28. When the council came to look round after our open day, they told us to apply straight away and gave us money retrospectively.
Are you enjoying working for yourself in a small setting?
We have so much time to give to the children and time to plan activities, and we are seeing extremely rapid development as a result. I’m still getting used to being my own boss, but it is really nice, I’m very lucky.