Guide To Planning A New Childcare Building}

Posted on August 26th, 2017

Guide to Planning A New Childcare Building


Romane Smith

So you have made the decision and are planning on purchasing a new childcare building. Whether this is your route into business, or a development of an existing business, there are a lot of things to think about. Here is a quick guide to some of the points you need to consider.

Size of building

Each additional square meter will have a cost implication; so it is essential that you get the layout of your new childcare building just right. You need to consider not only the numbers of pupils, staff, and rooms necessary, but also plan them so that there is minimal wasted space. If you choose a building which is individually designed, and unique to your business, then you have an ideal opportunity to do this.

Indoor Play for Nursery Buildings

Perhaps the most obvious, but the first thing to consider is the space allocation you will need. National standards exist for the allocated play areas for nursery age groups. Space standards represent minimum space per child for the whole provision

England and Wales: Age Group under 2 years – 3.5 sqm; Age Group 2 years – 2.5 sqm; Age Group 3 – 7 years – 2.3 sqm

Scotland: Age Group under 2 years – 3.7 sqm; Age Group 2 years – 2.8 sqm; Age Group 3 – 7 years – 2.3 sqm

This area can include space for quiet play or relaxation. It can easily be planned to provide areas dedicated to messy or wet play within the rooms. Provision of water fountains is also popular. Where preferred, layouts can be planned to give access to the w.c direct from the main play rooms to minimise interference with staffing levels.

Outdoor Play

Safe outdoor play areas can be secured as part of the new project through considering L or T shaped nursery buildings. Here a partially enclosed area is created by the building shape giving ideal opportunity for covered verandas which offer all weather play. Remember to include outdoor taps for the children’s gardening activities

Adequate Storage

As some areas may have more than one function, many nurseries benefit from walk-in storage areas, where play items can be stored between sessions. Planned storage can be particularly important to nurseries who share the main facilities with other community groups. This can be built into the floor plan of a new building and give you neat, organised, storage which will help extend the life of the toys and equipment you provide.

Toilet Facilities

1 w.c and hand basin to every 10 children over 2 years. Part M applies, so disability access requires an additional w.c. Many nurseries are able to use this as their staff facility as well which helps maximise use of space within the new building.

Staffing Ratios:

1 member of staff for every 3 children under 2 years of age; 1 member of staff for every 4 children aged 2 years; 1 member of staff for every 8 children aged 3 to 8 years of age;

Office Facilities:

A small office will give you the opportunity to have the necessary space and quiet to conduct any meetings (staff/parents/suppliers) and, if positioned next to the main access door, can ensure that you as owner/manager see every person who comes into your premises.


Depending on the type of care you are offering, you will either require a basic food prep area, where you can prepare mid-session snacks and drinks, or a full kitchen, where day care children have their healthy meals prepared. Planning the position of this can help you save space.


A warm, inviting, and safe environment will work for children and parents alike. Choose something that will set your business apart from the norm: like this lovely log building, filled with primary colours to stimulate young minds set against the warmth of the log wall.

Speed of Construction

Especially important if you are replacing an existing childcare building and do not want any interruption to your business. Certain build options, such as off-site manufacture, ensure that a large amount of the construction preparation is carried out prior to arriving on site. This can mean that a complete new nursery building is created in as little as 4 weeks

Disruption during the Build

When you are building your new premises, and hoping to create a positive impression on the community, you want a construction solution that will create interest and enthusiasm. Look out for the Considerate Constructors Scheme: participating companies have a focus on ensuring that they are good neighbours during the build process, which will stand you in good stead with the community when you open for business.


Sustainable building is now high of the agenda. There is currently social, political, and legislative pressure to ensure that any new school buildings are seen as “sustainable”. Make sure your nursery is energy efficiant and constructed from sustainable materials. This will secure low maintenance cost during use.

Cabinco design and construct award winning sustainable buildings. Your new

nursery building

will be face of your business so make sure it will be designed and constructed to the highest standards. For more information on sustainable building visit

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