Our origins as a nursery co-operative

Childsplay Claremont Nursery was established in 1982 by a small group of parents attending Newcastle University.  As the nursery is a co-operative, there is a significant emphasis on the ongoing relationship which develops between parents and staff, which is important to the successful functioning of the nursery, and this brings a variety of benefits to the organisation and its users.

“Co-operatives – enterprises owned and democratically controlled by their own members”

What does this mean?

Being a co-operative means that management policy, and the operation of the organisation is the responsibility of the co-operative members.  All staff, and parents associated with Childsplay are co-operative members.  It is operated by an elected management committee, consisting of staff and parents, who undertake responsibility for the recommendations and implementation policy, budgets and issues associated with the management of the nursery.  Any recommendations made by this committee are ratified at Open Meetings and Annual General Meetings (AGM), to an audience consisting of other staff and parents, who have the choice to vote on any issues that are presented.

Staff and parents are motivated through the involvement of being a pertinent part of this management structure, which denotes one of the many benefits of a co-operative nursery.

In essence, Childsplay is not something that is bought into. but something that needs to be taken responsibility for. Although this denomination sounds a little daunting, it is greatly compensated by the warm, supportive and friendly atmosphere that welcomes all.

What makes us different?

In comparison to many other profit making nurseries, Childsplay offers a very comprehensive pricing rate.  Childsplay endeavours to operate at staffing ratios, which conform to the statutory standards enforced through Oftsed guidelines, in which observe the legal requirements imposed to ensure that quality early years education and care comes prior to profit. When becoming part of our cooperative you will become a share holder to the value of £1, this allows you to contribute to any decisions made regarding the nursery but awards no financial gain. The committee members receive no fee for their participation.

Regular meetings encourage parents to feel part of the co-operative, and their contribution of ideas and time are greatly reciprocated.

Due to the nature and type of nursery, there are expectations on staff and parents, namely their attendance at meetings, help with fundraising events, or in more active ways.  Fundraising is a pertinent part of the nursery and contributes significantly to the provisions made for children staff and parents; therefore the support from parents and staff to support this is extremely important.  This is reflected in the competitive prices that Childsplay’s non – profit making business offers.  All suggestions relating to the successful operation of the nursery are actively encouraged and considered.