Once an organisation decides to explore the potential for a workplace nursery, one of the next (and understandably most important!) questions is how much will a nursery cost?
The key aspect in determining the cost of a workplace nursery is, as you might expect, the size of the facility. The size is always unique to the individual organisation and the client’s needs, and is guided by likely demand – ie. how popular the nursery will be.
Establishing demand can be realised through undertaking a detailed examination of workplace demographics, such as the number of employees with young children or those expecting. If an employer feels comfortable and confident sharing information and raising the prospect of on-site childcare, a survey would provide a definite sense of interest and demand in places too.
Determining the size of the nursery can be achieved through a simple calculation and general rule of thumb:
Number of employees at the site x 3%
For example, if there are 1500 employees at one office, there might be demand for a 50 place nursery.
We’d always recommend at least 750 employees in one location for an exclusive workplace nursery however, for organisations with a smaller employee population, employers can operate a workplace nursery primarily for their workforce and also take enrolment from their local community.
Offering places at a workplace nursery to the local community does have many benefits, including:
- A self-sustaining nursery. The employer is able to offer childcare benefits to their employees, without operational subsidy.
- Reduced commercial risk. The potential nursery is attractive to nursery operators, who might be willing to manage the nursery at their own commercial risk.
- Great community engagement and partnership. A partnership fosters engagement and a great culture between the employer and the local community.
Having established demand, size and cost, including the build or fit-out and ongoing operations costs, the conversation now moves to the potential site requirements.
This will be discussed in our next Workplace Nursery FAQ: What are the space and real estate requirements.