Tips from a daycare principal: things to keep in mind when building a daycare centre

– planning is a must for a successful building process

Jessica Skrak Granqvist has extensive experience in both establishing and managing daycare centres. With a long history in Ljungby and Växjö, Jessica took over the establishment of the new daycare centre, Farstaborg Förskola, in the fastly growing Swedish municipality of Värmdö. Farstaborg daycare centre houses 100 children, in five departments and two floors. Farstabor is a modular building idyllically located in the middle of beautiful nature, a large football field, and a stable with horses. The daycare centre has room for play and learning both inside and outside, and aims to create a pedagogical environment.

After having the opportunity to talk to Jessica about establishing daycare centres, we want to share her wisdom and tips with you.

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Jessica Skrak Granqvist, principal at the Farstaborg daycare centre

What is the most important thing to think about before starting to build a new daycare centre?

I would like to mention a few things. The most important thing, in my opinion, is to clarify how long the daycare centre is needed, before choosing the building type and contractor. Also, ensure that personnel who will work on the premises are involved and can bring their expertise in the early planning process. Remember to request sustainable material usage, and personally I think it is important to think about the outdoor environment and to make room for a large area for common meals, meetings, and larger activities, and do not forget wifi and other digital solutions.

When to choose a permanent or temporary daycare centre?

First and foremost, you must ensure that you use the municipality’s existing buildings in the right way and really need a new building. The most important thing after that is to choose a building with a building process and type that can be delivered in the time available for the establishment, and provides the best possible financial structure during the operating period. The advantage of more adaptable solutions is that it is possible to add room if the business needs to grow, but it is also possible to move the premises if the need changes, which provides valuable flexibility. If you know that your daycare centre should operate for many, many years, a permanent solution is preferable.

What is the most important factor for a successful building process?

Collaboration. Neither the contractor, the municipality nor the daycare can take for granted that everyone speaks the same language and has an understanding of each other’s perspectives, working methods, and competence can differ. With good collaboration, you avoid misunderstandings and that responsibilities are unclear. I also think it is important to build for the general needs of a daycare and not for specific specializations, if the focus on daycare centre changes, the buildings still need to be usable.

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Farstaborg daycare centre in Gustavsberg has a lot of space, both indoors and outdoors for playing and learning.

Jessica’s seven tips: what to think about in the early process of building a new daycare centre

Ensure that existing premises in the municipality are used in the best way

– Is there really a need for a new building or can you use existing ones that the municipality has at its disposal? Here you could have the opportunity to streamline resources.

Think about how long the building will be used, it determines what type of building you need

– how long can you guarantee that the premises will be used? Five years ahead, ten years ahead, or maybe even twenty years ahead?

Involve daycare centre staff in the design

– The daycare centre staff has important knowledge of, and experience from the daily activities and can with their expertise help to design an optimal building for the activities.

Request that the contractor uses sustainable materials

– With sustainable materials and with a sustainable building process, we can all protect the earth’s resources and create a good working and learning environment for those who live in or close to the building.

Plan for a pedagogic and pleasant outdoor environment early on in the process

– playgrounds, sun protection, green areas and plantations, stroller stalls and garbage stations are just some of the things that can facilitate the operations and increase the will to stay outdoors.

If there is a possibility for larger areas in the building

– create a room with a large and open space for joint lunches, meetings with guardians, and common activities that are important for building relationships between guardians, educators, and children.

Do not forget to consider access to the internet and other digital solutions, such as wifi, smartboards and maybe even voice control, early in the process

– it can be difficult to add later, and it is an important part of the pedagogical activities today.

Adapteo Insights.

Tips from a daycare principal: things to keep in mind when building a daycare centre

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