Putting quality in the spotlight
For the Les Enfants nursery, nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, quality - of care, of facilities and of staff - was the priority from the very beginning. Nursery owner Denise Barras started from scratch with a building plot, an architect and a vision. Today, she runs an award-winning business which puts the needs of children at the very centre of everything - a major achievement considering she has only just celebrated her first year in business

Published on
Sep/ Oct 2007, Nursery Management Today

Les Enfants, in Inverness, opened its doors to the first influx of excited children and their parents on 14th August 2006. Opening day was a proud and emotional moment for Denise, who had quite literally seen the business materialise from an empty shell on a building plot.

"So many working parents today are looking for the sort of care a grandparent would have provided - a good, hearty hot breakfast, the chance to play indoors and out, opportunities to get out and about into the wider community too. We offer all of these things for our children. Not only do they love it, their parents appreciate the effort we make as well." explains Denise.

Not just intent on providing an excellent quality and varied programme for the children, Denise has invested in a number of additional features too - an investment she believes has already paid a return a hundred times over.

"One of our biggest selling points is the parental webcam." says Denise. Remembering when her own daughter was getting used to nursery, and the fact that she was never 100% sure her daughter had actually settled, Denise immediately recognised the benefits of parental webcams for parents and had them installed from day one. Her foresight proved correct, and, in fact, as Inverness attracts a high number of families relocating to the area, the webcams have also proved popular with modern grandparents, giving another opportunity for them to see their loved ones in a relaxed and happy environment.

As well as the webcams, Les Enfants also invested in CCTV throughout the nursery, which is a clear demonstration of the fact that nursery security for the children and staff is taken very seriously.

But let us not forget the staff. It is the people which make a difference and determine the atmosphere and, ultimately, the success of a nursery. Attracting and keeping the best quality staff also requires an investment not just in cash terms but in time too. "I ensure my team are well looked after, and we regularly socialise together as a team as well. The added benefit is that if they enjoy work then they become the best advertising I could hope for too." Denise concludes.

Having reached their first anniversary, Les Enfants has much to celebrate. Not only have Denise and her team achieved 90% occupancy, a parent has recently nominated the nursery in the Highlands & Islands Enterprise Business Awards. Les Enfants has already been awarded Most Enterprising Business of the Year 2007 by the Highland Business Woman's Club.

If you would like further information about parental webcams, CCTV or security for your nursery, please contact NurseryCam Ltd on 01344 751 688 or email info@nurserycam.co.uk.

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