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Introduction

Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

This report is in response to a recent public consultation meeting held in July where the future plans for the Beau Sejour Crèche were discussed. These future plans are primarily a cost cutting exercise. The attendees were told the following: • • • • •

Half hourly rates would increase from 80p to £1.50 for Freedom members, £1.10 to £2.00 for Choice members and £1.90 to £3.50 for non-members. The opening hours will be reduced from 9am – 12pm and 1.30pm – 3pm to 9.00am – 11am Mon – Fri and from 8.30am – 12pm to 9.00am -12pm on Saturdays. If the crèche continued to make a loss then it would be closed. When asked, no membership fees go towards the running of the crèche so it is entirely self-funded. When requested attendees were told they could have copies of the figures that were shown during the meeting. However, after the meeting Beau Sejour no longer wished to share this information with myself or other concerned users.

Subsequent to the meeting a petition was set up (Appendix 1) which obtained 140 signatures, with 14 of these signatures being signed anonymously. Having spoken with Deputy Mike O’Hara on Tuesday 4th August, he kindly agreed to consider other suggestions regarding the future of the crèche. Therefore I deemed it appropriate to set up a questionnaire (Appendix 2) and collate users’ viewpoints with regards to how and when they use the crèche, how much they’re prepared to pay to use the crèche (as most users accept that costs will have to increase) and to identify if there were any solutions regarding the threat of afternoon closures. The findings of these are reported below. Executive Summary Point 1 - How would an increase in 80% crèche fees affect you and your family? (Please refer to appendices 2, 3a, 3b and 3c) • • •

83% of users claimed it would affect them negatively resulting in them not being able to afford to use the Beau Sejour facilities, (including Swim School) therefore potentially resulting in health problems occurring through lack of exercise. 68% claimed that they would no longer continue with their membership. 83% of ‘future members’ claimed they would not take out a membership.

Point 2 - How much are you prepared to pay for half an hour session in the crèche? (Please refer to appendices 4a, b and c) The results were as follows: o o o o

£1.21 per half an hour session for freedom members (51% increase) £1.83 per half an hour session for choice members (10% increase) £1.50 per half an hour session for non-members (40% decrease) A concern was raised regarding the method used to calculate the crèche losses as the calculation did not include any crèche revenues.

By Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

Point 3 - How would closing the crèche in the afternoons affect you? (Please refer to appendices 5a, 5c and 5h) • • • •

Difficulties with obtaining places in morning fitness classes, Swim School lessons and thus suitable crèche place/s for the limited opening of 2 ½ hours per day were of a great concern. Parents who work part-time or in shift patterns would not be able to use the Beau Sejour facilities if they did not have alternative childcare solutions. What will happen if a user attends a fitness class at 11.30am or a Swim School lesson finishes at 12pm if users need the crèche at these times? When asked when users utilised the crèche, the most popular so viable days for leaving the crèche open in the afternoons would be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The crèche has confirmed that Monday and Wednesday afternoons are their busiest sessions at this time (See appendices 5h and 5i).

Point 4 – Are there any other facilities you would like to see being offered by Beau Sejour that would encourage you to use the crèche facility more often? (Please refer to appendix 6, 5h). • •

Improving swimming pool opening times, providing additional fitness times, craft, and lifestyle classes (at alternative times); and setting up social clubs were suggested. Create a crèche block booking system, crèche membership and crèche drop off facility were recommended.

Point 5 – Would you use the crèche in the afternoon if more fitness classes became available? (Please refer to 5d, e and f) • 75% said they would use the crèche in the afternoons if fitness classes became available. • 67% of the responses were from non-members (see appendix 5f). • A further 73% of users who currently just use the crèche in the morning said they would use it in the afternoon if classes became available (see appendix 5e). • The classes in most demand for afternoon sessions were spinning, body balance and body pump. The majority of crèche users would like Beau Sejour to consider ways of generating income as opposed to cutting costs. Suggestions have been made with regards to offering new classes at alternatives times, making the crèche opening times more accessible different users (appendix 5c), setting up different paying systems for the crèche and how much money users are prepared to pay per half an hour session. Full membership and user research needs to be completed using inexpensive routes such as student intern projects in order to ascertain how popular the above suggestions are with other Beau Sejour users.

By Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report Findings from the Petition and Survey Point 1 – How would an increase in 80% crèche fees affect you and your family? Please refer to appendix 2 – Out of 42 people who answered the question, 17% believed that the increase would not affect them as they could afford it (28% being choice members with 2 children, 58% being freedom members with 1 child and 14% being freedom members with 1 child. A total of 83% claimed that the increases would result in the following: • • • • •

• • • •

Use of the crèche would become too expensive for some users to justify having a membership, resulting in loss of income to Beau Sejour – 68% claimed they would not continue with their memberships if costs increase by 80% (refer to appendix 3b) People may not be able to afford non-member rates either if they chose to cancel or not continue their membership. Beau Sejour facilities may become unaffordable for non-members The Swim school may be affected as parents/carers with more than one child may no longer be able to attend classes because of the increase in costs – again loss of income to Beau Sejour. May discourage potential future members from joining if costs are more expensive than competitors such as Kings (refer to appendix 3c) 83% claimed they would not continue with becoming a member if the increases went ahead. (Kings charges £8.00 per 1 ½ hours to non-members and during this time children are given age appropriate activities to complete – an unfair comparison to make with the Beau Sejour crèche as they are both different in the way they are set up). Provoke a great deal of upset for a great number of current users who find the crèche a great support in juggling their busy lives of being a stay-at-home/working parent and striving to lead a healthy lifestyle. Prevent users who have no family from using the Beau Sejour facilities as they have no alternative childcare provider to utilise. May increase the chances of some users developing obesity and other related complications which will in turn drain more resources from the health service, and ultimately cost the states more money. Beau Sejour would no longer be a leading choice when choosing a gym membership as the crèche facility is no longer competitive – more loss of income for the Beau Sejour.

Point 2 – How much are you prepared to for a half an hour session in the crèche? The current users were prepared to pay per half hour session the following: Freedom members (Appendix 4a) an average of £1.21 (this excludes the ‘any amount’ comment): • • • •

64% are prepared to pay between 80p and £1.00 24% are prepared to pay between +£1.00 - £1.50 4% are prepared to pay between +£1.50 and £2.00 4% are prepared to pay between +£2.00 and £2.50

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

4% are prepared to pay ‘Any amount’

Choice members (Appendix 4b) –an average of £1.83: • •

33% are prepared to pay up to £2.50 67% are prepared to pay up to £1.50

Non – members (appendix 4c) an average of £1.50: • • •

57% are prepared to pay between £1.00 and £1.50 29% are prepared to pay between +£1.50 and £2.00 14% are prepared to pay between +£2.00 and £2.50

Freedom members are prepared to accept on average a 51% increase in costs (which is reasonable as costs have only increased by 20% in the past). Choice members are prepared to pay an increase of 10% and non-members would prefer to pay a 40% reduced fee. Why is the crèche missing out on the membership income? Why should a non squash player’s membership go towards the upkeep of the squash courts and not crèche? One signature mentioned in her petition comment (Appendix 1, comment 59): “The accounting method used to calculate the loss was not accurate and did not allocate revenues from membership fees to the crèche. The loss is going to look much larger in that case.” Users who attended the meeting felt that Beau Sejour and the Culture and Leisure department should consider ways to generate income as opposed to cut costs. Point 3 - How would closing the crèche in the afternoons affect you? (Appendix 5a) The following concerns were raised: •

• • • •

The 9.00 – 11.30 suggested opening time will result in many parents not being able to get a crèche place so not being able to exercise! Why pay a membership if you can’t be guaranteed the opportunity of being able to use the facilities? – Loss of income for Beau Sejour. The restricted slot will also put pressure upon the gym, class and pool facilities so these will be either very busy or places will be unavailable for the first 2 ½ hours of the day. Some classes finish at 11.30 so will users attending the crèche have to leave classes earlier (thus not cooling down properly – an essential part of a keep fit workout!) in order to collect their children? Part-time working parents will not be able to use the gym facilities - loss of membership fees again from parents who currently or plan to use the gym in the future. The Swim school’s afternoon sessions may be affected if users have a 2nd child to put in the crèche and can’t get an alternative time for a morning lesson. More pressure will be put upon morning swim classes to cater for the lack of crèche facilities so again this will put pressure upon the morning crèche sessions. Loss of income to Beau Sejour again if parents can’t get a weekly guaranteed place in the crèche.

By Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

Whilst only 40% of current users who are members will stop their membership if the crèche closes in the afternoons, in an open question regarding their preferred opening times (see appendix 5c) 93% of users would like to see the crèche open for at least some part if not all of the afternoon to make the crèche more accessible. When asked when they use the crèche (appendix 5h) during the mornings, afternoons or both. The most popular days for people who use the crèche in the ‘afternoons’ or ‘both’ were Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. If there is a demand for crèche usage – why should the crèche have to close on these days? Many comments were made in the petition and questionnaire suggesting that Beau Sejour should consider how they can generate more income from the crèche without affecting the opening hours. Point 4 – Are there any other facilities you would like to see being offered by Beau Sejour that would encourage you to use the crèche facility more often? (Refer to appendix 6) The following ideas were suggested: •

Swimming pool: o Adult only swimming times o Better pool opening times

Set up a block booking system: o this will result in parents paying upfront for spaces, even if they do not use them so if there is a break out of illness etc the crèche will still be generating income o Parents will have booked a guaranteed space so not need to worry about always remember to book a session

Set up a crèche membership so that all people who use the crèche pay an initial membership fee then an additional fee for each ½ session used

Social clubs

Parties for children

More classes at alternative times

Set up sport related activities for the children in the crèche

Additional class ideas: • • • • • •

Boot camp Kettle bell Pilates Outdoor running More mum focussed classes Craft classes in the meeting rooms

By Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010

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• •

Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report Dance classes

A drop off facility – drop children off for ‘x ‘amount of time so that parents can do their weekly shopping (Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester offers this facility) or attend other appointments.

Point 5 – Would you use the crèche in the afternoon if more fitness classes became available? When users were asked their opinions about afternoon classes (see appendix 5d) the results were as follows: •

• • •

75% said they would use the crèche in the afternoons if fitness classes became available and potentially a number of other non-crèche users would utilise the classes (further research will be required to confirm this) – again generating more income for Beau Sejour) 67% of the responses were from ‘non-members’ (see appendix 5f). A further 73% of users who currently just use the crèche in the morning said they would use it in the afternoon if classes became available (see appendix 5e). The classes in most demand for afternoon sessions were spinning, body balance and body pump.

With the above statistics in mind would it not be worthwhile for Beau Sejour to ask all their members/users if there is a demand for such classes to be provided? Conclusions To summarise, the users of the crèche expressed their view points as follows: Crèche Fees •

Whilst an increase of fees is acceptable the main concerns for not increasing fees by 80% could result in: o Some users not being able to continue to afford to pay for memberships and/or the Beau Sejour facilities (including Swim School lessons). o An increase in potential health problems as users’ physical and emotional well-being may become affected through lack of exercise.

The impact for Beau Sejour would be to have 68% of their current users not renewing their memberships (Appendix 3b) and 83% of potential future members claimed they would not become a member (refer to appendix 3c).

Research has shown that people are prepared to pay the following (appendices 4a, b, and c): o £1.21 per half an hour session for freedom members (51% increase) o £1.83 per half an hour session for choice members (10% increase) o £1.50 per half an hour session for non-members (40% decrease)

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

Opening times •

93% of users would like to see the crèche remain open for longer than a just a morning session. The main concerns raised regarding the proposed afternoon closures were (Refer to Appendices 1, 5a and 5c): o The pressures put upon the gym, pool and fitness classes will increase in order to accommodate the morning demand. o The increase in lack of available morning spaces in the crèche because of the limited opening times. o The difficulty in getting a space in the morning Swim School sessions so that parents with a second child can utilise the crèche. o The cross over with times for the end of classes and swim school would cause problems if the crèche closes promptly at 11.30am, as some classes finish at 11.30am and the last Swim School lesson finishes at 12pm. The most popular days for leaving the crèche open in the afternoons were Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The crèche has confirmed that Monday and Wednesday afternoons are their busiest during this time (See appendices 5h and 5i).

Generate income not cut costs! Crèche users would like the Culture and Leisure Department and Beau Sejour to consider ways to generate income (refer mainly to Appendix 6 but also 5d and g). Potential ideas included: o To set up a crèche membership system and/or a block booking system will enable regular income to be maintained. o To provide extra fitness classes in the afternoons (as suggested in Appendix 5d and 5g) by holding classes in the afternoons: spinning, body balance and body pump were the most popular choice. o To establish other non-sports related activities and life skills courses. o To set up a drop off facility that will enable parents to drop their children at the crèche and go off to complete shopping tasks or attend external appointments. o To review the pool opening times. o To have more flexible opening times in the crèche to make the crèche more accessible to users who work mornings only or shift work. o To keep the crèche open on busy Swim School days to cater for the afternoon demand and run additional sports classes to make up additional numbers. A full membership/user survey now needs to be completed to see if there is a demand for such income related activities. I have managed to set this survey up for the cost of £19! In order to save money, Beau Sejour could set up a student intern project whereby students can investigate the above suggestions further during.

By Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

On a personal note, as a regular user of the crèche and the Beau Sejour facilities, I thoroughly enjoy the social network that the crèche and Beau Sejour provide. The crèche is the central hub of the social network and losing it will have such a detrimental effect on many families. Thank you for taking the time to read this report.

Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010 Claudine@cwgsy.net

By Claudine Jackson 21st August 2010

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report Appendix

Appendix 1 – Petition Appendix 2 – Online crèche survey Appendix 3a – Q11 How would an 80% increase in crèche fees affect you and your family? Appendix 3b – Q13 Would you continue your member your membership if the costs increased by 80% - all user responses Appendix 3c - Q13 Would you continue with your membership if the crèche increased their fees by 80% (Future member responses) Appendix 3d - How would an increase in 80% crèche fees affect you and your family? (Non member responses) Appendix 4a – Q6 How much are you prepared to pay for a half an hour in the crèche – (Freedom member responses) Appendix 4b – Q6 How much are you prepared to pay for a half an hour in the crèche – (Choice member responses) Appendix 4c – Q6 How much are you prepared to pay for a half an hour in the crèche – (Non- member responses) Appendix 5a – Q12 How would closing the crèche in the afternoons affect you? {Proposed opening times are 9.00 - 11.30 (Mon - Fri) and 9.00 - 12.00 (Sat)} Appendix 5b – Q14 Would you continue your membership if the crèche closed in the afternoon? (All responses) Appendix 5c – Q10 What do you think the crèche opening times should be? (All responses) Appendix 5d Q7 Would you use the crèche in the afternoon if more fitness classes became available? (All responses) Appendix 5e Q7 Would you use the crèche in the afternoon if more fitness classes became available? (AM user responses) Appendix 5f - Q7 Would you use the crèche in the afternoon if more fitness classes became available? (Non member responses) Appendix 4g - Q8 If you would like Beau Sejour to provide fitness classes in the afternoon, which classes would you attend? Appendix 5h – Q3 When do you use the crèche – am, pm or both? (Pm AND both responses)

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Beau Sejour Creche Petition and Survey Report

Appendix 5i – Q3 When do you use the crèche – (Swim School User responses)

Appendix 6 - Q9 Are there any other facilities you would like to see being offered by Beau Sejour that would encourage you to use the crèche facility more often?

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Beau Sejour Survey and Petition report