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One of UK's youngest nursery owners opens £25-a-day pre-school

Article By: Melissa McAlees

Hannah Donnelly is thought to be one of the UK’s youngest nursery owners after setting up her own childcare setting in Urmston, Greater Manchester, at the age of 26.

Credit: Robert Kneschke/

After struggling to fund her son’s childcare, the mother-of-one decided to set up her own nursery to support families in the local community.

The Little People, which costs just £25-a-day, opened on 9 October with the aim of providing cheaper childcare. However Ms Donnelly admits "we are ruffling a few feathers in the nursery world with our pricing structure".

She decided to set up the pre-school as "before my son went to school in September it felt like I worked just to pay for his nursery fees. He has a chromosome deficiency which makes him struggle to walk - he has good days and bad days but with paying for fees and missing work to attend hospital appointments it was difficult.

“Like many, we struggled with juggling working full-time and covering the costs of childcare. I was aware of other families struggling too, so when the opportunity came up to start a nursery that could offer a much more affordable solution to childcare, I took it.

“The Little People Pre-school gives families the chance to be able to work, put their child in full-time care and afford all the nice things inbetween.”

The pre-school is located at the Second Davyhulme Scout Hut on Bowfell Road, which used to be home to Little Diamonds Pre-School Playgroup until July this year.

The setting has 35 childcare places and cares for children aged two- to five-years-old from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with two-, three- and four-year-old funding available.

A full day at the pre-school costs £25, which according to Ms Donnelly, can save parents as much as £4,500 a year. Children are provided with breakfast and a hot dinner but are each asked to bring their own packed lunch.

Commenting on the pre-school’s Facebook page, Ms Donnelly wrote: “We offer a much more affordable alternative to a nursery whilst offering the same level of care, but it turns out we are ruffling a few feathers in the nursery world with our pricing structure.”

There is no rent to pay on the property, meaning that the fees can remain low – Ms Donnelly simply pays a monthly donation to the charity.

The pre-school has been designed to support the children’s individual learning and development, with a range of stimulating areas including a mud kitchen, construction area, reading area and a gardening area for little green fingers.

Ms Donnelly has a foundation degree in early years (Level 5) and is looking to do her BA Honours next year. She works alongside Emma McGovern who has a BA Honours in early years practice (Level 6), and will be welcoming experienced staff to the pre-school in the coming months.


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Sheila Batty

Sheila Batty

05 Nov 2017 12:15 PM

My grandaughter opened her nursery when she was 24 at £24 a day. She now has one of the most popular nurseries in the area. Barrow in furness Cumbria.

Chris West

Chris West

03 Nov 2017 3:36 PM

If only we didn't pay rent or business rates our daily rates could be reduced, how lucky is that?