There is a new segment of premium pre-schools or nursery schools opening up in India. These are premium preschools, where the infrastructure is owned instead of rented and a higher investment is made in design, interiors, facilities planning and overall delivery of services. To understand this segment and the design of such pre-schools, let us look at the following:
a. Existing market for pre-schools
Till 2020, the following segments of pre-schools existed:
i. Rented apartments / houses being used as pre-schools: These could be found in almost every neighbourhood. Some of these would be franchise brands while others would be self-started pre-schools. As the facility was rented, minimum levels of investments were made in starting the school and these facilities were not even designed to be child-friendly.
ii. Pre-schools built on dedicated plots: In most states, the govt allowed plots for nursery or kindergarten schools and buildings had been made on these plots. These buildings were then rented out to brands / franchises or in some cases, the owners would themselves run a pre-school operation in the building. While these were better than the rented apartments / houses in terms of space usage and facilities for children, many of these buildings were dated in terms of design and planning.
The pandemic since 2020 has started changing the face of these pre-schools. All the preschools have been shut since April 2020 and continue to be closed as of July 2021. Many of the rented facilities have permanently shut down as it was unviable to keep paying for the premises without knowing when students can officially join the school back.
We expect that in 2022, students will be able to attend preschools again. There is a huge opportunity and a new segment of pre-schools that will emerge when that happens.
b. New segment of preschools
We are seeing a new segment of preschools open up, where a brand new facility is created, specifically designed for a premium experience. These centres, often in a 1000 to 3000 sq mtr plot, are designed to offer large learning spaces, pretend-play areas and other facilities for children in the ages 1 to 4. A significant investment is made, compared to earlier preschools, in ensuring the interiors and correctly planned and executed to cater to parents who are willing to pay a higher price for early education. These pre-schools are usually owned and operated by the investors.
c. Design of premium pre-schools
Premium Preschools will attract parents who are young, used to comforts and want the best for their children. As these schools are created on plots owned by the operators, they can invest a higher amount and recoup it back with returns over a longer period of time. The design of the premium preschools requires a lot of inputs that many architects often don’t have. It cannot follow the standard norms of having classrooms along a corridor. Learning spaces needs to be spread and intermingled with play areas. By creating larger open spaces in the floors, design can allow flexibility to the pre-school teachers to change the look and feel of the spaces based on the themes planned to be taught. From the washrooms to the performance areas, significant details need to be planned while designing such preschools. Parents should immediately see the difference between a school like this and traditional preschools when they visit. The overall ambience of the preschool must reflect premium-ness while still being within a certain investment range.
We expect the premium pre-schools segment to grow rapidly, with at least two such pre-schools being created in most towns / cities within the next 3 to 4 years.
Newton has already been involved in creating such pre-schools as project consultants. From design to construction and interiors, we have teams that can create a unique, premium pre-school. To know more, contact us now.