Nursery group on route to expansion

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Nursery chain All About Children has bought two settings in Nottinghamshire for an undisclosed price.

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All About Children has acquired two nurseries in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire

Group owner and former Asquith chief executive Russell Ford purchased the two settings from Scotts Wood Private Day Nurseries last month.

The sale will take All About Children up to 11 nurseries and increase the number of childcare places offered by 111 to around 1,060.

While the chain does plan to increase capacity at one of the sites, creating between eight and ten new places involving some renovation, Mr Ford said there are not many changes required.

‘They’re both very well established nurseries,’ he said. ‘They’re both well run and they’ve got very, very good staff teams, who are a really great bunch. It’s quite unlike some of our previous acquisitions, which have been more what I would call “turnaround” nurseries. Here there’s not a lot we have to do.’

Previous owners Andrew and Zoe Scott founded Scotts Wood more than 16 years ago, setting up two nurseries in West Bridgford and achieving 80 per cent occupancy across both settings. The first nursery was opened in April 1997 followed by a second in January 2000. Both nurseries have received good Ofsted ratings. 

They said, ‘It was a wrench for us to sell after so long. We loved the children and their parents, and we enjoyed our nurseries being part of our local community and we are very close to our staff who we’d like to thank for all their years of service. All we can say now is that we’re delighted to have found Russell and his team. We’re sure they’ll do a fantastic job.’

all-about-children-selby-roadThe sale of the nurseries was facilitated by Andrew Coulter of Coulter Consulting, which approached All About Children in December 2013 as part of a 'discreet marketing campaign' targeting established small nursery groups and companies. The sale process took six weeks in total.

‘It was all very straightforward and quick, which was what the sellers wanted,’ Mr Ford commented. ‘Andrew was like the matchmaker for us, and he made a great match.’

All About Children was set up in 2010. The chain has expanded relatively quickly, purchasing eight nurseries in its first 14 months.

 Mr Ford said that he hopes to expand further in London and the South East this year. ‘We went through a bit of an acquisition glut when we started out, and so not surprisingly we needed some time to consolidate those settings. We bought one more nursery about six to eight months ago, and this latest purchase is really a culmination of our attempt to get back on the acquisition trail. It’s the start of a few I think - we hope to get two or three more this year.’