Bertram Nursery Group re-brands with focus on outdoor learning

Katy Morton
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Bertram Nursery Group, which operates settings across the UK, has changed its name to Thrive Childcare and Education and launched a new sub-group, Nature Kindergartens, led by a conservationist.

Nature Kindergartens is one of Thrive Childcare and Education's four sub-groups its settings will operate under
Nature Kindergartens is one of Thrive Childcare and Education's four sub-groups its settings will operate under

Thrive Childcare and Education’s chief executive Cary Rankin told Nursery World that the move is designed to better reflect the ethos of the group. It comes after a management buyout with Apiary Capital in 2019 when parents and staff were surveyed to determine what they wanted from their nursery provider.

The focus of the new sub-group, Nature Kindergartens, is on developing children’s outdoor learning. Heading up the new sub-group is Thrive Childcare and Education’s new conservation and nature kindergarten leader, Peter Garside, who has forest school experience and previously worked in Canada protecting Whistler’s bear population, and as a mammals keeper at Blackpool Zoo.

The group’s settings in Astley and Media City in Greater Manchester, along with those in Kirkintilloch, Dundee and Musselburgh in Scotland, will now join the original Nature Kindergarten in Dunblane, operating under the new sub-group. 

It is one of four sub-brands that the nursery group’s 37 settings will now operate under, having previously operated under 15 sub-brands. These are:

  • Nature Kindergartens - operating across England and Scotland
  • Happitots nurseries - based across Scotland
  • Holyrood nurseries – operating in North West England
  • Corner House nurseries – based across Scotland

Chief executive Cary Rankin (pictured below) said, ‘Our commitment to putting children first and providing a safe and nurturing environment hasn’t changed, and never will. 

‘This is supported by investing in our teams, encouraging them to make early years education a rewarding career choice with prospects for development. We also recognise that children’s learning is enhanced in invigorating outdoor spaces and we are committed to investment in outdoor learning opportunities. 

‘We also know how important it is to provide a flexible service that meets parents’ needs, from opening hours and services for school-age children to opportunities for extra-curricular activities. Above all, our nurseries are part of the local communities they serve and we recognise that one-size doesn’t fit all.’

The nursery group, the 12th largest in the UK according to Nursery Chains Spring 2021, plans to continue to expand, focusing on acquisitions in the North West, in particular Cheshire and Manchester. Any settings new to the group will operate under one of the four sub-groups.

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