Kids Planet buys Kids Allowed

Two of the largest nursery groups in the country have joined forces, as Kids Planet acquires Kids Allowed.

Clare Roberts, chief executive of Kids Planet (left) with Jennie Johnson, former chief executive of Kids Allowed
Clare Roberts, chief executive of Kids Planet (left) with Jennie Johnson, former chief executive of Kids Allowed

The deal makes Kids Planet the third biggest nursery group in the UK.

With the acquisition of the eight Kids Allowed settings, Kids Planet now has 52 nurseries across the North West and the Midlands, providing nearly 6,000 childcare places.

According to the latest Nursery Chains supplement, Kids Planet is now the third largest UK nursery group, coming behind Busy Bees and Bright Horizons.

The acquisition, funded by Barclays, Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank and with further investment from BGF, is Kids Planet’s first of the year after completing five deals in 2019.

Kids Planet also runs its own training academy.

Kids Allowed’s former owner Jennie Johnson, who established the nursery group in 2003, told Nursery World she now plans to retire from operating childcare settings. 

Clare Roberts, chief executive of Kids Planet, said, ‘We’ve made a number of acquisitions in recent years. This deal is particularly significant as it brings together two of the most successful nursery groups in the UK, making us the best childcare group for quality, based on Ofsted grades and other industry accolades, including 2019 Nursery World Group of the Year.

‘Kids Allowed is a business we’ve long-admired for its approach and commitment to high-quality care. Both companies were started by working mums when we were faced with the challenge of finding flexible and excellent childcare for our own children. We both felt there was an opportunity to improve standards and options in the market. There are so many synergies which has made this acquisition feel like a natural move and we look forward to future success.’

Jennie Johnson, former chief executive of Kids Allowed, commented, ‘In making the decision to part with Kids Allowed, it was of the utmost importance to me to find a company and leader that would continue the Kids Allowed legacy of care, passion and excellence with regard to both the experience provided for the children and families in our care and equally for our colleagues. I have known Clare and Kids Planet for many years and know that the coming together of arguably the two best childcare groups in the country will create something even more special than the sum of its parts.  I’m excited to see this new force in childcare take shape whilst bringing highest quality childcare to even more families in the region and beyond.’

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