Tops adds hospital nursery to make 19 settings

Nursery groups around the country are continuing to expand by acquiring existing settings.

Dorset-based provider Tops Day Nurseries, has taken on the running of the Salisbury District Hospital nursery.

Toybox Day Nursery has been operating for over 29 years and provides care for children of hospital staff on site, as well as for children in the local area.

The nursery will be Tops Day Nurseries’ 19th setting, and will provide childcare for children from three months to school age, as well as a holiday club for children up to 15.

The group now provides childcare for more than 3,000 children in nurseries across Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Somerset.

Managing director Cheryl Hadland said, ‘For over 27 years Tops Day Nurseries have been making a difference to children within our care, and I am delighted we have won the tender to work with the team at Salisbury hospital, extending their opening hours and the opportunities on offer.’

Families at the new Tops Salisbury setting will be able to benefit from more flexibility, as well as nature outings with Tops Forest School, weekly cooking workshops, and Rugby Rangers, a fast-paced, physical session run at the nursery or in a local field aiming to develop children’s love of sport and confidence.

Parents will also be able to enrol their children in Tops’ Potty Training Academy.

The setting will be offering 30 hours of funding for eligible families from September.

Toybox day Nursery was temporarily suspended last June after the provider notified Ofsted of a potential safeguarding concern. After an investigation and visit, Ofsted lifted the suspension in July, after the inspectorate found that the provider had put new robust processes and documentation in place, and staff had attended relevant training.

Natural Choice group expansion

In Cheltenham, local operator Natural Choice Nurseries is now operating four sites after acquiring Desirable Childcare, a group of two leasehold nurseries.

Specialist business property adviser Christie & Co has brokered the sale of the two nurseries with a combined capacity of 69 places, which had been operated by its previous owners for over ten years.

Natural Choice Nurseries is a family-run business owned by husband and wife team Nicky and Fred Edwards. Their two existing settings are located in South Gloucestershire in the villages of Alveston and Charfield, near Wotton-under-Edge.

Corrina Jones, childcare business agent at Christie & Co who handled the sale, said, ‘We received extensive interest in the nurseries and it was felt that Natural Choice Nurseries was the perfect candidate to drive the business forward. We are confident that the business will go from strength to strength under the guidance of Nicky and Fred.’

Mrs Edwards said, ‘We had been looking to expand for a little while, but the new nurseries needed to be a good fit with our existing business ethos. Corrina spent time with us to understand our needs and Desirable Childcare turned out to be just what we had been looking for. The deal went through very smoothly in under three months.’

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