CfBt sells four nurseries to All About Children

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Nursery group CfBT Education Trust has sold its nurseries in the South of England to growing chain All About Children.

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The deal will see the group, set up last year by a former chief executive of Asquith Nurseries Russell Ford, double in size to eight settings.

The sale leaves CfBT with four nurseries in the North of England and one in Berkshire, as well as five nursery units at independent schools.

The not-for-profit education and training company has said that following a review of its worldwide operations it intends to concentrate on developing the schools side of the business in the UK, including setting up free schools and academies.

It currently has one free school, All Saints Junior in Reading, which opened in September, and has been given the go-ahead by the Department for Education to open two more from September 2012 in Wokingham, Berkshire and Enfield, north London. It also runs five academies spread throughout the country.

The four leasehold settings acquired by All About Children are Cherry Trees in Slough, Children’s House in Binfield, Norwood Manor Nursery, and Silchester Manor Day Nursery in Taplow.

The group's other settings are in Cheltenham, Clapham Junction, Gloucester and Sutton Coldfield.

Mr Ford said, ‘Since our inception, we’ve had ambitious plans to grow our portfolio of medium- to large-sized nurseries, but not at the expense of quality.

'The acquisition of these four nurseries from CfBT doubles our portfolio and signifies an important landmark for us as a group.’

He added, ‘They’re all large, in beautiful buildings, have large outdoor play areas with huge potential – which is perfect for us. We’ve spent a lot of time with the managers and teams in our new settings, and we hope our new colleagues are as excited about us as we are about the prospect of investing in – and developing practice with – all of them.’

Wendy Woodcock, director of schools and nurseries at CfBT Education Trust, said, ‘CfBT remains committed to the direct delivery of education to children and young people worldwide. However, in reviewing our operations we have decided to focus on school, academy and free school provision in this geographical region.

‘We are particularly pleased to transfer these nurseries to All About Children - a childcare provider specialising solely in high-quality nursery provision.

'We believe their nurturing, family approach to early years education complements our own practice in these nurseries over the past five years and will benefit parents and children in these settings.’

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