The two nurseries will add another 100-plus places to Kids Planet's total of more than 600 (Nursery Chains 2012).
Kids Planet is also preparing for the October launch of a purpose-built site in Sale, Manchester, which brings the group’s total number of settings to ten.
The group has steadily expanded its presence in Cheshire since its launch in 2008, and last year stated its intention to add three more nurseries to its portfolio in 2013. Its Hale and Prestwich nurseries are currently rated outstanding, while all of its others are graded good.
Kids Planet chief executive officer Clare Roberts says, ‘Our plans are to continue to grow and develop the Jeffrey’s Corner nurseries further, building on their existing high standards in terms of care and occupancy.
‘We will also be opening another three nurseries next year in the Greater Manchester area which are a mix of purpose-built sites and conversions. We area always looking for acquisitions which fit within our ethos.’
With a sharp focus on ensuring quality across an expanding group, Kids Planet has appointed Lucy Hoban as director of early years. Ms Hoban is a qualified teacher who was formerly head of early years at St Vincent’s Primary School in Altrincham, and will be based at the group’s head office in Lymm. She will oversee the strategy for early years education across all Kids Planet Day Nurseries. Her role will include managing the EYFS, ensuring children are school ready and liaising with local schools to create a path for a smooth transition from pre-school to infant school.
Kids Planet is currently shortlisted for two Nursery World awards. In 2012, Amanda Brown at Kids Planet Warrington scooped Nursery manager of the year.
Redwoods Dowling Kerr brokered the sale of the Jeffrey’s Corner nurseries for Kids Planet, and has acted for the group in a previous sale.
Director of sales Lucie Wright (pictured) says, ‘The Jeffrey’s Corner nurseries are brilliant examples of well-performing nurseries with a strong management team, and we could have sold them several times over.
‘Although the business attracted much interest and received two offers at the same level, the vendors were thrilled to sell to Kids Planet as they identified with the group’s culture. They believed that Kids Planet were the right people to build on the success achieved.’
She adds, ‘The vendors also felt that Kids Planet’s ethos and practices were very similar to their own, and that in selling to a growing chain they could provide their current staff with new opportunities for local promotion.
‘The sellers achieved the price they were looking for and can rest assured that Kids Planet will take the business strength to strength.’