The new nurseries should create 150 new jobs and provide early education and care to 550 children.
This announcement is in addition to the acquisition of a new site in Salford Quays which will open as a new purpose-built 136-place nursery in November.
Creating new sites is a key part of the expanding chain’s three-year strategy and CEO Clare Roberts told Nursery World the plan to open five more sites over the next 18 months if possible – as well as acquiring existing nurseries.
Ms Roberts said, ‘Since starting Kids Planet in 2008 we have had a strong working relationship with our bank Barclays, and we feel this was the right time to bring additional capital to our balance sheet to help us accelerate our growth.
‘We look at all the nurseries we create and acquire in terms of sending our own children there. Internally, we a very clear vision with new settings – we want them all to have the same standard and the same feel. It’s about a welcoming environment, attention to detail and supporting parents and families, for example, our reception areas and the entrances to rooms are always very informative and consistent. I also really like the quality of wooden furniture so that is consistent across all our nurseries.’
The setting currently has 12 settings graded Outstanding by Ofsted out of a total of 18.
‘We have 12 outstanding nurseries but we recognise that we can always do better and are constantly looking to improve. This is what Ofsted expects as well,’ she said.
‘It’s also very important for us to promote staff from within the company, so we look to upskill our room leaders and deputies. In our experience it is our own people who understand our business and what we are trying to achieve who are our most valuable resource.’