West Midlands group to open nurseries in China

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Kangaroo Pouch Nurseries has won a contract to open 15 new settings in China, with more expansion planned over the next five years.

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(From left) Anita Patel Sahota, chief executive of Kangaroo Pouch with Xiaoqi Zhou, co-founder of Jiangsu Junyi Education

The nursery group, which currently owns eight nurseries in the UK, has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Jiangsu Junyi Education Group, announcing a partnership to open new British-style early years settings in Nanjing, China.

The contract comes after the company took part in the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) early years education trade mission to China last year.

Anita Patel Sahota, chief executive and founder of Kangaroo Pouch, said, ‘We are aiming to open 15 centres in Jiangsu Province over the next three years. These settings will be delivering an integrated curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage, and Kangaroo Pouch UK will provide extensive support on teacher training and quality control.

‘The first nursery will open by the end of this year and the second site is also secured. This is the first partnership for Kangaroo Pouch in China. We also have plans to explore further collaboration in other areas of China.’

She added that the nursery group was planning to open 30 centres in China over the next five years.

Kangaroo Pouch, which offers places for 438 children across the West Midlands, was also supported in setting up the contract by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

Corin Crane, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, said, ‘China is an incredibly important market for the Midlands, but sometimes the size of China can put smaller businesses off looking there for new trade partners. This type of collaboration highlights that with the right product, an ambitious management team and the right support, relationships between China and the UK can turn into a real game changer.’

Ian Harrison, head of exports in the Midlands for the DIT, added, ‘Kangaroo Pouch is a shining example of an ambitious local business taking advantage of the support available to secure new contracts in international markets.

‘The firm identified the need for its service when visiting the area last year, and will now play a role in the education of many young children across Jiangsu Province. What Kangaroo Pouch has achieved is brilliant, however, the same help and support from trade advisers on the ground in the Black Country is also available to your business.’

Kangaroo Pouch plans to open another two settings in the UK in the next 12 months in September and January 2019.

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