Nursery groups continuing to expand

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Just Childcare has acquired a group of three nurseries, while Kids Planet and Busy Bees have both added settings.

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Woodlands Day Nursery is one of three settings Just Childcare has purchased

The Just Childcare Group has bought Funcare’s three settings – Woodlands Day Nursery, Play Away Day Nursery and Little Dragons Day Nursery - all in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The group now has 53 nurseries, providing 3,852 childcare places.

This is Just Childcare’s third deal of the year.

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The three Funcare nurseries

Chief executive David Johnson said, ‘We’re always on the lookout for high-quality settings to add to our growing portfolio, so we’re delighted to be able to welcome Funcare Ltd to our family.

‘Their nurseries have won multiple local awards for excellence and have fantastic reputations within the community. We look forward to working with their teams, alongside the Ofsted Outstanding nursery we already operate in Harrogate, to provide exceptional care and education to the town.

‘The year so far has been an exciting one. We’re on track with our expansion plans and with the further funding we’re currently raising, we hope to make more acquisitions throughout 2019 and beyond whilst continuing to invest in our existing settings.’

Kids Planet

Kids Planet has acquired its 33rd setting, Jelly Babies Day Nursery in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

The family-run group based in the north-west of England acquired the 72-place setting with the help of business property advisor Christie & Co.

Clare Roberts, chief executive of Kids Planet, said, ‘We are thrilled to have completed on the purchase of Jelly Babies in Little Lever. We recognised a lot of synergy between how former owner Maxine and her team ran the nursery and how we operate our nurseries. We are really excited to work together with the already established staff team as we move forward building on the high standards already established.’

Other acquisitions

Meanwhile, the largest childcare operator in the country, Busy Bees, has announced its latest acquisition of Les Enfants, a 200-place setting in Aberdeenshire.

It brings the total number of nurseries operated by Busy Bees in the UK to 375.

Marg Randles, chief academic officer and co-founder of Busy Bees, said, ‘Les Enfants provides an ideal setting for children to thrive and develop and we’re pleased to announce they’ve joined the Busy Bees family.’

And independent operator Chatsworth Schools, has also bought its first nursery school, Marylebone Village Nursery School in London.

This is in addition to the recently-acquired Hall School Wimbledon, Benedict House Preparatory School in Kent, and Crown House Preparatory School and Griffin House Preparatory School, both in Buckinghamshire.

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