The group's settings in Hong Kong, Dubai and India will continue to run under the Safari Kid name.
In the UK, Kïdo operates settings in Clerkenwell, Chiswick, Golders Green, Windsor and Camden, with an additional two London openings, in Wandsworth and Crouch End, taking place later this year. A new setting in Greenwich is also planned for early 2020.
The group currently offers 400 places for children in the UK, set to increase to 570 by the end of 2019.
Settings owned by the group in the USA, India, Hong Kong and the UAE provide a total of 3,500 childcare places, due to rise to 4,500 by the end of this year.
Aniruddh Gupta, founder and chief executive officer, said, ‘Kïdo, pronounced kee-doh, is the Japanese word for luminance. This new brand is a more accurate reflection of our vision – we don’t believe that anyone should hide their light under a bushel, least of all children. Everything we do is designed to ignite and magnify their passions.’
The group has developed its own teaching system, the Kïdo Early Years Programme, influenced by Montessori, Reggio Emilia and the theory of multiple intelligences.
The aim of the Kïdo Early Years Programme is to lay the foundations for the ‘five Cs’; collaboration, communication, creativity, critical and computational thinking.
The pedagogy, developed by chief academic officer Thasin Rahim, includes development goals in areas such as the arts, technology, coding and robotics, as well as specific goals for literacy and mathematics.
The programme is arranged into three age groups:
- Discoverers: children under 15 months explore core cognitive, emotional and social skills through a combination of free and guided play, art and music, and messy play. Creative play sessions introduce new materials, media and textures while children are introduced to the basic concepts of numbers, phonics, shapes, sounds and colours.
- Adventurers: children under 27 months have their weeks split into three ‘Skills Days’, which introduce children to maths and literacy, and two ‘Explorer Days’, which involve activities based on a multidisciplinary project lasting six weeks. Children are taught to count and recognise numbers from one to ten, identify basic shapes, identify all letters of the alphabet, and start the basics of reading.
- Preschool: Children are expected to learn maths and English at Year 1 level by the time they are five. They are introduced to coding through apps, photography and video editing. Every day incorporates indoor and outdoor play, dance, music and yoga and children continue to have two days of every week devoted to project-based learning and three days to skill-based activities across subjects like English, maths, languages or science.
The group also offers a global franchise model, which includes this curriculum as well as Kïdo’s branding and marketing, recruitment and training support, and in-house nursery management software system, iKïdo.