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A message from The Harvey Group



Dear Fellow Nursery Owner,

I write to you as part of a close-knit family business that has been involved in the care sector for three decades, and as owners and operators of a 60-child, fully occupied, Ofsted rated ‘Good’ nursery in London.

Our mantra
It’s simple: we treat the children we look after as if they are our own, with the wellbeing of our staff, the quality of education we provide, and our adherence to extremely high standards of safety all being paramount in what we offer. We view our nursery and pre-school as a place of education, rather than a glorified crèche, where we teach our children the ability to have confidence, be independent, and to pursue whatever drives them as individuals. We believe passionately in looking after all our of nurseries, ensuring that we invest money, time, and effort, into supporting, maintaining and improving all new additions to our group.

Growth goals
To continue growing our vision, we are actively looking to acquire leasehold nurseries and pre-schools registered for 55 children or more, that have either a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, within London and the surrounding home counties.

The advantages of dealing with us are:

  • We are a cash buyer.
  • We will pay a competitive price.
  • You will NOT need to pay agency fees, as we will deal directly with you.
  • We will keep your name and preserve your heritage that you have worked so hard to build.
  • We are very hands-on nursery operators, with all the directors themselves working with children on a daily basis; we are NOT private equity, venture capital investors, or a corporate group.
  • We always aim, to the fullest extent possible, keep existing staffing teams in place, we know they are the heroes of your nursery.

I am always available to speak, whether for an informal chat over the phone, or to meet for a coffee. I understand that confidentiality and sensitivity are critical, and therefore all conversations are treated with the strictest confidence.

All correspondence may be directed to me at 07867 50 55 66 or I look forward to hearing from you.


Yours sincerely,




Daniel Harvey

Children First – politics in the best interests of the child











Will your organisation endorse the following statement?


‘What sort of society are we becoming when four and five year olds are starting school unable to utter more than a few words, understand basic instructions or even use the toilet?’ (‘The Daily Mail’, 1st June, 2018).

Ofsted Head, Amanda Spielman, categorises children as either born ‘lucky’ or facing ‘disadvantage right from the start … unable to follow what’s going on. Unable to keep up with their classmates. Unable to reach their potential.’

Menaced by five 21st century ‘evils’

  • obesity and physical inactivity
  • adverse childhood experiences
  • rising mental health issues
  • dominance of social media and screen time influence
  • socioeconomic disadvantage and cultural/ethnic divide

our children may become the least healthy adult population in living memory.

We need an authoritative voice within the Cabinet to bring all these issues together and devise solutions that will be more than just firefighting on an individual policy front and so we call upon Government to appoint a Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People.

Need to know more? A full supporting document is available from

Please let Phil know by email if we can add your name to the list of endorsements.

ITS Group Appoint New Commercial Director

ITS Group have appointed a new commercial director to further develop and drive forward their business activities. Peter Lawrence has joined ITS Group bringing 25 years + experience in commercial and educational roles, gained within the UK and Europe, with organisations such as Experian and Barnsley College.

Throughout Peter’s career, his commitment to helping individuals to enhance their lives, developing local communities and supporting employers in achieving sustainable, organisational growth has perpetuated. With his new role, Peter is looking to develop and integrate ITS Group’s training and development portfolio to meet the Group’s growth ambition, supporting local employers’ future workforce skills and fulfil their commitments as a charity.







Peter Lawrence (left), new
Commercial Director and
Dr. Chris Payne, CEO (right).


Peter Lawrence will work alongside ITS Group’s Leadership Team. When asked to comment on the new appointment, CEO, Dr. Chris Payne highlighted, “We are thrilled for Peter to be joining the ITS team. We are firmly pursuing our growth strategy and Peter will be integral to achieving our ambitious vision. Peter was an obvious choice for us with his extensive experience and positive, can-do approach that inspires and encourages others”.

ITS Group’s vision for developing and delivering outstanding training, education and lifelong learning opportunities results in innovative solutions and dedicated support for both learners and employers alike. During the last year alone they have opened a new centre in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, have achieved Centre of Excellence Status from Skills For Care and maintained their ‘Good’ Ofsted grading.

The ITS Group is a registered charity (1091711).

Bright Horizons Family Solutions acquires Yellow Dot Nurseries









The 12 Yellow Dot day nurseries have been bought by leading childcare provider, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, whose offer was accepted as a result of the companies’ shared visions and cultures of promoting exceptional and high quality childcare. 

The portfolio has a  combined operating capacity for 794 children mostly in central Hampshire The addition of Yellow Dot brings Bright Horizons’ total number of nurseries in the UK to more than 320 and more than 1,000 worldwide. The sale was handled by business transfer agents Christie & co.

Founded by Managing Director, Jane Dyke in 1997, Yellow Dot has an excellent reputation and benefits from a locally renowned and very highly regarded brand. The business comprises impressive childcare settings including purpose built nurseries and converted residences, former public houses and commercial properties. Each setting has been purposely designed to provide start of the art facilities and many of the children’s rooms provide direct free flow access to exceptional outdoor children’s play and activity environments.

Christie & Co’s Managing Director – Childcare & Education, Courteney Donaldson commented, “Last autumn, Jane and I discussed the buoyancy of the UK and the scope to achieve a premium price in the event of a professionally executed sale process. Following weeks of preparation, the opportunity to acquire Yellow Dots nurseries was introduced to a carefully selected pool of potential buyers in early December who were invited into the confidential sales process. In early February, we received multiple offers, over the asking price, from a wide variety of trade operators and investors alike, with deliverable offers being presented by both UK based and overseas parties. Due to the amount of pre-transaction works which were undertaken prior to the commencement of the sale, the period from the deal being agreed through completion took a mere seven weeks.”

An upward trend











During 2017 Britain’s childcare property market continued to exceed expectations and deliver asset value growth in excess of forecasts. Demonstrating the resilience of the sector, the growth has come at a time of significant political and macro uncertainty.

Appetite from investors, corporate groups, regional groups and first-time entrants is healthy and at the corporate level the market has witnessed the sale of Magic Nurseries (a group of 16 nurseries) to Les Petits Chaperons Rouges (LPCR) and also the sale of Kiddi Caru (a group of 20 nurseries) also to Les Petits Chaperons Rouges (LPCR).

Overseas investment is being driven by a combination of the excellent reputation of the UK childcare sector and the good value represented by the current weakness of sterling. During 2017 we launched our highly successful online platform which was aimed at expanding our buyer reach to a global audience. Through the website statistics we can see strong international buyer appetite particularly focused in Asia and the Middle East.

In addition to the overseas investors we have been actively working with a number of regional and local operators who are pursuing their own ambitious strategies for growth and who can see the opportunities which are arising in the market place. We expect this trend to continue.

Providing  evidence of the strength of the market, Redwoods Dowling Kerr have enjoyed success throughout 2017 with both group and single site completions. For 2017 we have seen an outstanding growth of 200% in group completions compared to 2016 and an impressive  30% growth in childcare completions overall compared to 2016. What is even more interesting to note is that of the group completions 50% have sold to regional operators while  40% have  sold to new entrants to the childcare market.

The outlook for the UK childcare sector in 2018 is extremely positive and we very much look forward to working with owners throughout the remainder of the year to deliver on their exit and growth strategies.


Redwoods Dowling Kerr have enjoyed success with our Corporate Sales Service in 2017 year which  has included the sale of:


  • Project Apollo – a Montessori group in London sold to a new entrant
  • Project Martha – a nursery in the South West sold to a national group
  • Project Cortez – a group of Nurseries in Yorkshire sold to a regional operator.
  • Project Honey – a group in the North East of England which sold to a regional operator
  • Project Jake – a leasehold nursery in Kent sold to a private equity backed regional operator

We also have a number of corporate sales due to complete H1 of 2018 which include:

  • Project Eden – a leasehold nursery in London sold to a regional operator
  • Project Daisy – a group of nurseries in the South West sold to an overseas investor
  • Project Susie– a group of nurseries in the South West sold to a new entrant
  • Project Lilypad – a group in the South West sold to a regional operator
  • Project Oliver – a freehold nursery in South East sold to a new entrant

Recognition of the importance of early years education drives growth in childcare market

LaingBuisson has launched the 14th edition of its Childcare UK Market Report. According to the Report there are currently 4.9 million children aged five or under in the UK today, 17% of whom are in formal childcare, with demand growing year-on-year. This is driven by more mothers of young children working (70% with children under 4 in 2017) and by growing recognition of the role receiving the right education during early years is to child development.

While the market still has a ‘long tail’ of small providers, the growth in popularity of formal childcare is increasing demand for childcare places, attracting investment in the sector, and there are now 2 ‘super groups’, around 23 mid-small sized groups. A number of investors and providers from North America, Asia and Europe have entered the market, among them Les Petits Chaperons Rouges, the number 2 in France and now number 7 in the UK market, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“OTPP”) and Temasek, the National Government of Singapore’s investment fund.

The market is not, however, without its challenges. Other successful markets like France, have experienced similar challenges and it is expected UK operators will adapt to them and move forward providing stronger businesses, offering better care and support for children, parents and staff.

Dominic Barrett-Evans, report author, said:

“All of the indicators point to formal day care services for children under the age of 5 being attractive for investors taking a long-term approach and with a willingness to evaluate each acquisition on its own merits. With many more mothers of young children working and parents recognising the value of good early years education and care, childcare has now become a vital part of everyday life, this will only continue to grow, and the quality of managers and staff are being recognised now more than ever before. We expect continued steady growth, with increased demand for more specialised childcare services and eco-nurseries providing operators with innovative, practical and cost-effective solutions to extend capacity if needed.

“Moreover, the childcare sector has shown its resilience in the face of economic downturns and Government policy changes over the years. However, the sector has always come back stronger and a very real opportunity exists if the Government settles on the correct childcare strategy soon. It is too early to judge the impact of most recent 30 hours policy’ but it is likely that operators will be able to adapt and find solutions to make it work. Getting the funding right is also fundamental to making sure well-trained and good-quality staff continue to be attracted to the sector.”


For further information please contact:
Heidi Nicholson, Head of Business Development, LaingBuisson. Tel: 020 7833 9123

PHE urges African and Caribbean parents to vaccinate their children against flu this winter


  • Over three million children are being offered the free flu vaccination this winter
  • Last year’s flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu in children by 65%
  • This year’s programme includes children in school year 4 for the first time

Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging parents and carers to help protect the three million eligible children from flu this winter.

This year, the vaccine, administered in the form of a nasal spray, is being offered to 2–3 year olds, those in school years, 1, 2, 3 and for the first time, children in year 4. Children aged over 4 in reception will also be eligible to have their vaccine done in school this year.

New data published in August of this year showed that last year’s flu vaccine nasal spray reduced the risk of flu in vaccinated children by 65% across the UK last winter, meaning 65 children in every 100 were protected from flu.

Flu can be very serious illness for little children. They have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headaches and a sore throat. Some children also develop a very high fever and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis which may require treatment in hospital.

Dr Paul Cosford, Medical Director for Public Health England, said:

“Young children’s bodies can find it hard to cope with flu, so it is especially important to protect them with the vaccine. The nasal spray is a quick, effective and painless alternative to needles. Once ill, children also tend to spread infection more to other vulnerable family members, such as grandparents, so protecting them is a good way to protect the rest of the family.

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to help protect against catching flu. So I urge all parents whose children are eligible for the free nasal spray not to put it off. It’s free because your family needs it.”

Whilst seasonal flu can be an unpredictable virus, the vaccine is the best form of protection against flu. Vaccinating those who are most likely to suffer the worst from flu also offers a protective effect for the rest of the population by reducing the overall spread of the virus.

The free flu vaccine is also available for pregnant women. Research shows that under half (48%) of pregnant women got their jab last year. Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system, and as a result it can cause serious complications for both mother and her unborn baby.

Mabinty Esho, a mother of a two-year old, said:

“I had the flu jab when I was pregnant. I think it’s better to be safe than sorry and wanted to protect myself and my baby against the flu. I felt perfectly well after having the flu vaccine.”

“My son will be two soon and has been offered the free nasal spray, I will be making sure he gets vaccinated so that he is protected.”

Dede Efueye, Midwife, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation, said: 

“As a midwife I’ve seen first hand the serious complications flu can cause for pregnant women and their babies. The safest way to help protect them both is the flu vaccine.

I fully support this campaign and would encourage all African and Caribbean pregnant women and parents with children aged 2 – 8 to get the flu vaccine. This will help protect them and reduce the risk of spreading the flu to others.”

Flu can be particularly dangerous for people with long-term health conditions. These include: chronic respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis or emphysema; heart, kidney or liver disease; chronic neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy; and diabetes. Vaccinating children, who are super-spreaders of the virus, can offer indirect protection to other, more vulnerable family members.

Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine should contact their GP, pharmacist or midwife now, for more information. Parents of children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4 are encouraged to give permission for their children to receive the free nasal spray vaccination.

Visit for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.

LEYF releases new video

Sponsored Post

LEYF releases new video

The London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) is an award-winning family of 38 nurseries across London. As a charity and social enterprise they really care about early childhood, childcare and helping families from all backgrounds achieve the best for their under-fives. Working in their nurseries means being part of a passionate team, helping children learn and develop in a fun and caring environment. It can be exhausting and challenging, but LEYF believe working in early years is the most important job in London, and have released a new video showing what it’s like to be a part of.

For more infomation visit

MP visits local nursery to discuss childcare funding

On Tuesday 21st June, a local nursery welcomed Michael Tomlinson, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, to a meeting to discuss their concerns over the childcare funding rates currently being offered across the South.  Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director for Tops Day Nurseries, was joined by Jeannette Pike and Louise Speer from Merley Pre-School and Caroline Marks from First Steps Nursery, to discuss the future for Early Years providers.

Mr Tomlinson MP was invited to the Wimborne setting of Tops Day Nurseries, which currently has 17 nurseries across the South.  He was first given a tour of the busy nursery, helping the children play, paint and also read a story to one group of children before moving on to discuss the current restrictions nurseries are facing in terms of funding rates.Tops2

“We were delighted that Mr Tomlinson was able to join us so we could take the opportunity to explain the situation early years providers are facing,” explains Cheryl.  “Currently parents of 3 and 4 year olds receive a maximum of 15 hours free childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.  The government subsidise these free hours, however their rates do not come close to covering the costs we have, which works out as an average of around £5 per hour per child.  This includes staff costs, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, resources, food; the list goes on.  An announcement was made in April regarding new funding from local authorities and in some cases the amount of funding we receive has been reduced from before, with our Poole nurseries hit the worst where the funding was reduced from £4.16 per hour to just £3.71 per hour.”

Since April’s announcement, Cheryl has spent the last two months seeking support from other early year’s providers affected by the rates, as well as canvassing the local MP’s, which led to the visit on 21st June from Michael Tomlinson MP.  “Things will only get worse later in the year with the introduction of the 30 hours free funding, with several nurseries around England already stating they will not be offering this new structure of funding as they will not continue to be sustainable businesses.”

As well as discussing these two points, other topics included the impact that paying VAT and business rates has, the repercussions should the apprenticeship levy be implemented as planned, and the block to professional development for nursery practitioners being made by the government insisting on GCSE C grades in Maths and English before doing a Level 3 course.  Cheryl concluded, “As well as these areas of concern, Mr Tomlinson will also be taking our petition to the Minister.  We created the petition following the announcement in April to encourage government to review the funding rates now and not wait for the next round of changes in April, and to date we have over 27,000 signatures.  This is the time for Early Years providers to come together and fight for what we deserve as childcare providers to be able to provide the best for our future generations.”
Michael Tomlinson MP said of the visit, “I was delighted to be able to meet with local childcare providers to hear their concerns. Tops Wimborne is an excellent local nursery and I was pleased to be able to see the facility for myself. I am meeting with Ministers and will ensure that the views of childcare experts are well known and listened to. Early years funding is hugely important and I am working for a good deal for Poole & Dorset.”

To find out more details about the petition from Tops Day Nurseries you can visit their website

NMT Nursery Agenda returns to Scotland

The NMT Nursery Agenda, a regional speed-dating and networking event held over 24 hours, was staged in Scotland by NMT magazine on 1st September 2017 at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel.

The day proved to be a tremendous success, with great feedback from all involved.

CLICK HERE to find out more