One of Cheshire’s leading children’s nurseries, Smarties, has become part of the Bertram Nursery Group, a national nursery chain with an existing presence in the North West of England and Scotland.
Founded on the outskirts of Chester 32 years ago by qualified teacher Annie Silcock, Smarties has been awarded ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted in its last four inspections. It was awarded UK Nursery of the Year by the National Day Nursery Association (NDNA) in 2018.
Although Annie is planning to retire, she will continue working as a consultant within the Early Years sector.
Bertram chief executive officer Cary Rankin said:
‘Smarties is a beautiful nursery with wonderful, carefully planned, outdoor facilities that we will continue to grow and develop in line with our shared vision for outdoor learning. We believe learning outside is hugely beneficial for children and we plan to increase the range of outdoor activities offered.
‘Smarties is a gem and we are delighted that Annie has entrusted us with her legacy. We are excited to move forward with the team and build on the excellent partnerships with parents and schools that ensure every child can thrive and develop.”
Annie Silcock said:
‘The last 32 years have been amazing and I wouldn’t have changed them for the world. I realised I needed to find someone to develop Smarties with the love, care and vision I have had.
‘In Bertram Nursery Group, I have found my ideal successors. We share the same ethos and values regarding our approach to our people and childcare. They feel it is important that nurseries in the group retain their individual character and Bertram have an exciting long-term vision for developing one of the best outdoor provisions in the UK.’
Bertram Nursery Group now operates 37 nurseries in North West England and Scotland. The Group is continuing to grow to provide a trusted, caring and nurturing environment for more children in the region and is committed to investing in its nurseries and the training and development of their teams.
Cary Rankin added:
‘Bertram would like to thank their advisors through the process, including Mark Traynor and team from TLT who led legal due diligence, RSM for providing tax due diligence and CBRE who advised on property related matters.’
Smarties provides places for more than 100 children aged from three months to five years and is set in more than two acres of grounds, providing outdoor activities and a beautiful grand tepee tent, it also runs a holiday club for older children.