The Family First nursery group, backed by August Equity, has reached it first major growth milestone, having acquired 10 nurseries since launch.
In June 2019 the group acquired four Little Garden Nurseries and has since added Prima Montessori in Gillingham, Bizzy Bees in London, Acorn Montessori in Harrow and three Headstart nurseries in Potters Bar, Enfield and Barnet.
Chairman Andy Morris has a strong track record in growing children’s nursery groups, having taken Asquith to 92 nurseries before selling to Bright Horizons. He subsequently helped grow the OAC Childcare Group in Australia from 24 nurseries to 79.
Reflecting on Family First’s successful start, he said: ‘We’ve taken a robust approach to growth and moved forward with our plans – despite all the challenges thrown at us by the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘We see this as an amazing opportunity to create a new high-quality childcare provider, by empowering our managers and giving them a sense of ownership of everything that’s happening within their own nursery.
‘We’ve invested over £1 million in IT systems, equipment, facilities and our people, and our approach is already paying dividends, with nursery attendance up.”
The company has set its sights on growing to 80 nurseries within a 25-mile radius of London over the next four years – all aspiring to achieve Ofsted’s Outstanding status.
‘Our focus is on offering excellent customer service and we’re looking for nurseries to join us who are already offering this to parents and staff, ones who we can learn from; we want ones that have character and share the same ethos and vision,’ said Andy. ‘We want to embrace and enhance them. We want to collectively make a REAL difference to childcare.’