Poppies grow with Family First

One of the UK’s fastest growing nursery groups has expanded into Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, bringing its total number of nurseries to 17 in its first 22 months of operation.

Family First, led by the former CEO of Asquith Nurseries, has bought the six Poppies Day Nurseries, along with the Kiddies Academy Day Nursery, describing it as ‘game changer’ in its quest to become the number one quality childcare provider in the UK.

Chairman Andy Morris, who sold Asquith’s 92 nurseries to Bright Horizons, said:

‘Family First Day Nurseries is on target to owning 30 nurseries by the end of August and this now gives us quality scale in the South of England.

‘Poppies Day Nurseries are very well-run nurseries at the heart of their local communities. We are the perfect match as we share the same ethos when it comes to providing excellent quality childcare implemented by skilled members of the team with years of experience between them.

‘Providing a safe, high-quality environment for our staff and children is our number one priority. Acquiring these day nurseries is a perfect example of how our joint expertise can make a positive impact on the staff and children in our care.’

The Poppies nurseries, providing almost 400 nursery places and employing over 100 staff, are in Bourne End, Marlow, Beaconsfield and Holmer Green in Buckinghamshire, as well as Maidenhead and Old Windsor in Berkshire.

The group was founded by Anne Fox and Linda Hill in 2006, and all are rated by Ofsted as Good, apart from the most recent, Maidenhead, which is awaiting inspection.

The 54-place Kiddies Academy Day Nursery, rated Good by Ofsted, is also in Beaconsfield.

Family First director of operations and quality Dianne Lumsden-Earle added:

Poppies are known for their exceptional, nurturing staff who have provided a safe, progressive environment for the children in their care, especially throughout Covid-19.

‘Each nursery has a relaxed yet stimulating environment with plenty of educational play and activities provided on a daily basis. Poppies Day Nurseries fits perfectly with our own ethos of providing the best possible start for all of our children.’

The latest acquisitions mean that Family First now offers more than 1,000 childcare places within a 35-mile radius of London.

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