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The Co-operative Childcare has reached a milestone of 50 nurseries by acquiring workplace setting, the Body Shop Nursery in Littlehampton, West Sussex.
All 32 jobs at the 130-place nursery at Watersmead Business Park have been secured and the new owner has pledged investment in new resources and improved facilities.
It will be officially relaunched in September by Co-operative Childcare, the country’s only co-operative chain of nurseries and the sixth largest provider in the UK.
The purpose-built nursery at Body Shop’s head office campus is open to the company’s employees as well as the general public and shares similar values and ethics with the Co-operative’s own business model.
Co-operative Childcare Group Manager Mike Abbott said: “The Body Shop is a good fit with our business in terms of its ethical approach. We are looking forward to building on the success of the nursery, bringing our experience and skills so it can continue to flourish. We will invest at Littlehampton, as we do with all our nurseries, and provide support from our focused quality team and training opportunities for our new colleagues.
“We have grown substantially in the past two years and this acquisition brings our total number of nurseries to 50, which is a significant landmark. The new location is part of our expansion strategy to build our portfolio in the southern region by clustering groups of nurseries together so we can provide them with a support network locally.”
Co-operative Childcare already operates nurseries in the south at Chichester, Southampton, Brighton and Poole.
Emma Bowman, Manager at the Body Shop Nursery, said: “We are excited about joining The Co-operative Childcare. It is a trusted provider which is keen to invest in our nursery for the benefit of the children in our care and the team based here.”
The Body Shop Nursery has six rooms, a large garden with a vegetable patch, beach and boat, and day to day activities include cookery, music and gardening. It was opened to support Body Shop employees by allowing parents to focus on their work, knowing their children were being well cared for nearby.
It has joined a provider committed to delivering quality early years care and learning in a safe and stimulating environment. Co-operative Childcare, which is part of The Midcounties Co-operative, also puts emphasis on developing strong links with the communities it serves.