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UK's biggest nursery chain acquires Kids 1st Nursery group

Article By: Sue Learner, Editor

Britain’s largest nursery chain, Busy Bees, has once again been on the acquisition trail and has now acquired Kids 1st Nursery group which has 11 nurseries.

Kids 1st Wynyard

This now means that Busy Bees will be operating 252 nurseries across England, Wales and Scotland in the New Year.

Kids 1st Nursery group is family run and opened its first nursery in 2004. Ten of its nurseries have been rated Outstanding, with one still to be inspected. It is also in the process of opening two more in the North East of England.

In 2015, all of the Kids 1st Nurseries came in the Top 20 in the North East in the awards.

Kids 1st managing director, Mark McArdle, who has been involved in the business since it began said: “Over the past 12 years we have built up one of the most successful nursery businesses in the UK. It has been an incredible journey and a fantastic team effort from everyone involved.

“We were understandably precious about who we sold the business to, but I believe that in Busy Bees we are handing over the reins to someone who can continue the Kids 1st ethos and build upon the success we have achieved. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us along the way and I wish Kids 1st and Busy Bees every success in the future.”

Marg Randles, managing director of Busy Bees added: “We are thrilled to welcome Kids 1st Nursery group into the Busy Bees family. Every nursery in the portfolio is already providing exceptional outcomes for children and we are all really looking forward to working with the extremely talented teams in place.

“It is an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with like-minded, experienced managers and devoted staff, all of whom will continue to play the most important role, providing quality care for the children in partnership with their families. Meanwhile we will be working very closely with the management team to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible for everyone involved.

“It is our promise to keep our parents informed every step of the way, as we continue to improve the excellent care, resources and services this collection of outstanding nurseries currently offer.”

In 2014, Busy Bees acquired Caring Daycare and Kinder Nurseries and earlier this year it acquired 60 nurseries in Singapore and Malaysia, from Knowledge Universe.


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