One of the fastest growing children’s nursery groups in the UK, Family First, has reached its 100 nursery milestone with the acquisition of nature-play specialists Kids Play Childcare.
It’s a fantastic landmark for us and the hard work to deliver the best for our children and their families continues.Ollie Humphries – Family First CEO
The addition of Kids Play, which has three nurseries in Milton Keynes and another in Bury St Edmunds, brings the total number of staff to 2,500 and nursery places to 7,500.
Family First CEO Ollie Humphries said: “When we launched in 2019, we had a clear ambition – to be the number one provider of quality childcare in the UK.
“By bringing nurseries into our group which match our ethos and vision, like Kids Play, we can safely say we are achieving our ambition when it comes to performance and growth.”
The Managing Director of Kids Play Childcare, Paul Sharp, said Family First were the perfect choice to continue the work he and his team had put in over many years.
“We are very proud of what the team at Kids Play has achieved over our 17 years in childcare,” he said.
“With both myself and fellow director Jimmi Dickson reaching retirement age, we wanted to find a company to continue our legacy of doing what is best for children and our staff.
“From the first meeting with Family First, it was clear they bought into our ethos of learning through nature-based play and shared our values of supporting their teams.
“We were also impressed that despite Family First’s rapid growth, their nursery settings continued to operate with the community in mind and were willing for nurseries to retain their individual identity.”
Family First is backed by August Equity, whose Managing Partner David Lonsdale hailed the work which has gone into reaching 100 nurseries.
“We are delighted to have reached this milestone at Family First with the acquisition of Kids Play. it is an excellent addition to our portfolio and a fantastic milestone for the business,” he said.
“We are incredibly proud of the team and all the nursery staff for remaining dedicated to the core Family First values throughout this growth journey and for their unwavering focus on delivering high quality childcare across the UK.”
Family First CEO Ollie Humphries added he was proud to have reached the 100-nursery mark, but the hard work from his team would continue to deliver high standards.
He said: “We have come a very long way in the three-and-a-half years since we started.
“It is testament to the commitment from our people who have made Family First an attractive proposition for nursery owners who want to know their businesses are in good hands if they choose to sell.
“We are still as passionate about providing excellent childcare as we were on day one.
“It’s a fantastic landmark for us and the hard work to deliver the best for our children and their families continues.”