Childcare provider takes first steps towards recovery
An East Midlands-based childcare provider has expanded its footprint in the region after completing the acquisition of two nurseries in Mansfield, with the support of a seven-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank.
NurseriesRUs purchased the two new sites in February as part of its ambitious growth plans to widen its offering in the region. But like many childcare providers, the business was forced to close its doors to the majority of its customers just a few weeks later, as the coronavirus crisis escalated.
The financial package from Lloyds Bank included a loan repayment holiday and extended overdraft facility, which helped the nursery to ensure that one of the sites could remain open during the height of the pandemic, providing care for up to seventeen families of key workers across both nurseries. Staff also stayed in touch with families during lockdown through interactive home learning and virtual story time sessions.
The nursery group also used the funding to support a phased re-opening of both sites in-line with the government’s gradual relaxation of lockdown measures, and was able to welcome all children back from 1st June. This has included spend on social media as it looks to engage with and attract new parents.
Once fully operational, the sites will help to provide a combined 70 childcare places for children across Mansfield, with demand for places for the next academic year quickly returning to pre-lockdown levels.
The nurseries were hand-picked to complement NurseriesRUs’ existing offering in Worthing, Sussex. Both were rated outstanding by Ofsted at the time of purchase, and bring an expansive woodland area nearby which will be used to offer outdoor learning as part of a rich and varied curriculum.
Dr Heena Purohit, director at NurseriesRUs, said: “The two new sites in Mansfield were a perfect fit for our model. They offer a warm and welcoming environment for children to learn in, with a brilliant reputation locally and a hard-working, dedicated team. Their tireless efforts have been so important in recent months and helped us to do our bit to support key workers by keeping our doors open.
“The finance package we received from Lloyds Bank provided us with the security to be more flexible as demand for our services has fluctuated, and helped us to get back on track so quickly. The bank team has been by our side throughout the process, and we look forward to building our reputation here in Mansfield with the support.”
Steve Loxton, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Nurseries provide an important first step for children on their learning journeys, and everybody should have access to the best possible provisions. NurseriesRUs’ new propositions will offer first-class childcare facilities for families with young children in Mansfield.
“Like many other businesses, NurseriesRUs has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. However, it has been so encouraging to see the way the business has bounced back and was able to re-open its doors full in June. We’re pleased to have been able to support NurseriesRUs through this journey and will remain by their side as they move forward.”