Growth continues for North West nursery group after clinching Oxford contract

Clare Roberts

Lymm-based nursery group, Kids Planet, is to expand into Oxford having been selected following a tender process by the University of Oxford to operate its five existing nurseries.

Previously managed by Bright Horizons, the five nurseries are located in North/Central Oxford and Headington.

The move, the first into the South of the UK, will be the group’s third venture outside of the North West having acquired Chesterfield-based ‘Excellence in Childcare’ in 2019 and a new nursery in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, which is to open later this summer.

Kids Planet was established in 2008 by Clare Roberts and her father, John Hoban when, at the time, Clare was struggling to find a convenient nursery offering outstanding childcare for her first daughter.

From there, the group has expanded rapidly throughout the North West and Midlands.

It has become the third largest nursery group in the UK caring for more than 8,000 children and employing in excess of 2,000 staff across the 59 settings.

Alongside significant growth, the group now runs its own training academy, delivering qualifications from apprenticeships to Master’s degrees to enable staff to achieve the outstanding standard of childcare which has become the group’s hallmark, it said.

Chief executive Clare Roberts said: “Against the backdrop of a challenging year we are absolutely thrilled to take the Kids Planet brand to Oxford.

“Our teams provide exceptional care in a safe and enabling environment and we are confident we will be able to build on the foundations already built by Bright Horizons.

“We look forward to welcoming families to Kids Planet and continuing to provide the outstanding level of childcare that has become synonymous with our group.”