Altrincham-based The Elmscot Group of day nurseries, nursery schools and out-of-school clubs has expanded with the acquisition of Little Friends Day Nursery in Chester, thanks to substantial funding from Santander Business Banking. Little Friends will be rebranded as Elmscot Day Nursery and Nursery School (Chester), becoming the sixth nursery in the group and its 14th overall educational setting including its eight Kids Collective out-of-school clubs based at local primary and preparatory schools.
The group was established in 2001 by two Altrincham mums, Stephanie Molnar and Dee McKenzie, a biologist and accountant respectively, who were struggling to find a nursery offering outstanding childcare, nutrition and education for their own children. Stephanie and Dee continue to run the organisation with 225 colleagues now responsible for the care of over 1,700 children across the North West.
Nine of the Group’s settings have been found “Outstanding” in every area by Ofsted, with the remainder “Outstanding” in many areas with overall ratings of “Good” - an exceptionally high standard and one of the highest in the country. The organisation has also won national recognition for its achievements, winning several national educational sector awards for exceptional learning environments, staff development and child nutrition, as well as Soil Association Accreditation for the quality of menus and food.
Supporting the development and growth of children’s nurseries has become a key specialism for Santander Business Banking. The bank supports a large and growing book of sector clients across the UK and has developed specific solutions that can be tailored to individual businesses depending on size and scope. For The Elmscot Group, Santander has not only provided debt financing but also become its day-to-day banking partner.
Stephanie Molnar said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Chester families to the Elmscot Group and look forward to delivering our service in such a beautiful Grade II listed building in the City centre. We have an ethos of exceptional education provision across the The Elmscot Group and a commitment to supporting families with outstanding childcare. We are thankful to Santander for the support at this key time in the growth of the business. Santander’s approach was fresh, ambitious and supportive – qualities we need in a partner as we develop our business to mutual advantage.”
Danielle Simpson, Relationship Director, Santander Business Banking, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to support this great business to meet its growth aspirations. We have been very impressed by the team at the Elmscot Group and their extensive experience in the nursery sector, and are focused on supporting them as they invest for growth and additional success.”
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