Tigers raises €5m to support demand for childcare

Tigers Childcare has secured a €5m capital injection from DunPort Capital Management to help fuel its expansion in Ireland and the UK.

With 13 centres in Dublin and Meath, Tigers Childcare is one of the largest childcare providers in Ireland, catering for 1,250 children and employing 162 staff.

Since establishing in 2003, Tigers Childcare has grown steadily to become one of Ireland’s market leaders in childcare provision. In 2017 it announced the acquisition of three centres from multinational childcare provider, Bright Horizons expanding its reach into South Dublin. All of its Irish centres are operating at full capacity.

“Tigers is well placed, as a leading player of scale and quality, to grow its service offering to help address the current level of under-capacity in the sector”

Next month it will open its first overseas facility in London as part of a new urban regeneration project in Elephant and Castle. This follows a successful tender win to operate a new 7,000sq ft centre owned by multinational property group, Lendlease.

“Our plan is to continue to build on the number of Tigers Childcare centres in Dublin and its surrounds, through a combination of acquisitions and new centre openings, and cater for the increased demand for both full day care and after-school services,” explained founder and managing director of Tigers Childcare, Karen Clince.

“We also have ambitious growth targets for London where demand for our unique childcare model has proven very strong, with our first centre to open next month.”

The model used by Tigers Childcare is to exceed statutory requirements for childcare staffing. All staff are fully qualified in early-years care and education with senior staff qualified to degree level. In the UK only 50pc of childcare employees need to be qualified.

Demand for high-quality childcare

DunPort Capital Management will provide funding by way of debt capital to help support the company’s expansion in the greater Dublin and London region where demand for high-quality childcare is very strong.

DunPort is an Irish-owned and managed asset management platform founded in 2017 by Pat Walsh and Ross Morrow, former senior executives of BlueBay Asset Management. It has so far deployed over €500m in debt capital across a wide range of industries in support of growth and acquisition initiatives.  

“We are delighted to be supporting Karen and the talented team in Tigers Childcare as they seek to expand and grow the Tigers business,” said DunPort co-founder and executive director Ross Morrow.

“The sector is of critical importance to the underpinning of the broader economy and Tigers is well placed, as a leading player of scale and quality, to grow its service offering to help address the current level of under-capacity in the sector.”

Pictured: Cormac Tobin, Tigers Childcare chairman with Lilah Mahon and Karen Clince, managing director, Tigers Childcare. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 16 January, 2020