Tigers Childcare aims to make a difference in UK market

Irish company Tigers Childcare has opened its first childcare centre in south London following a €2m investment.

The new 7,000 square foot facility in Elephant and Castle will cater for over 120 children and provide a combination of state-funded and private places for children aged four months to twelve years. 

Tigers Childcare worked with Dublin company Sketch Architects to design the space and bring a facility that is unique to anything in the market today with sensory rooms, dedicated crawl spaces and sleeping pods.

“We want to provide something different to what’s currently available in the UK market when it comes to quality and family experience”

In May 2018 Tigers Childcare won the contract to operate the facility from international property group Lendlease following a competitive tender process.

With 13 centres in Ireland, catering for 1250 children, Tigers Childcare is one of the largest childcare providers in Ireland.

Tigers Childcare has gone through rapid growth since establishing in 2003. From a small after-school service initially operated by owner and managing director Karen Clince, it has grown to become one of Ireland’s market leaders in childcare.

Last month it secured an investment of €5m from Dunport Capital to help roll out its expansion plans in Ireland and the UK.

London calling

Aerial view of a large building development in London.

The London centre will adopt Tigers Childcare’s successful Irish model, with senior staff degree qualified and the remainder qualified in early years’ care and education to level 3 or above. This exceeds current statutory requirements for childcare staffing in the UK, which currently requires only 50pc of staff to be qualified.

“We want to provide something different to what’s currently available in the UK market when it comes to quality and family experience,” said founder and managing director of Tigers Childcare Karen Clince.

“From the design of the centre to staff qualifications we hope to set a new benchmark for childcare provision in the UK by applying to Elephant Park the same practices, procedures and ethos underpinning our success in Ireland.”

The childcare centre is part of Elephant Park, a £2.5 bbn urban regeneration project between Lendlease and the London Borough of Southwark in south London. Around 3,000 new homes as well as new restaurants, shops and a new park are being delivered at the 28-acre development.

Kristy Lansdown, Project Director of Elephant Park, for Lendlease said: “We are very pleased that Tigers Childcare has opened its doors to the local community, and that we have been able to add them to the strong line-up of businesses moving to Elephant Park.”

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

Published: 3 March, 2020