Tigers Childcare will open its first childcare centre in central London later this year as it sets its sights on the UK.
The Irish childcare provider has secured the contract to operate a new 7,000 square foot childcare facility in Elephant Park, a new 3,000-home urban regeneration project in Central London’s Elephant and Castle from leading international property and infrastructure group, Lendlease.
The state-of-the-art childcare facility will cater for over 120 children and was designed using best international precedent to bring a unique environment to the children attending.
The opening heralds ambitious plans for Tigers Childcare as it sets out to build its presence in the UK in the coming years, with an initial focus on London. With 13 centres in Ireland, Tigers Childcare is one of the largest providers of childcare facilities in Ireland.
Speaking of its entry into UK, Managing Director of Tigers Childcare, Karen Clince said: “The ambition is to make the UK a sizeable market for Tigers Childcare with a strong focus on London. Winning this tender from Lendlease helps us gain a foothold and gives us the confidence to bring our successful childcare and education services to families here. We want to provide something different to what’s currently available in the UK market when it comes to quality and family experience.”
Following Tigers Childcare’s successful model in Ireland, senior staff at the centre will be degree qualified with the remainder of the team 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 asks for only 50% of staff to be qualified.
Elephant Park is a major urban regeneration project, providing 3,000 new homes, over 50 shops, restaurants and cafes and Central London’s largest new park in over 70 years. To allow children within the community access to childcare, Tigers Childcare will provide a combination of state-funded and private places.
Speaking of the new centre, Clince says: “We will offer an inclusive childcare setting that will cater for all families within the community regardless of income and set a new standard that doesn’t just meet regulatory standards, but strives for best practice. 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. Working with Dublin-based company Sketch Architects we have designed a space that is completely unique in the market today. ”
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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.
Last August it announced the acquisition of 3 centres from multinational childcare provider, Bright Horizons, bringing to 1100 the number of children under its care and more than doubling staff numbers to 112. Such is the demand for its services that almost all of its centres are operating at full capacity, with waiting lists for the following years.
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Tigers Childcare provides a unique programme of early years, pre-school and after-school childcare services in Ireland. It operates 13 centres across Dublin and Meath, catering for over 1100 children.
The company is owned and managed by Karen Clince who set up Ireland’s first after-school childcare facility in 2003 in Glasnevin. Karen is chair of the Fingal Childcare Committee and acts as an advisor to many Government departments and voluntary bodies on childcare and early years education.
Tigers Childcare’s staff are trained to the highest standards and focused on providing an individualised curriculum and centre-based care that is regularly audited and evaluated against international childcare standards.