11/2/2021 | Childcare & Education

Family First Nursery Group buys 10-setting West Midlands portfolio

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has announced the sale of Footsteps Day Nurseries – a group of 10 independent nurseries – to Family First Nursery Group.

Established in 2002 by Gavin Harvey, Footsteps Day Nurseries is a renowned group of 10 high-profile independent children’s day nurseries located across the West Midlands. With a combined effective operating capacity for circa 888 children and the potential to expand further at certain sites, the group boasts a growing annual income of over £9 million and is widely regarded as one of the area’s leading childcare providers.
The business has now been purchased by Family First Nursery Group in one of the biggest independent nursery groups deals to be transacted over recent years.
Founder and Managing Director of Footsteps Day Nurseries, Gavin Harvey, comments, “We’d taken the business as far as we could and knew that to grow it further would require substantial investment. So, we were delighted to choose Family First to take our organisation to the next level in our company’s evolution. I would like to thank the Footsteps family of employees, children, and parents for their incredible support in ensuring that Footsteps has always remained ‘One Step Ahead in Childcare’.
“Family First ticked all the boxes for us as we wanted to find a buyer that shared our own ethos of providing high-quality childcare, one where the team already have a long track record in our industry and one which is willing to invest in our team and our business.”
CEO of Family First Nursery Group, Ollie Humphries, comments, “We’re extremely delighted to welcome Footsteps to the Family First fold and will be retaining its excellent branding and profile in its local areas.
“We have developed an incredibly strong culture at Family First, one where we empower the Managers to make important decisions about the future of their nurseries, with plenty of back-up and support, along with training and development, and we’re looking forward to learning about all the excellent things they do, which can be shared with other nurseries across the Family First group.”
Nick Brown, Director and Head of Brokerage at Christie & Co, comments, “I am delighted to have helped Gavin sell the Footsteps group to Family First Nurseries and I wish him all the best with his future plans. Having known Gavin for over 20 years now and helped him grow his portfolio with a number of high-quality acquisitions, he has also been a great sounding board for me over the years, sharing his knowledge around the industry and Ofsted from an operator perspective at the rock face. Thanks, also, to Julie Hughes and her team from Cripps Pemberton Greenish for their help in completing this transaction.

“Due to the demand for high-quality childcare settings across the Midlands, there has recently been a number of landmark deals achieved, from impressive single settings through to multi-site groups. As buyers are looking for better value options to London and the SE, the Midlands is an ideal location to achieve this.”

Footsteps Day Nurseries was sold for an undisclosed price.

For further information on this press release, contact:
Phoebe Burrows, Corporate Communications Executive
P: 020 7448 8849 or E: phoebe.burrows@christie.com

Contact the agent:
Nick Brown, Regional Director and Head of Brokerage – Childcare & Education
P: 07764 241 316 or E: nick.brown@christie.com