Where it all began…
In 1983, three families all involved in care and education, decided to start their own nursery after they were left frustrated by the lack of quality childcare available for their children. They sold their homes and each put everything they had into starting their very own nursery, a place where their children and others could grow in a happy and safe environment.
In March 1984, the first Busy Bees nursery, ‘The Rocklands,’ was opened in Lichfield, Staffordshire UK.
“We started Busy Bees because we wanted to provide exciting, innovative care for our children, in an environment that presented plentiful opportunities for play, interaction and development, simply because we wanted them to have the best possible start in life.
We created a nursery environment that was safe, with resources nowhere near as sophisticated as those in our nurseries today, but learning opportunities were always plentiful. We recruited staff with passion, enthusiasm and a never ending commitment to the children. Parents were always assured that their child was happy, because their interests were nurtured, and their individuality respected.
We continue to preserve this ideal in all of our nurseries today, by employing dedicated staff who share our vision and who are passionate about shaping a future generation.”
-Marg Randles, Chief Academic Officer and Co-founder
Busy Bees Growth in the UK
Over 30 years on from the opening of the original nursery, Busy Bees has grown to become the largest provider of childcare in the UK.
Through the acquisition of UK chains such as Leapfrog and Just Learning, to the opening of new settings such as the recent nursery in Oxford, Busy Bees now own a total of 238 nurseries in the UK.
Two of the original founders are still very much involved in the running of Busy Bees and the standards of childcare they demanded for their own children back then are still enthusiastically preserved in every Busy Bees nursery.
The needs of the individual child are paramount in all our childcare facilities and through investment in training, resources, environment and learning enhancements, Busy Bees strives to provide outstanding care for every child that attends one of our nurseries
Busy Bees Global
With an ambition to extend quality childcare across the world, Busy Bees looked to partner with a company with similar values. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired Busy Bees Nursery Group in October 2013 with Busy Bees management maintaining a significant majority share in the company.
Busy Bees completed its first international acquisition in South East Asia with the purchase of 48 nurseries and Asia International College in Singapore along with a further 12 nurseries in Malaysia, the number of nurseries has now increased further to 52 in Singapore.
At the time John Woodward stated,
“This opportunity has arisen because of our brand right here in the UK. Our nurseries have always been locally driven and we’ve worked hard to develop a national network of quality childcare. We’re now taking this winning formula on to an international platform.”
Busy Bees are continuing to expand on a global basis, driven by the desire to provide children with high quality childcare. Extending the Busy Bees brand is extending quality childcare to benefit more children around the world, to give them the best possible start in life.