Tigers Childcare Expands

23rd September 2021

Posted In: FYI

One of Ireland’s largest childcare operators is on a renewed drive to expand its presence in Ireland and the UK and bring more children under its care. This week Tigers Childcare completed the acquisition of Little Fairies Creche and Montessori – a childcare provider based in Tallaght, Dublin catering for 90 children and employing 13 staff.  The acquisition grows Tigers Childcare to 14 centres – 13 in the greater Dublin area and one in London, accommodating 2000 children and employing 215 people in total.

The company said it is on an ambitious growth path, with further company acquisitions and greenfield sites in the pipeline.

“We are doubling down on our growth both in Ireland and the UK, with the aim of bringing the Tigers model of care to even more children,” said Karen Clince, founder and chief executive of Tigers Childcare. “In the coming months we are looking to acquire more operators that align with our mission to deliver the highest quality service and best developmental outcomes for children backed by a strong team. “Little Fairies operated a similar service to Tigers Childcare with a great team delivering an exceptional service.”

Tigers Childcare’s first wave of growth in 2017 saw it acquire three centres from multinational childcare provider, Bright Horizons, and expand its reach into South Dublin. In March 2020 it expanded into the UK and opened a 7,000 sq ft facility in Elephant Park in Elephant and Castle, London. Karen said that some of the challenges brought on by Covid are causing smaller providers to ask if it is worth their while continuing in business.

“The restrictions that applied to running childcare centres during the pandemic, as well as the continued professionalisation of the sector, have put added pressures on smaller operators – with many looking to exit. Staff recruitment and retention has become a major issue for the vast majority,” said Karen. “Once a centre is a good fit for us, we step in and continue their legacy. We remain passionate about treating our colleagues well and ensuring the highest quality care for all of our children.”

In January 2020 Tigers Childcare secured a €5 million capital injection from DunPort Capital by way of debt capital to help support the company’s expansion in Ireland and the UK. It is in the final stages of its latest funding round, which is due to be announced in the coming weeks. Starting with one after-school centre in Glasnevin in 2003, Tigers Childcare has gradually expanded to become one of Ireland’s leading providers of childcare and early years education. As well as on-site pre-school and after-school childcare services it also provides full-day care services at purpose built early years centres.

Karen is the sole owner of Tigers Childcare and also chairs the Fingal Childcare Committee and acts as an advisor to many Government departments and voluntary bodies on childcare and early years education.