Nursery owner driven by mum’s death takes first steps toward major growth
A POPULAR nursery has taken its first steps toward significant growth following a post-pandemic surge in numbers.
With more than 30 staff on site at its three North Wales premises and plans to recruit up to 20 more this year, Kiddies Corner is recognised as one of the top childcare providers in the region.
The business currently has up to 150 children registered, aged three months to five years old, and director Tony Gibbons says that figure will increase in 2023 due to a rise in demand.
Launched by his mum Janette in 1999, Kiddies Corner has a strong reputation and Tony is focused on building on the standards she set from the company’s Bryniau Road site in Llandudno for over two decades.
Janette sadly passed away recently, but he is determined to make her proud and has added two new nurseries to the Kiddies Corner portfolio since taking the helm himself – Llewelyn Avenue, Llandudno, and Parc Menai, Bangor.
“Mum was a childminder and later started the business from West Shore with eight children, before growing that number to over 30 children per day” he said.
“She navigated the recession and other obstacles for more than 20 years and worked so hard, she will always be an inspiration to me and all the team here.
“The bar was set very high, and we aim to reach and surpass that benchmark every day – that’s her legacy.”
Tony was working in Australia and living with partner Rachel and their son Oscar when they made the decision to return to Llandudno and support Janette and her business.
He is proud of how far they’ve come and privileged to be a leading light in the childcare sector thanks to their innovative methods.
A user-friendly new app and website, paying staff the Real Living Wage and providing children with meals, nappies and wipes inclusive of the daily cost are uncommon in the industry.
They also have a reduced price on Saturdays, offering parents with flexible working hours the opportunity to lower costs at a challenging time for families across the country.
“All of these factors have led to more and more people getting in touch, which is heartening,” said Tony.
“Our attitude to training is another USP and more than a fifth of the team are apprentices as we are always looking to attract and encourage the next generation of childcare workers.
“It would also be positive to see more men entering the sector and considering this as a career as it’s so rewarding, and perceptions have changed over the years – we are all about taking a fresh approach.”
He added: “We have a strategy in place and are aiming to increase the team to more than 50 over the next 12 months, in tandem with expansion of our overall provision.
“We will do that without losing the quality and integrity we are known for, enabling us to support more and more families across the area.
“Our values are so important, to us and the parents and our community; it’s a special feeling to have that togetherness and we will never take it for granted as we continue to help children learn, develop and grow in the safe, secure and welcoming environment we nurture at Kiddies Corner”.