The company behind the initiative is a newly formed family business consisting of Mike Ballardie, who has 30 years of commercial experience including operating as a Chief Executive of a global sports brand, his wife Penny who also has a business background including significant experience working in education, and daughter Harriet who has a BA in Childcare and ten years of industry experience across childcare.
The company is determined to create a premium experience for parents and children and the premises has been redesigned to increase the space available for each room setting and to improve the access and utilisation of the garden.
The redesign of the premises was undertaken by local builders and has resulted in a state of the art facility including a sleep room with special cots, a milk preparation room, a toddler room, and classrooms with age-appropriate specialist bespoke furniture – all designed and produced by a specialist childcare design and manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes. Each of the 3 room settings incorporate art, reading and structured and messy play areas and the pre-school classroom makes use of a library area and an inter-active learning table.
Mike Ballardie said: “With Harriett’s experience, this industry seemed ideal for our first business venture as a family. We had been looking for the right premises for some time and it was all about finding the right area. These premises are ideally located in a thriving area with great facilities including easy access to Mortlake station for commuting parents and to the river and park both of which are a few minutes’ walk away. “
We are committed to providing a premium experience and have taken great care in selecting the fixtures and fittings that are conducive to learning. The same applies to our staff and we have recruited people who have excellent childcare qualifications combined with the right attitude and who wish to develop and grow with our business.
We understand and value the importance of Nursery education in its own right and not just in preparation for starting school. We strive to ensure that each child is valued through our warm and nurturing environment, an environment in which each child can flourish, develop a lifelong love of learning and reach their full potential. “
The business has ambitious growth plans and intends bringing their unique approach to childcare to ten premises over the next ten years.
Zac Goldsmith MP visited the company to meet the team and formally launch the premises. He said: “It was a pleasure to be there for the opening of this lovely new facility, and to be invited to cut the ribbon. I wish the school well as it becomes ever more embedded in the community.”
Finance for the project was arranged through Barclays and Mike is complimentary about the support provided by their business manager Simon Fussell, he said: “Simon has been brilliant, he has a lot of experience in this sector and when we went to him with the proposition he saw the potential in the proposal and in our business experience.”
Barclays Business manager Simon Fussell said: “The three family members behind this business have significant and complementary skills and experience and it’s great to see how they have breathed new life into this day nursery. I wish them every success and look forward to supporting their ambitious growth plans.”