Edinburgh childcare: Kidzcare nursery and after-school business transferred to employees

OWNERSHIP of an Edinburgh childcare company, which operates four nurseries, four breakfast clubs and six after-school clubs, has been handed over to the business’s 150 staff by co-founder Anne-Marie Dunn.

All of the shares of Kidzcare have now placed into an employee ownership trust by owner Ms Dunn, who co-founded the business in 2001.

The business has an annual turnover of around £3 million and provides childcare for more than 500 children a day around the city.

Ms Dunn said: “I’m delighted to be able to reward these dedicated and loyal employees by gifting them a share of this brilliant business. The staff at Kidzcare have supported me throughout this journey and I couldn’t reconcile myself to the idea of passing it on to anyone else.

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“As I looked to withdraw from the business, I wanted to find an option that rewarded and empowered the staff into the future. As soon as I heard about employee ownership, I was instantly convinced that this was the vehicle to make it happen.”

Mr Dunn said Kidzcare’s current human resources manager, Julie MacKenzie, who had been with the business for more than eight years, would take “more of a managing director role as I gradually step back in the next few months”.

She added: “We have planned for a seamless transition so the business can smoothly enter its next chapter, and crucially, we are in control of how that happens best for all stakeholders.”

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Carole Leslie, of adviser Ownership Associates, said: “It has been a great experience assisting Kidzcare to make the move to employee ownership. It was clear that this was the obvious option for the company and I’m certain the firm will fast see the benefits of this model of ownership.

“It has provided an exit plan for Anne-Marie, potentially life-changing differences to her staff, and most importantly ensured that the quality of care for children remained at the heart of the business. This is a shining example of the business model benefiting everyone involved in the company.”

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