One of the largest networks of nurseries in the UK, the Old Station Nursery group, is delighted to announce the purchase of York’s award-winning nursery group, Little Green Rascals Organic Day Nurseries Ltd.
Little Green Rascals was founded in 2009 by mother-of-three and entrepreneur Vanessa Warn, they were York’s first organic and eco-conscious children’s day nursery and have built up a portfolio of nursery sites and an after-school club in the city and surrounding area.
The group caters for more than a 1300 families across its seven locations, looking after 550 children a day. These include Tadcaster Road, Elvington Lane, Bishopthorpe, Flaxton, Haxby, Minster Yard and Poppleton, six of which have been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Old Station Nursery’s CEO, Sarah Steel said: “We are committed to building upon the amazing, unique ethos that Little Green Rascals has established in being eco-friendly, with an emphasis on gentle childcare and children’s development through being in touch with nature across its sites in York.
Our aim is to ensure that every child in our care receives the highest quality of support and education possible, while fostering a love of learning and respect for the environment. We are delighted that parents, children and staff at Little Green Rascals are joining our family and we look forward to meeting everyone in the coming months.”
Former owner of Little Green Rascals, Vanessa Warn, commented: “My family and I have absolutely loved every minute of our Little Green Rascals journey but feel the time is right to integrate “LGR” into a larger group of nurseries as it enters the next chapter of its journey. I know in my heart that Old Station Nurseries are the perfect fit and will nurture the team and our families. I am immensely proud of what we’ve created and how absolutely fantastic my staff team are. I’ll miss them, all our Rascals and their families very much but leave confident that the legacy will continue to be Outstanding.”
The purchase means that The Old Station Nursery group now cares for more than 5,000 children daily across 78 nurseries. The group has expanded rapidly since it became part of La Maison Bleue, the leading childcare provider in Switzerland and the third largest provider in both France and Luxembourg, since 2019.
The shareholders of Little Green Rascals were advised by Squire Patton Boggs and Sentio Partners. Squire Patton Boggs, team led by Louisa Hine including Sarah Hardman and Chris Grayson, with corporate finance advice provided by Sentio Partners’ John O’Gara, Brooke Fenton and Dave Irwin.
John O’Gara, Director at Sentio Partners said: “It was a real pleasure advising Ben and Vanessa on the sale of Little Green Rascals. Their passion and commitment to providing outstanding childcare spans every aspect of the business and the strength of LGR’s cultures and values really shone through from the very first conversation. In Old Station Nursery they have found a great home for the business and a team that will continue to nurture the unique ethos and incredible staff that underpin Little Green Rascals reputation as a truly outstanding childcare provider”
Little Green Rascals not only educates and cares for the children in the traditional sense but ensures that it cares for children and their environment in a broader and more ethical way.
Little Green Rascals opened its first nursery in Elvington in 2009 and was the first nursery in the North of England to receive a Gold Award from the Soil Association alongside many more industry awards. It now looks after more than 500 children a day from over 1300 families. They have a thriving Forest School which sees children outside all day, cooking on fires and exploring the outdoors.
The idea was born from Vanessa’s want to create a gentle approach to childcare which not only had a home from home feel but was also able to provide all things natural and organic. It’s a business with a social and environmental conscience which pushes the boundaries of what is considered the norm.