Childcare franchise expands to UK
An after-hours childcare business, Sherpa Kids, has extended its reach to the UK with the first British franchise opening early this year.
London-based investor John Geers flew to Adelaide to finalise arrangements of the UK master franchise that will enable him to introduce Sherpa Kids to 17,000 primary schools across Britain.
Geers said "The UK Government's Extended Schools Agenda requires all primaryschools to have before and after school services for children. Some schools already have a before and after school service of sorts, but nothing that matches the standard of professionalism offered by Sherpa Kids, which provides a whole new level of service for working parents and their children."
The Australian-based business was launched last year by Vicki Prout, four time winner of the Franchise Council of Australia's SA Franchise Woman of the Year.
The business originally started as sKids (Safe Kids in Daily Supervision) in New Zealand and Prout brought the concept to Australia. Now in an alliance with the New Zealand business partners, Prout is looking to develop the rebranded system beyond the existing Australian franchises.
"In less than 12 months we've already attracted six franchises in four Australian states and expect to double that figure this year as demand builds," Prout said.
"We also have firm goals to expand the business internationally so to already confirm a major franchise deal in the UK is a huge milestone and certainly very exciting for the entire Sherpa Kids organisation.
"Ultimately our aim is to introduce Sherpa Kids into eight countries over the next five years with Asian and European markets firmly on our radar."
There are now 10 Australian franchisees with 10 more planned for 2013 and a five year goal 100 franchisees across the country.