This week’s #madeinsandwell Monday spotlight is on Sandwell-headquartered nursery chain Kangaroo Pouch. The West Midlands childcare business is set to expand into China after securing a new contract with support from the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Department for International Trade (DIT).
Kangaroo Pouch was founded in 2012 by Anita Patel Sahota after she became a mother herself. The business name was inspired by Anita’s journey after her baby girl arrived prematurely at 29 weeks.
Despite the terrifying experience of seeing her baby fighting for her life and the uncertainty of whether she would ever take her baby home, Anita stayed positive and spent time holding her next to her own body through a special technique called kangaroo care.
Kangaroo care is a method of caring for a baby that emphasises the importance of a parent holding their baby skin to skin, for as long as possible each day. Anita believes that kangaroo care turned a life and death situation around, and her baby not only survived but thrived.
The name Kangaroo Pouch represents the ethos of the business, of providing all-encompassing care for babies and infants. Anita and her team are committed to delivering the highest possible standards of service with a child-centred approach to care and a focus on learning through play.
Kanagaroo Pouch is now the largest chain of day nurseries in the West Midlands, with eight settings in the region. Its second setting, in Tividale, was opened by the Mayor of Sandwell. It also has nurseries in Great Bridge, Charlemont, Willenhall, Walsall, Bloxwich and Brierley Hill, and now in Nanjing in China.
Back in September 2017 chief executive Anita joined a DIT early years mission to China and Hong Kong. During the trade mission she made a range of useful contacts with potential partners for the business and eventually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jiangsu Junyi Education Group, announcing a partnership to open British-style Early Years settings in China.
The business aims to open 15 centres in Jiangsu Province over the next three years. The settings will deliver an integrated curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and Kangaroo Pouch UK will provide extensive support on teacher training and quality control.
In May this year Anita re-visited China for the grand opening of the new settings in Nanjing, a proud moment for Kangaroo Pouch after a long journey.
Congratulations to Kangaroo Pouch, we wish you every success for the future and further settings! To find out how the Department for International Trade could help your Sandwell business visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade/about-our-services.
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