Tigers Childcare invests €4m in expansion plan

One of Ireland’s largest childcare groups now operates 19 centres in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Cork

Tigers Childcare has invested €4 million in an expansion that sees the group establish a presence in Cork and in Kildare for the first time.

The group, one of the largest childcare providers in the State, now has 19 centres with more than 300 staff catering to more than 2,100 children.

The company closed a deal to acquire Doodlebugs Creche & Montessori in Passage West, Cork, last week, adding to the purchase of ABC Childcare in Douglas in January.

It also invested in two facilities in Kilcock, Co Kildare, previously operated by Happy Steps last year. In addition, it has bought a separate greenfield site in the Kildare commuter town where it hopes to provide a further 209 after-school and full day-care places.


Founder and chief executive Karen Clince, who set up the company in 2003, says further acquisitions and new builds are in the pipeline.

“In the coming months, we will continue to seek suitable acquisition opportunities and operations that align with our vision to deliver the best developmental outcomes for children backed by a strong team,” said Ms Clince, who originally set up the business back in 2003 with a single after-school centre in Glasnevin in Dublin.

The expansion of her group – which also has a presence in London – was facilitated by funding of €10.5 million from the Irish arm of British investment group BGF in November 2021, one of the largest investments made by BGF in Ireland.

“We are delighted to be able to bring Tigers Childcare services to more children and parents across Ireland and remain passionate about delivering exceptional early-years education and school-age childcare to as many families as possible in Ireland,” she said.

“The four recent acquisitions had a similar ethos to Tigers Childcare with a very strong focus on quality and delivering an exceptional service, led by experienced and passionate teams. We’re very much focused on continuing this legacy and building on our long-standing presence in Dublin and Meath.”

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times