Tigers Childcare opens new creche in south London

Karen Clince expands group into England with centre to cater for more than 120 children

Tigers Childcare managing director Karen Clince with chairman Cormac Tobin and Lilah Mahon. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Irish businesswoman Karen Clince has expanded her creche group into England with the opening of its first childcare centre in south London.

The new Tigers Childcare centre in London's Elephant & Castle, which opens on Monday, will cater for more than 120 children on the back of a €2 million investment by the group. It will provide places for children from the age of four months to 12 years. Some will be state-funded while others will pay privately.

Tigers Childcare won the contract to operate the facility from international property group Lendlease in May 2018 following a competitive tender process. It worked with Dublin company Sketch Architects to design the 7,00 sq ft space, which features sensory rooms, dedicated crawl spaces and sleeping pods.

Ms Clince already operates 13 childcare centres in Ireland, employing more than 160 people and catering for 1,250 children, making Tigers Childcare one of the largest childcare providers in the State.


“We want to provide something different to what’s currently available in the UK market when it comes to quality and family experience,” Ms Clince said. “From the design of the centre to staff qualifications, we hope to set a new benchmark for childcare provision in the UK by applying to Elephant Park the same practices, procedures and ethos underpinning our success in Ireland.”

The childcare centre is part of Elephant Park, a £2.5 billion urban regeneration project between Lendlease and the London Borough of Southwark in south London. About 3,000 new homes as well as new restaurants, shops and a new park are being delivered at the 28-acre development.

Tigers Childcare secured an investment of €5 million from Dunport Capital to help roll out its expansion plans in Ireland and the UK. Other backers are understood to include Dan and Linda Kiely, the founders of call centre group Voxpro, and Louise Phelan, formerly vice-president of PayPal's global operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times