History & Values

Yvonne Kerr
Business Owner and Nursery Manager at The Playhouse Day Nursery.
Liz Pemberton
Nursery Manager at Edgbaston Park Day Nursery.

“I am only too aware of how difficult it is to find a suitable nursery for a child. It is an important but complex task and as a mother who was unable to get my own child a suitable but affordable nursery place, I solved the problem by opening my own nursery.”

In 1987, I opened The Playhouse Day Nursery in Bearwood which was a 37 place setting at the time. The Playhouse met my own expectations of how I felt a nursery should operate and it was for that reason that I placed my first daughter at the setting. As she left the setting to attend school I thought about a career change from my secretarial background and felt passionate about pursuing my own business dreams and trying something different.

The owner at the time had decided that she too wanted a career change and wanted to sell the business, I saw this as my perfect opportunity to take an exciting risk. With two children under 5 at at the time I wanted to ensure that my second daughter was able to continue to benefit from the high quality care at an affordable cost as well as meeting the needs of the community and the growing number of mothers and fathers who had to return to work. I quickly realised that my ethos abut childcare was shared with the parents who I came to know very well and provided childcare for so with a business plan at the ready and support from my husband I went in head first and bought the business.

Some 25 years on I believe it to be the most successful risk that I've ever taken as the setting has grown from strength to strength, I achieved a BA honours in Early Childhood studies and in 2010 I was granted an extension to provide additional childcare places. The Playhouse Day Nursery now provides 50 places for children aged from 0 to 5.

In 1990 I had my third daughter and juggling a successful day nursery and a family became increasingly challenging but nonetheless rewarding as I felt that I was progressing brilliantly. In 1994 a parent at the nursery had told me that she knew of another nursery in nearby Edgbaston that was up for sale and based on her experience of the Playhouse suggested I make some further enquiries. That year I took the next most successful risk and bought my second day nursery, Edgbaston Park.

A 47 place setting with an extended baby unit and homely feel, Edgbaston Park is set next door to Edgbaston Reservoir and its idyllic state had a picturesque feel. I built the business up alongside an excellent team over the next 10 years and noticed a keen interest shown in the development of the business by my eldest daughter. As she completed her degree at University she approached me about becoming a part of what was now becoming a family business and in 2004, Liz joined as the trainee manager.

She quickly grasped the infrastructure of the nursery and gained her NVQ level 3 in Children's Care, Learning and development. As she poured more and more ideas in to the evolving state of the childcare sector she gained a passion for equality and diversity for children and pursued a Masters degree in 2009 in Early Childhood Studies. Liz gained Qualified Teacher Status and taught Early Childhood Studies and Health and Social Care at a nearby secondary school and sixth Form and lectured at a local college to students interested in pursuing a career within the early years sector. As we look forward we are utilising the diversification of expertise and skill that we harness amongst our team of 25 practitioners across the settings and have recently become a CACHE accredited training centre delivering Early Childhood qualifications across a range of levels.

At our nurseries, the happiness of the child is of paramount importance to our practitioners. Our nurseries are a friendly and homely place where any parent can feel confident that their child will be safe and well cared for.
We continue to work in strong partnership to drive standards up within the early years and have overcome countless obstacles facing the sector and the business. With a brilliant team and amazing children and families contributing to our success we envision providing excellent childcare for many more years to come.

Mrs Yvonne Kerr - Business Owner and General Manager