Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries celebrates a landmark 2023

2023 was a memorable year for the UK’s market-leading nursery franchise, Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries, as the brand announced the openings of several new nurseries, welcomed more franchisees into the network and celebrated a number of award wins recognising the brand’s success. With plans to not only replicate but surpass this success in 2024, the team is excited to see what the upcoming year has in store.

“Everyone at Monkey Puzzle can be really proud of what we achieved last year,” explains CEO, Richard Blunden. “It is always nice to be recognised for your achievements, but we know there are always ways in which you can improve. We are committed to inspiring excellence in early years education, and we’re excited to continue on our mission in 2024.”

Monkey Puzzle marked 2023 with the introduction of multiple new nursery settings up and down the country. The team also welcomed seven new franchisees to the growing network. Streatham Common, Stoke Newington and Cheam reopened following investment from new franchisees and settings in Seer Green, Timperley and Bishop’s Stortford opening their doors for the first time. Looking to later this year, Monkey Puzzle has announced sites in Wokingham and Northampton.

In what was a standout year for Monkey Puzzle, the collective efforts of their staff, nurseries and franchisees culminated in a series of impressive milestones, securing prestigious awards along the way too. Demonstrating a consistent commitment to workplace excellence, Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries earned the Great Place to Work® Certification for the fourth consecutive year. Furthermore, reflecting their dedication to inclusivity and equality, Monkey Puzzle was recognised as one of the ‘UK’s Best Workplace for Women 2023’, awarded by Great Place to Work®.

The efforts of their nurseries acquired considerable recognition, with five Monkey Puzzle nurseries receiving nominations for the National NMT Nursery Awards. Adding to this, Monkey Puzzle launched its own festival in 2023. The celebration held last summer showcased the brands creativity and community spirit, allowing their practitioners to get together to provide a truly inspirational learning experience.

After a strong year for Monkey Puzzle, the brand is on course to sustain momentum into 2024. With plans to open between five and seven more nursery settings over the year, Monkey Puzzle is also attending the London job show in April and September – connecting with new talent to reinforce the network’s successes of 2023.

Monkey Puzzle’s tried and tested business model, allied to franchisee’s local knowledge, is central to the network’s collective achievements and is pivotal as the team look to the future. Richard Blunden says, “our model has evolved and been finessed over nearly two decades and this framework is at the heart of our growth – the proof is in the pudding. Year on year, our total network revenue has grown by nearly £7 million, a 14% increase, which is incredible, but more importantly, quality of early years education is what drives us. Demand for our services continues to grow, so we plan to meet this need and service more communities by adding 25-30 nurseries by 2028. A key part of our growth is organic, enabling existing owners to become multi-unit franchisees within the same timeframe.”

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