Headstart Day and After School Nursery

Headstart Nursery is a family run children’s nursery based in South Ockendon, Essex.


In 2019, we were approached by Sarah Abbott of Headstart Nursery to assist in arranging finance for the acquisition of the children’s nursery based in South Ockendon, Essex.

Sarah’s philosophy was to provide an environment where the children were treated as an individual and had the right support to allow them to grow and develop.

She wanted to purchase the the building they were already occupying, but needed to evidence 2 years of trading history. We initially arranged a 12 month bridging facility in December 2019 to allow Headstart Nursery to establish the required trading period to then refinance onto a long term commercial mortgage product.

Then, in March 2020, Covid-19 struck and many nurseries in the area closed down leaving the parents high and dry in respect of childcare. Sarah and her husband, Paul, realised most of her parents were “key frontline workers” and needed their children to be looked after so they in turn could continue with their valuable work. They understood that money would be tight for parents so rather than follow others and charge a temporary registration fee this was waived saving parents between £50 to £100 each, which enhanced their reputation in the area.

The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 meant that refinancing onto a long term commercial mortgage was incredibly challenging due to the red flags many lenders placed on any business within hospitality and child care settings.

Nick and Luke have been so helpful and despite the current pandemic they managed to sort a mortgage for my company and all completed today.

- Sarah Abbott, Trust Pilot Review - 17 December 2020


We have close relationships with a number of lenders that are willing to see the bigger picture. We worked closely with Sarah and the lender to illustrate the underlying strength of the business despite the recent market challenged.

We overcame this and secured Sarah a long term commercial mortgage on a very competitive interest rate which completed in December 2020, prior to the expiry of the bridging facility, saving her business £2,000 per month.

It has been really tough for all businesses, but Sarah and her team are made of stern stuff and they were able to stay open and provide care for the children despite the conditions caused by COVID-19. As a result, Headstart Nursery’s children numbers have increased significantly and Sarah is now considering opening up another nursery in the area; what a fantastic achievement during these times.


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In these challenging times, it really does highlight the considerable benefit of using a specialist finance broker. With many lenders putting new hurdles up and obstacles to overcome, it is vitally important that SMEs can access high quality independent advice. In Sarah's case, we were able to work closely with the lender to show the underlying strength of the business and highlight that, despite the conditions, there was a real strength behind it. The state of the business is a real credit to the efforts of Sarah and her team.

- Luke Baldwin, Head of Specialist Lending at Niche FS

Commercial Mortgage - Headstart Play Group Painted Hands
Commercial Mortgage - Headstart Play Group Leaves
Commercial Mortgage - Headstart Play Group Playdough
Commercial Mortgage - Headstart Play Group

National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers

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