Kids at a kindergarten in Jiangsu province play a game of "standing spring eggs" with their teacher on Spring Equinox, March 20, 2017. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
A child care business chain based in Britain's West Midlands plans to open 15 centers in Jiangsu province over the next three years.
Kangaroo Pouch Day Nursery signed a memorandum of understanding with Jiangsu Junyi Education Group that will allow it to establish British-style child care centers in Nanjing, the provincial capital.
The collaboration is supported by the United Kingdom's Department for International Trade and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.
Kangaroo Pouch operates five centers in Britain.
We are aiming to open 15 centers in Jiangsu province over the next three years
Anita Patel Sahota, CEO, Kangaroo Pouch
The partnership emerged after Kangaroo Pouch Day Nursery attended the UK government's education trade mission to China last year, which focused on early child care.
Representatives of 10 UK nurseries, nursery chains and training providers traveled to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
The initiative was aimed at helping British preschools to take their brands to China and learn about preschool education in the country.
Anita Patel Sahota, CEO and founder of Kangaroo Pouch, said: "We are aiming to open 15 centers in Jiangsu province over the next three years.
"These settings will be delivering an integrated curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage, and Kangaroo Pouch UK will provide extensive support for teacher-training and quality control."
The company's first center in China is set to open by the end of this year; a second site has also been secured.
"This is the first partnership for Kangaroo Pouch in China," added Patel Sahota. "We also have plans to explore further collaboration in other areas of China."
Zhou Xiaoqi, co-founder of Jiangsu Junyi Education, spoke of the importance of high-quality education to children's development.
China's child care industry was valued at around US$248 billion in 2015.
The market is expected to grow to US$475 billion by 2020.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said China is an important market for the Midlands region of the UK.
"This type of collaboration highlights that - with the right product, an ambitious management team and the right support - relationships between China and the UK can be a real game changer," Crane said.
Earlier this year, one of the UK's largest early education groups, Busy Bees, announced a five-year partnership with Chinese Oriental Cambridge Education Group that will see it open around 30 preschools across China in a deal thought to be worth US$96 million.