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Nursery group founded by a Ukrainian woman in the UK scores £1.2M funding

MEplace Founder
Image credits: MEplace

London-based nursery group, MEplace has recently scored £1.2 million in a seed funding. The investment was led by Active Partners, a consumer-focused investment firm from London. Additional participants in the round include existing angel investors Thomas Schreiber, e-Startup Advisor at Google, and Igor Tikhturov and Oleg Tikhturov, Partners at TrueSight Ventures.

MEplace will use the investment to expand its holistic approach to early years childcare focused on mental and physical health. It will open more sites across the UK capital and strengthen its education offering for parents. In addition to the investment, Tom Profumo, Partner at Active Partners, will join the MEplace board.

Vlada Bell, Founder and CEO of MEplace said: “I became so invested in my search and learning about child development, that I teamed up with experts to help me create this warm, conscious and nurturing environment for kids. I am really proud of what we have achieved so far, but the best is yet to come. We are thrilled to have Active Partners onboard to support us in bringing our unique childcare approach to many more children across London.”

Tom Profumo, Partner at Active Partners added: “More and more parents today are looking for childcare options that are bespoke to their child’s individual development needs and based on cutting-edge thinking in children’s education and care. Vlada is solving this problem with a differentiated and science-led approach and MEplace’s impressive track record to date is testament to the team’s hard work and innovative offering.

Raises happier and healthier children

Despite the advances in science and psychology in recent years, the full importance of the first five years in laying foundations for a healthy and happy life is not widely recognised. Reportedly, less than one in five people understand the unique significance of the 0-5 age group. Childcare has a fundamental role to play in a child’s development, yet finding a nursery that gives attention to both mental and physical health is a real challenge.

Understanding this, in 2020, Vlada Bell (with Ukrainian roots) founded MEplace, a mission-led nursery group raising happier and healthier children through a holistic approach that extends beyond the nursery’s walls. Adhering to the scientific research into paediatric neuroscience, child development psychology, learning sciences, and language development, MEplace has developed a fresh framework for nurturing stronger, more resilient children by focusing on both mental and physical health.

The female-led nursery, which is built on six key pillars, nurtures a concept of self, children take part in daily mindfulness sessions, yoga, park visits, music and play therapy, and eat healthy plant-based food created by a nutritionist. It focuses on children’s psychological development by reinforcing the selection of teachers who typically have degrees in psychology and early years education and in-house teacher training using bespoke MEplace-designed psychology courses.

MEplace opened two sites in Hackney Wick in 2020 and 2022, and is lauded by parents with an NPS +90 and both nurseries oversubscribed. It is in the nascent stages of rolling out a digital offering to help empower parents to shape what the future looks like for their children from a psychological perspective.

The MEplace app includes childcare academy content, podcasts, articles and recommended children’s activities.

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