It’s been an incredibly busy year for all of us here at Bright Horizons– we’ve welcomed 13 new Care Advantage clients and have opened 2 brand new nurseries for our clients at Oxford University and UCAS. We’re delighted that so many clients and families have chosen us in 2016, and we look forward to bringing their families all of the benefits of our nurseries, our Care Advantage network and our many other services in 2017.

We’ve grown substantially ourselves in 2016 – in fact this year has seen 90 Asquith nurseries joined the Bright Horizons family, as well as four nurseries based on Canary Wharf. Our presence on Canary Wharf and the surrounding area has never been stronger – and we are very proud indeed to say that we are now the exclusive provider of back-up childcare on the Wharf.

As part of our ongoing mission to support working families, in January we once again worked with charity Working Families to produce our Modern Families Index.The report produced a compelling vision of life for today’s working families, and several key themes emerged – burnout was once again a hot topic, as well as fathers’ treatment in the workplace and the impact of millennials joining the workforce. We’re currently working on the 2017 Modern Families Index report and we look forward to sharing the research with you in the New Year.

Balancing work with caring responsibilities was a recurring theme - according to the Office of National Statistics, the number of working carers has risen to a staggering 6.5 million – that’s 1 in 8 adults. So far carers remain the quiet majority - government legislation and workplace culture means it is childcare responsibilities on the agenda (and rightly so), but caring is slipping under the mat. Our Modern Families Index highlighted that working families are often hesitant to discuss their family responsibilities – using annual leave and sick leave to mask their many roles. In 2017 we’ll be continuing our work with government and charities such as Employers For Carers to keep caring on the agenda and get working carers the recognition and help which they deserve.

In April we were delighted to be recognised again as a Great Place to Work - this is the 11th consecutive year Bright Horizons has been named on the list, which recognises organisations that have a high trust, high engagement workplace culture. We believe that only by being the best employer can we deliver the best services for clients – this year we were delighted to become a founding supporter of Creating Inclusive Cultures an organisation committed to promoting diversity and inclusion.

One of our favourite parts of our jobs involves being on the board of our Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. This year has seen us be able to reach out to support even more families in need– we’ve opened 6 new Bright Spaces in 2016 with a further 12 planned for next year. At a time when life can seem bleak, our Bright Spaces provide vulnerable children with a safe and welcoming place where they can relax and play – and simply enjoy being a child. Our latest Bright Space was opened in September at The Metropolitan Police Station in Camberwell (our 9th Bright Space for the Met Police) who commented:

“The work of the Foundation has truly impacted on the lives of abused children when being interviewed by the Metropolitan Police. The Bright Spaces assist our officers in keeping the children of London safe.”

       The Metropolitan Police Service

We would like to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone who has supported The Foundation this year for their time and sponsorship – we couldn’t do what we do without the amazing contributions from clients, staff and nursery families. If you would like to find out more about our Foundation for Children and how you can be involved in our future projects, please click here

 

Finally - we have so much planned for 2017 – one highlight that we are really looking forward to is our Solutions at Work Live London event on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at the mighty Tower of London.  If you would like to join us to hear from speakers who really are the ‘crown jewels’ of inspiring workforces  discussing their strategies (including how to build a Dream Company and the best ways to market your benefit offerings) we would love to see you there!

Wishing you all a great holiday and a fantastic New Year – see you in 2017!

James Tugendhat, Managing Director, International

Denise Priest, Director of Employer Partnerships