International owner of 10 Australian ECEC services considering public listing on ASX
Tokyo-based Global Sky Group – owner of 10 early childhood education and care (ECEC) services throughout Australia – has said a move to list on the ASX is a possibility in the next few years, according to The Gold Coast Bulletin. But who is this international corporate that has slipped quietly into the Australian ECEC sector, and what do they stand for?
The Global Sky Group has varied international interests in the fields of education, hospitality, and the renewable energy sectors, and has been operating in the Australian ECEC sector since 2014 under its Global Sky Education division.
The Group’s Australian centres are located in the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Rockhampton – a portfolio that has grown based on both the acquisition and redevelopment of existing centres, and the establishment of new childcare services:
- September 2014: acquired Robina Town Child Care Centre, Gold Coast
- September 2015: acquired Southport Child Care Centre, Gold Coast
- March 2017: acquired Mudgeeraba Early Childhood Centre, Gold Coast
- March: 2017: acquired Nanna’s Childcare Centre, Adelaide
- July 2017: acquired Central Queensland Childcare’s four centres: Cedar Avenue Learning Centre, Taranganba Early Learning Centre, Rockhampton North Early learning Centre, and Mount Archer Early Learning Centre.
- August 2017: opened the Morphett Vale Childcare Centre, Adelaide.
Despite its large number of acquisitions in 2017, Global Sky Group Managing Director Ko Nagata told the Bulletin, “Our company is not a chain kind of childcare group. We are aiming to be a boutique group with the best centres in each area. That is our concept.”
Central to this philosophy is Global Sky’s mandate of retaining existing staff and management within its acquired services to ensure continuity in operations, child and family relationships, and to provide a solid base on which to continue to build centre quality.
The Group also has a strong history of redeveloping the centres it acquires.
Following its acquisition of Mudgeeraba Early Childhood Centre in 2017, Global Sky invested in a full renovation of the 30-year old centre, including all rooms, kitchen and yard, with the installation of new fencing, playground equipment, bike track, sandpit, slides, swings and AstroTurf.
At the time, Mudgeeraba Early Childhood Centre Manager Alisha Young said “The makeover has given the centre a new lease of life after some 30 years of operations. There are now many more stimulating challenges for the children and much more space for them to run, play and make their own choices for the benefit of their learning.
“With our longstanding ties to the community and long-serving staff, there’s a really homely feeling here and it shows how loving our centre can be,” she said.
More recently, the group transformed one of Adelaide’s oldest churches into the new Morphett Vale Childcare Centre. Built in 1856, the church was state heritage listed in 1984, and has been custom-designed to preserve the site’s history and cater for up to 76 children aged six weeks to five years old.
Brenda Abbey, who was Morphett Vale Centre Manager at the time, told Southern Times Messenger that Global Sky “loved the fact that it was part of the community and had serviced the community for all those years – now it would continue to do so in another way”.
While the Mudgeeraba Early Childhood Centre is rated as ‘Exceeding’ the NQS, the Morphett Vale centre is yet to be rated. Global Sky has two other Australian centres rated ‘Exceeding’, five rated ‘Meeting’, and one rated ‘Working Toward’.
“Global Sky is committed to quality childcare, including obtaining the highest possible ratings for our centres under the Australian Government’s National Quality Standard (NQS),” Mr Nagata has previously said.