AN investment package totalling £2.5million is set to create 30 new jobs for an East Lancashire childcare technology specialist.

Private funding has enabled Connect Childcare, based near Nelson, to triple the size of its working base.

Their £260,000 new office move, to 9,000 square feet open-plan offices in Lindred Road, on the Lomeshaye industrial estate, is behind ambitious growth plans.

Currently the firm, which provides software solutions for private nurseries and childcare providers, employs 60 but there are hopes to swell their ranks by 50 per cent over the next three years.

Chris Reid, founder and CEO, said: "Our former home was just over 3,000 sq ft and we really were working on top of each other, which wasn't good for staff morale and we couldn't wait to move.

"For us, the important thing was to bring the team together as one and encourage collaborative working, yet in a fun, modern, fit-for-purpose environment.

"There was also a secondary need to attract new talent through our doors and to bring them to Nelson, we knew we need that little something more."

To date the company, which counts Co-operative Childcare among its corporate clients, has more than 3,000 nurseries using their systems but Mr Reid sees untapped potential in the market.

The focus is not only on streamlining administration, within their clients operations, but refining how staff interact with parents.

He added: "To date, our focus has been on the enterprise market, but with 81,000 childcare providers in the UK, there is a wider audience yet untapped.

"We currently have 260,000 parents using our Parent Zone app and with 15,000 more joining every month we are really making a mark in an industry which recognises the value we bring to nurseries, parents and children alike.

“Investment enables us to continue the development of platforms and to retain and attract staff who are fundamental to our growth."

Their performance has not gone unnoticed, with a nomination in the 'Tech for Good' category of the Prolific North Tech Awards 2019.