The Early Learning Centre dates its origins to 1974 when it was established as a mail-order business offering toys and books with educational content. The first ELC retail store opened in Reading later the same year and continued its High Street expansion particularly under the ownership of John Menzies plc who purchased the firm in 1985. Mothercare PLC, took ownership of the company in 2007 and the brand is currently available in approximately 150 UK stores and 360 franchise stores abroad.
Their mission statement is, ‘to do all we can to help parents help children grow into happy, self-confident people.’ As such their toys are designed to enable toddler to discover a variety of textures, colours and sounds to stimulate their educational development. Baby Brands Direct is responsible for supply to independent retailers of these baby toys. Intended to incorporate traditional play value they are also recognised for using techniques such as ultra-sonic welding and virgin plastics to ensure the products withstand rough use by eager hands.