Seasonal celebrations at Julia Durbin Day Nursery

Festivities were well underway at Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Headington as delighted children celebrated an exciting range of calendar events.

Starting with Halloween, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Roosevelt Drive dressed up in their spookiest costumes to take part in the themed activities, which included pumpkin decorating and sensory play, as well as raising a grand total of £180.47 for Cancer Research UK with a creepy cake sale.

From trying on traditional clothing to creating their very own rangoli patterns using rice, there were learning opportunities at every turn for children during Diwali, whilst expert colleagues who celebrate the occasion explored henna with the group and shared their knowledge on why the ‘Festival of Lights’ is important to so many.

Following this, families from Julia Durbin were delighted to round off the series of festivities with Bonfire Night celebrations, where they joined together to enjoy the children’s homemade soup and bread, as well as sparklers in the garden outside.

Julia Durbin Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Aimee Corcoran explained;

“We have had a fantastic time immersing ourselves in all the events that this time of the year has to offer. Our Bonfire Night gathering proved to be a brilliant social opportunity for both the adults and the children and we have also been thrilled to raise money for such a worthy cause with our Halloween fundraiser.”

“We love to mark a range of religious and cultural events throughout the year to give the children a broad understanding of the world, as well as honour the rich diversity in our local community and express our creativity”, she added.

The nursery adopted Cancer Research UK in 2020 for a year-long fundraising drive, which has now been extended until the end of 2021.



Westwood Day Nursery show generosity with Shoebox Appeal

After reaching out to kind-hearted families, children and colleagues from Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry were delighted to make a generous contribution of present-filled shoeboxes to help those in need as part of ‘Operation Christmas Child’.

From dolls and toy cars to school supplies and soap, each shoebox was lovingly packed with gifts and wrapped before being handed in to the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Westwood Business Park, where they will now be delivered around the world to bring festive joy to less fortunate children.

Started in 1990 by a Wrexham businessman, the campaign looks to provide hope to children in the toughest of circumstances, facing poverty, war and famine. Over the past 30 years, more than 178 million children in over 150 countries have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox during the holiday season.  

Westwood Day Nursery Manager, Carly Ward explained;

“We have been blown away by the kindness demonstrated at Westwood as part of this year’s giving back initiative. Everyone has been so generous, with some families donating more than one shoebox, or adding cards, letters and the children’s drawings to make the experience extra special for the recipient.”

“The children have been helping their parents to choose gifts to fill the shoeboxes with and have loved this involvement, as well as learning about where they will be sent to across the globe. Not only has this been a rewarding experience for everyone involved, but sets a brilliant example about the importance of helping others and the true spirit of Christmas”, she added.  



Cedar Park Day Nursery receive a ‘little love’

As part of Waitrose’s nationwide ‘Give a Little Love’ campaign, colleagues from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford were delighted to receive a range of supplies for the children in their care from their local Reading branch in the lead up to Christmas.

From cosy clothes and sleepsuits to sunhats for the warmer months, the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bridge Farm Road is now well-stocked in spare garments thanks to the supermarket, who are supporting the communities in which they serve in a variety of ways and encouraging kindness in the process.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“It was such a lovely surprise to be contacted by our local Waitrose store and considered for this donation. We are very grateful for the clothes, which will be put to great use, and this has inspired us to think of ways that we can give back too.”

Cedar Park receive a little love



Celebrating World Kindness Day at Seabrook Day Nursery

At Seabrook Day Nursery in Luton, children and colleagues were delighted to celebrate ‘World Kindness Day’ with a series of thoughtful gestures and activities.

For pre-schoolers at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Lewsey Road, the festivities inspired conversations on what it meant to be kind and ways of doing this more in everyday life, as well as discussing the ‘golden values’ which are promoted at Seabrook, including being gentle, honest and respectful of each other.

Meanwhile, dedicated teams were thrilled to receive sweet treats such as brownies, pastries and cookies to enjoy during breaks, as well as messages of gratitude to say thank you for their continued hard work and commitment to the children in their care.

Seabrook Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Gemma Bell explained;

“We had a lovely time celebrating World Kindness Day and reminding ourselves of the small steps we can take to help make a positive difference to the lives of others. We are so proud of the thoughtful nature of both our children and colleagues, and love to watch these qualities flourish and grow in nursery.”



Smiles all round at Green Park Day Nursery

There were smiles all round at Green Park Day Nursery in Reading as children of all ages embarked on a project to understand the importance of good oral hygiene.

From exploring the foods that are good and bad for teeth with a ‘Lunch Box Game’ to reading storybooks themed around brushing, there were learning opportunities at every turn for pre-schoolers at the award-winning setting on South Oak Way. 

To help encourage good practices at home, Green Park Quality Lead, Melissa Parisi, created bespoke goody bags for each nursery family, filled with informative resources and guidance, as well as toothpaste, toothbrush and timer to promote brushing.

Latest Government statistics show that nearly a quarter of five year olds in England have tooth decay, which is a serious but largely preventable problem, leading the subject of oral health to be added to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Green Park Day Nursery Quality Lead, Melissa Parisi explained;

“We have had a brilliant time delving into this project and have received some lovely feedback from our nursery parents about the take-home resources. We are committed to giving our children with the best possible start in life, and this includes providing them with information to help make healthy choices for the future.”


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Diwali celebrations at Woodberry Day Nursery

Children from Woodberry Day Nursery in Winchmore Hill were delighted to join millions of people across the world in celebrating the festival of Diwali.

With the help of a knowledgeable nursery parent who celebrates the occasion herself, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Church Hill explored the traditional customs of the Festival of Light, learnt interesting facts about the Hindu culture and tried on a selection of beautiful clothing including saris.  

To further understanding, children showcased their creativity by making their very own rangoli patterns using coloured sand, as well as exploring Diya candle holders, dancing to traditional music and decorating their classroom for the occasion.


Woodberry Day Nursery Quality Manager, Nikol Moravova explained;

“We had a brilliant time celebrating Diwali and it’s always wonderful to have the input of our nursery families to help enrich the learning experiences of the children. We love to mark a range of different religious and cultural events at Woodberry to promote a wider understanding of the world and diversity within our community.”



Food allergies – where to eat out safely

Family meals out can be fraught with worry when you have a child with a serious food allergy or coeliac disease, but all that is set to change thanks to a Childbase nursery parent and her new ‘trip advisor-style’ website.

Reviews of venues which avoid the top 14 allergens in their menus and demonstrate an exceptional approach to protecting their customers are just one aspect of the Allergy Companions website, the brainchild of mother of two, Liljia Polo-Richards.

“My genuine hope is that Allergy Companions can bring the allergy community and food businesses together, so we can all improve the lives of those living with food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease”, she said.

Using her blog post on the website, Mrs. Polo-Richards also aims to further awareness and create a more inclusive environment for adults and children like her four year old son, Francesco, who was diagnosed with a serious nut allergy when he was only 13 months old.

“Francesco is a sweet and caring child, with a heart of gold and many loving people in his life. I do not want him to grow up in a world where he feels different and excluded, simply because he has a food allergy,” she said following a children’s venue party where everyone tucked into cake and treats while her son was given sandwiches and fruit.

“There are options available to people with allergies, so why not change the narrative, and make food safe for everyone, not simply for one person? Nobody wants to sit at the allergy table, so let’s make that dining table a little bit bigger and a little bit more inclusive”, said Mrs. Polo-Richards.

The idea for the website was borne when the family was served a chicken dish covered in hazelnuts at a well-recommended gastropub in Norfolk which had been warned of Francesco’s serious nut allergy at the time of booking and again when ordering from the menu.

“The restaurant still made a huge mistake which, thankfully, we spotted immediately. Not only was the experience distressing for us as parents it also highlighted the potential danger that Francesco could be facing growing up. We wanted to use this negative experience to start a positive adventure that would help so many people,” said Mrs. Polo-Richards.

Francesco isn’t alone with data showing that over 2,000,000 people in the UK are affected by a food allergy and over 650,000 suffer from coeliac disease.

The Allergy Companions website provides a single platform for people to leave reviews about allergy friendly restaurants in cities, towns and villages across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland offering a range of cuisines that cater to different dietary requirements.

“We wish something like this had been around when Francesco was diagnosed because we wouldn’t have felt quite so isolated. It now allows us to suggest good places to meet friends that cater for everyone,” said Mrs Polo-Richards.

Find allergy friendly food venues – Allergy Companions



Vital food bank donation at Greengables Day Nursery

Generous parents and practitioners from Greengables Day Nursery in Owlsmoor have made a donation of 165 essential food and household items to the Crowthorne Food Bank to help local people who need it most in the run up to winter.

Following a record-rise in demand for items at food banks across the country due to the pandemic and rising cost of living, families from the award-winning setting on Yeovil Road kindly made contributions of products such as cereal, pasta, tinned goods and toiletries in efforts to keep the charity well-stocked for the colder months.

Greengables Day Nursery Manager, Lyndsey Burns explained;

“We fully recognise the hardship that so many families are currently facing, which is why we try and make donations to the food bank every few months. Their services provide a crucial lifeline and our support is always gratefully received. We are very thankful to our kind-hearted nursery families for helping to make this possible.”

Latest studies by the Trussell Trust, who operate the Crowthorne Food Bank, found that the network distributed a total of 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021, a 33% increase on the previous year, with 980,000 of these parcels going to children.

The Crowthorne Food Bank opened in 2012 and relies on the generosity of the public. The charity are currently appealing for long-life milk, lunchbox snacks, tinned custard, toiletries and Christmas items such as selection boxes.



Halloween baking at Hampstead Gate Day Nursery

Budding young chefs from Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes were delighted to showcase their baking skills by making themed cookies, just in time for Halloween.

From pumpkins to witches hats, children from the award-winning setting on Eelbrook Avenue conjured up a range of spooktacular designs with the guidance of talented Nursery Chef, Olivia Cherry, who helped the group to stir the mixture and prepare for the oven using rolling pins, before baking, decorating and enjoying as part of their snack.

As part of the festivities, pre-schoolers also enjoyed pumpkin carving and painting, creating Halloween gloop and dressing up in their favourite costumes ahead of trick or treating.


Hampstead Gate Day Nursery Team Leader, Ashleigh Smith explained;

“We love to celebrate a range of events throughout the year at Hampstead Gate, and Halloween provides endless opportunities to show creativity. The cooking activities are also brilliant for encouraging the use of new language, developing fine motor skills and practicing basic maths concepts through weighing and measuring.



Maples Day Nursery Pumpkin Festival raises over £1,000 for charity

Families and colleagues from Maples Day Nursery in Winchester were delighted to attend the first ever Pumpkin Festival at the setting, all whilst raising funds for charity.

After picking their pumpkins from the patch, children from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Hatherley Road were delighted to carve their own designs, before immersing themselves in the other seasonal activities on offer, including beastly biscuit decorating and crafting with pumpkin spiced playdough. 

To extend the festivities, families each received a special Halloween map which led them along a spooky trail, where they received sweets, glow sticks and more, before learning they had raised a grand total of £1,250.00 for Cancer Research UK. 

Maples Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Lou Rowe explained; 

“Our first Pumpkin Festival was a huge success and it was lovely to be able to catch up with our nursery families after so long. The children absolutely loved all the experiences on offer and we have been blown away by the generosity of families. We are now absolutely thrilled to be making this donation to such a worthy cause.”

The initiative is the most recent fundraising activity for Maples, who have also enjoyed dress up days, sponsored step challenges, virtual balloon races and more in their efforts to raise money for CRUK, who last year announced they had been forced to cut research funding by £45 million due to losses from the pandemic.

The nursery adopted Cancer Research UK in 2020 for a year-long fundraising drive, which has now been extended until the end of 2021.


Cedars Day Nursery - Leighton Buzzard

We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.

Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA

Tel:  01525 850200