Windmill Hill Day Nursery families enjoy menu taster evening

Windmill Hill menu taster evening

Families from Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon were delighted to have their say at a special taste tester evening, ahead of the launch of the setting’s newest seasonal menu.

A regular feature throughout the year at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Windmill Hill Business Park, the evening presented the opportunity for parents to try the new recipes that their children will be enjoying, as well as the chance to give their feedback and meet Nursery Chef, Paul, to ask any questions about ingredients, allergens and more.

As part of the session, parents were able to take home copies of any recipes they wanted to try and re-create at home, as well as get expert advice regarding any difficulties they may be facing with their children’s eating and tips for promoting healthier alternatives in meals.

Windmill Hill boasts two meat-free days per week, with the new menu featuring winter warmers such as a vegetable and red lentil dhansak served with rice and naan bread, as well as ‘Food for Life’ accreditation from the Soil Association, which acknowledges the use of organic ingredients, including children’s homegrown produce and salt and sugar-free food.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Kayleigh Blaylock explained;

“We are hugely proud of the food we produce in nursery so are pleased to share this process with our nursery families as a feature of our parent partnership. We are passionate about sourcing and serving balanced meals which also benefit the environment, and love playing our part in helping the children make positive and informed choices for the future.”



Westwood Day Nursery children receive Road Safety Week visit

Road Safety Week at Westwood Day Nursery

Children from Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry were delighted to welcome a special visitor to the setting as they took part in a range of activities to mark Road Safety Week.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Westwood Business Park, pre-schoolers greeted a local lollipop lady, who spoke to the children about her important role within the community, as well as the reason for wearing reflective clothing to be safe and seen.

As part of the learning experience, children were thrilled to try on the florescent jacket whilst taking it in turns to help each other ‘cross the road’ using the lollipop stick, putting into practice the ‘stop, look and listen’ technique and discussing top tips for staying alert.

Back inside, children showcased their creativity by making their very own lollipop sticks, helping to promote recognition of safety signs and the colours associated, before proudly patrolling with them in the garden outside as part of role play activities.

Westwood Day Nursery Manager, Carly Ward explained;

“We are incredibly grateful to our lollipop lady for taking time out of her busy day to talk to our children about road safety. This was a brilliant way to round off the awareness week and has given the group a much greater understanding of the highway code.”



Road Safety Week at Cedar Park Day Nursery

Children from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford learnt valuable lessons as they marked the annual ‘Road Safety Week’ with a series of activities and initiatives at the setting.

Taking to the car park in their high-vis clothing, pre-schoolers from the award-winning setting on Bridge Farm Road learnt how to stay safe and be seen around cars, as well as practicing crossing the road whilst holding hands, discussing the importance of staying close to parents, using designated crossings and following the ‘stop, look and listen’ guidance.

As well as being immersed in practical activities to help reinforce learning, including traffic light themed crafting, children were given resources to take home to further knowledge.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“The safety of our children is of paramount importance, and we believe it’s vital to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed for staying safe both inside the nursery, and out of it. The group really enjoyed taking part in these age-appropriate activities and sharing their learning with their parents and siblings back at home.”

Road Safety Week took place between 14th – 20th November 2022.

Road Safety Week at Cedar Park



Childbase Partnership mark World Prematurity Day

Childbase mark World Prematurity Day

As their year-long fundraising drive for Bliss, the leading charity for babies born premature or sick draws to an end, colleagues across Childbase Partnership marked World Prematurity Day with a series of important awareness initiatives to support the worthy cause.

Throughout November, teams across the 43 nursery settings and Head Office have taken inspiration from the Bliss ‘Little Lights Walk’, completing walks around their individual nursery gardens and grounds with the children, armed with candles, lanterns or torches to ‘light the way’ for the 100,000 babies that are cared for in neonatal units every year in the UK.

As a result of the year of fundraising, Childbase Partnership have so far raised over £120,000 and counting for Bliss, with fundraising activities including a company-wide sleep out under the stars, team Snowdon climbs, marathons, sponsored silences, bake sales, charity auctions, dress up days and more, with a series of Christmas fundraisers still to go. 

The money raised by Childbase Partnership families and colleagues will now go towards funding life-changing research and ensuring all babies in neonatal care have the best chance of survival, as well as supporting families and healthcare professionals.

The cause is close to the hearts of many across Childbase, including nursery parent Hannah Copeland, whose son Jacob attends Nature Trails Day Nursery in Rugby and was born prematurely at just 25 weeks, weighing only 885g. Having never heard of Bliss before Jacob’s birth, the charity became instrumental in the family’s journey.

Hannah explained;

“Before you experience NICU as a parent or carer it’s a completely unknown world, and you face it at the most overwhelming, emotional and stressful time of your life, hope and terror are mingled together. Having Bliss there to help prepare and explain was so helpful and made a huge difference to our understanding and experience.”

Whilst in hospital, Bliss was the family’s go-to trusted resource for information on conditions, treatment options and machinery, as well as being the steering group that supported family-centred care within the NICU, campaigning for tiny clothes to fit premature babies and funding research to reduce their pain as they are unable to demonstrate or communicate this.

“Jacob is doing really well now, he has the most incredible imagination; constantly telling stories, making up songs and re-enacting his favourite books, he loves the outdoors and generally can be found with a stick in his hand. Back inside he loves helping in the kitchen and is a keen baker. He has been going to Nature Trails Day Nursery since he was 12 months, actual 9 months corrected, their care and support has been amazing”, she added.

Fran Baldwin of Childbase Partnership’s Charity Department said;

“World Prematurity Day provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of premature birth and the sometimes devastating impact it can have on families. We are so proud of our incredible nursery colleagues who work tirelessly to plan and execute these fundraising initiatives, as well as our wonderfully generous nursery families who are unfailing with their support for this amazing charity. We are hugely proud to be supporting Bliss this year, and these donations will ensure more families get the care and compassion they deserve.”

World Prematurity Day took place on Thursday 17th November 2022.

Read Hannah and her son Jacob's full story here:



Cedars Day Nursery children receive correspondence from the King

Cedars children receive correspondence from the King

Children from Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard were delighted to receive a card from the King, having sent him a letter of condolence following the Queen’s passing.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Mentmore Road, children of all ages created artwork to include in their letter, depicting the Jubilee celebrations which had been enjoyed across the setting in June, including crown making and a ‘Very Royal Tea Party’.

The reply, which was postmarked Buckingham Palace and included a photograph of the King as a child, alongside the late Queen, read;

“It was so very kind of you to send me such a wonderfully generous message following the death of my beloved mother. Your most thoughtful words are enormously comforting, and I cannot tell you how deeply they are appreciated at this time of immense sorrow.”

Cedars Day Nursery Team Leader, Amy Lawman explained;

“We were all deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty and we wanted to mark this pivotal moment in history to create important learning experiences for the children. After researching key moments from the Queen’s 70-year reign and the visible changes we will see going forward, we were thrilled to receive such a special reply from the King.”



Knowle Green Day Nursery children mark Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day at Knowle Green Day Nursery

Creating their very own poppy themed artwork and observing the national two minute silence were just some of the ways that children from Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines marked Remembrance Day and honoured those who had lost their lives during conflict.

Taking part in the activities on Armistice Day, which commemorates the ending of World War One at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, children of all ages across the award-winning day nursery on Knowle Green paid their respects, showcased their creativity, delved into history and learnt about why the occasion is important to so many families.

As part of the learning experience, children looked at themed poems and learnt why the poppy is symbolic with remembrance, having flourished in the fields after the war.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Quality Manager, Hayley Blissett explained;

“We believe it’s important to celebrate a wide range of occasions throughout the year, including Remembrance Day as it makes up such a big part of our history. The children have really enjoyed taking part in the activities, which help to promote a wider understanding of the world and honour the memory of those whose who have passed.”



Cedar Park Day Nursery children unveil charity art gallery

Cedar Park Day Nursery unveil charity art gallery

Children from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford were delighted to demonstrate their creativity by opening the doors to their very own art gallery, all in aid of charity.

At the award-winning setting on Bridge Farm Road, children within each age-appropriate room decorated their own autumn themed canvases, which were then proudly displayed in the gallery for parents to view or buy for a donation to Bliss, the charity for babies born premature or sick, who the nursery have adopted for a year-long fundraising drive.

As part of the creative design process, children were able to take inspiration from their surroundings in the two and a half acres of garden and woodland that make up the setting’s forest school, where children take part in exciting activities and learning opportunities including den building and animal observations, as well as collecting autumnal resources.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“The children were so proud to showcase their artwork and our nursery families loved coming to see the masterpieces on display. We are always trying to find new and creative ways to raise money for the worthy causes we support and are delighted to be making this donation to Bliss ahead of World Prematurity Day on Thursday.”

Other fundraising initiatives have included a night ‘sleeping rough’ under the stars, a climb up Scafell Pike, silent auctions, bake sales and more for the charity.  



Julia Durbin Day Nursery named as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for third time

Julia Durbin Ofsted Outstanding

There was cause for celebration at Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Headington as proud parents and practitioners learnt that the setting had achieved Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ status for the third time running, following an inspection in October.

A result achieved by only 16 percent of English Early Years providers, the Ofsted inspectors praised the “skilled and knowledgeable” team at the setting on Roosevelt Drive for providing children with “exceptional care and learning experiences”, resulting in an environment where children make “excellent progress and enjoy sharing their achievements.”

In the report, inspectors credited the “wide range of interesting, hands-on learning experiences, which build on children’s natural curiosity as learners”, adding that “they build positive and lasting friendships with their peers as they progress through the nursery. They enjoy sharing resources and taking turns” and demonstrate this in their play.

The nursery’s school readiness programme was also admired, with inspectors noting that “the manager and staff build extremely close relationships with other settings and professionals”, sharing extensive information before the children move up to school and proceeding to check in at half term to ensure they are settling and progressing well.

Ofsted inspectors Lisa Robinson and Kelly Southern observed;

“All children are incredibly happy and settled at the nursery. Children build strong bonds with the staff and excellent relationships with their peers. They thrive in a happy, safe and nurturing environment. Staff are caring and nurturing towards the children. Children behave exceptionally well and develop positive attitudes to learning.”

Julia Durbin Day Nursery Manager, Emma Wallbridge, who was credited in the report for making her staff feel “valued and appreciated”, said;

“We are absolutely delighted to have received this outcome from Ofsted once again. The talent, skill and dedication of the team is matched by the incredible support of our nursery parents, which helps to create the best possible experience for the children. We are so passionate about what we do and are thrilled to have this recognised.”



Music masterclass at Windmill Hill Day Nursery

Following an interest in music and making sounds, children from Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon were delighted to welcome a talented drummer to the setting for a masterclass.

The musician, who is the parent of a Nursery Practitioner at the award-winning setting on Windmill Hill Business Park, introduced the group to a variety of different drums, from a cajon drum that the children could sit on, to an electric drumkit to create an array of beats.

As part of the learning experience, the drummer shared his musical knowledge with the children and gave a special performance on his very own drumkit as the group danced along, before having the opportunity to explore the exciting instruments for themselves.

Having been inspired by the music session, children were then able to showcase their creativity by making their own musical instruments using a selection of recycled materials.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Manager, Lora Worthington explained;

“We love to follow the children’s interests in nursery to ensure they get the very most from their time with us. We are hugely grateful to our brilliant visitor for giving up his time to help deliver such an engaging session, which has had a real lasting impression. Playing musical instruments has a host of benefits, including aiding motor skills and concentration.”

Music masterclass at Windmill Hill Day Nursery



Cedar Park Day Nursery make donation to help local children

Cedar Park Day Nursery make First Days donation

Parents and colleagues from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford have made a generous donation of items to local charity ‘First Days’ in Wokingham to help families in need.

Toys, clothing, nappies, highchairs and books were just some of the essentials delivered to the charity by Nursery Practitioner, Amelia George-Ellis, following an appeal to families at the award-winning setting on Bridge Farm Road, which will now be distributed within the community to help ease the burden on those facing financial hardship in the run up to winter.

As a result of the cost of living crisis and the long term effects of the pandemic, the charity has seen a huge increase in demand for their services and are urgently requesting items including single prams, warm blankets and winter hats, coats, scarves and gloves.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“Our nursery parents are always incredible at getting behind the worthy causes we support and are so generous with their contributions. First Days were blown away with the items we delivered to them, and we are proud to be helping in this way. These acts of kindness also set an amazing example to the children about the importance of helping others.”

Cedar Park have also adopted Bliss, the leading charity for babies born premature or sick, for a year-long fundraising drive. Challenges have included a night ‘sleeping rough’ under the stars, a climb up Scafell Pike, silent auctions, bake sales and more for the motive.


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