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Grasshoppers Day Nursery children spread the love on Valentine's Day

Grasshoppers Valentines

Love was in the air at Grasshoppers Day Nursery in Aylesbury as children showcased their creativity by making special Valentines crafts for the residents of their local care home.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Wendover Road, pre-schoolers used their handprints to create a giant heart for the communal area at Byron House Care Home, as well as love themed cards and pictures for the residents, much to their delight.

As thanks for their kindness, Byron House sent photographs of the residents enjoying the crafts to show the children, as well as thoughtful gifts of chocolates, roses and a card.

Grasshoppers Day Nursery Team Leader, Holly White explained;

“The children had a brilliant time making the crafts for the lovely residents of Byron House and we were so thrilled with the response we had. We are always keen to spread joy in the community and want to engage in more projects this year which encourage citizenship. We believe the children can learn a lot from older members of the community, and vice versa.”

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Sharing ‘the love’ with those in food poverty

Childbase Trussell Trust

Colleagues and children in 44-day nurseries have been ‘sharing the love’ with fund-raising and produce collections for Food Banks and activities in nursery promoting respect, friendship and affection.

The sale of single red roses and sweet treats in aid of the company’s Charity of the Year 2023 – the Trussell Trust – were side shows to the children-crafted cards and ‘love token’ gifts for parents as part of Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Every year Childbase Partnership employee owners company-wide commit to ‘making a difference’ to one charity in a year-long, focused fund-raising and awareness drive in all settings including Head Office.

The Trussell Trust which supports a network of over 1,300 Food Banks in the UK, and campaigns to end food poverty, is the Charity of the Year 2023.

Given the current cost of living crisis, the focus in this year’s drive is on ‘doing what you can’ whether it is adding an extra item to a grocery shop –  which can be deposited in collection bins located in nursery receptions – or volunteering at a Food Bank in addition to the range of bake sales and sponsored challenges adopted by colleagues.

The Trussell Trust – Stop UK Hunger

Charity and Corporate Social Responsibility – childbase (childbasepartnership.com)

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Woodberry Day Nursery post special delivery on ‘Send a Card to a Friend Day’

There was excitement at Woodberry Day Nursery in Winchmore Hill as delighted pre-schoolers made a special overseas delivery on ‘Send a Card to a Friend Day’.

After bidding farewell to one of their classmates who moved to France months previously, children from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Church Hill were thrilled to write an array of letters and messages with the help of their practitioners and phonics cards, which have now been posted to him in Europe, complete with their questions and picture drawings.

As part of the learning experience, children showcased their creativity by making their very own post box using recycled materials and decorative red paint, which they used to post their letters, before delivering them to the nearby train station post box the next day.

Woodberry Day Nursery Quality Manager, Nikol Moravova explained;

“Send a Card to a Friend Day presented the perfect opportunity to write to our friend in France and update him on everything we’ve been doing lately. This also allowed us to practice school readiness skills such as holding a pen and writing names. The children are now hoping to receive a reply so they can hear all about the adventures abroad.”

Woodberry Send a Card Day

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Author visits Julia Durbin Day Nursery on National Storytelling Week

Julia Durbin Author Visit

Pre-schoolers from Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Headington were delighted to welcome a local children’s author to the setting as part of celebrations for National Storytelling Week.

 At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Roosevelt Drive, children were visited by Teresa Heapy, talented author of the ‘Very Little’ fairy tale series, who delivered a special storytelling session to the captivated group, complete with puppet friends and a sing-along.

As part of the learning experience, Teresa spoke to pre-schoolers about the different versions of fairy tales and her own process for writing stories, before answering any questions from the group on her journey to becoming a published author.

During the visit, children showcased their creativity by making their very own storybook characters using half face drawings by Teresa which they were challenged to complete.

Julia Durbin Day Nursery Manager, Emma Wallbridge explained;

“The children loved this inspiring session with Teresa and we believe we might have some Julia Durbin authors and illustrators of our very own in the future. Storytelling is an amazing way of bringing people together, and is great for inspiring, entertaining and capturing imaginations. We love having visitors come in and this was very special for all involved.”

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Getting close to nature at Hampstead Gate Day Nursery

Having been inspired by the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, children from Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes were delighted to create their very own bird feeders.

After spotting an array of different species in the garden, pre-schoolers from the setting on Eelbrook Avenue showcased their creativity by crafting the bird feeders using recycled materials and seeds, mixing and moulding, before proudly hanging them in their outdoor spaces to encourage more wildlife into the environment for all to observe and enjoy.

As part of the learning experience, children discussed different types of birds and what they eat in the wild, as well as discussing the ingredients used to create the bird feeders.

At Hampstead Gate, children take part in sustainable activities all year round, from planting and growing vegetables to crafting with natural materials, leading them to earn a prestigious ‘Green Flag’, the highest accolade in the international Eco-Schools programme, which is awarded for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation practices.

Hampstead Gate Day Nursery Eco-Representative, Rachael Wright explained;

“The children were hugely excited to take part in the bird feeder making activity and this provided so many valuable learning opportunities. We are now hoping to extend our activities around this topic and welcome some rarer breeds into the garden.”

Hampstead Gate bird feeders

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Celebrating National Storytelling Week at Nature Trails Day Nursery

‘Monkey Puzzle’, ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ were just some of the beloved books that inspired costumes at Nature Trails Day Nursery in Cawston as children and colleagues dressed up in character to mark National Storytelling Week.

At the award-winning setting on Coventry Road, pre-schoolers were delighted to share their favourite stories with friends, whilst being immersed in fantasy worlds of famous books including ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ with related activities.

Across the setting pre-schoolers also explored story sacks, character puppets, themed tuff trays and role play games to support understanding of the books being shared, whilst nursery families made voluntary donations of items for the Rugby Foodbank.

Nature Trails Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Kelly Lawson explained;

“We had a fantastic time celebrating National Storytelling Week and loved seeing all the effort that went into dressing up. Storytelling is essential for developing communication skills and presents endless learning opportunities for children. We are also hugely grateful to our generous families for helping us to support the worthy cause that is the Rugby Foodbank.”

Nature Trails Day Nursery are supporting The Trussell Trust as part of a year-long donation and fundraising drive to help local people who need it most.

Nature Trails Storytelling Week

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West Downs Day Nursery celebrate ‘Send a Card to a Friend Day’

Colleagues from West Downs Day Nursery in Winchester received a special delivery as they celebrated ‘Send a Card to a Friend Day’ with children across the setting.

At the award-winning nursery on Romsey Road, pre-schoolers showcased their creativity by making handprint greeting cards, before delivering them to delighted staff teams complete with their messages of appreciation inside, along with some sweet treats.

As part of the occasion, children practiced their mark making and handwriting skills, linking to the nursery’s school readiness programme which prepares pre-schoolers for their next steps in education, with other focus areas including self-care, phonics and early maths.

West Downs Day Nursery Team Leader, Shannon Hudson explained;

“The children had a brilliant time making the greetings cards and staff were thrilled to receive them. It’s important for us to let our colleagues know how valued they are and it’s lovely to involve the children in this wherever possible. This also presented lots of lovely learning opportunities for them, as well as promoting small acts of kindness.”

Send a Card to a Friend Day is celebrated on 7th January.

West Downs Send a Card to a Friend Day

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Pennypot Day Nursery make extraordinary contribution to Bliss charity

Pennypot Aprille Goubert

The dedicated team at Pennypot Day Nursery in Chobham picked up a special award for their outstanding contribution to a £181,761 cheque to get parents of babies born premature and sick the extra support they need in UK neonatal units.

Charity representatives from each of the employee-owned company’s 44-day nurseries were praised but it was Aprille Goubert, who took the spotlight after she and colleagues at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Pennypot Lane raised nearly £12,000 in the year-long fund-raising and awareness drive for Bliss, who are committed to giving every baby the best chance of survival and quality of life.

Fundraising at the nursery included a night ‘sleeping rough’, a charity auction, pumpkin carving, bake sales and scaling Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park when Aprille and Pennypot Manager Carol McDonough and the team completed the climb in 1.5 hours.

“I am enormously proud of the team for their commitment to this charity and to the Pennypot families for their wonderful, generous support of our fund-raising events. Together we aim to make a real difference when it comes to supporting worthy causes and this one is very close to all our hearts”, said Carol McDonough.

Top of the priority spending list for the cash raised will be putting Bliss ‘Champions’ back where they are needed in neonatal units after the pandemic reduced their number from 70 to just 20.

The Champions are volunteers who provide support and information to parents throughout their neonatal journey. The charity also funds research, campaigns for parents and supports health professionals working in neonatal units.

Pictured L-R: Aprille Goubert of Pennypot Day Nursery receiving the ‘Outstanding Contribution to 2022 Fundraising’ trophy from Michelle Lockhart, Childbase Partnership Regional Director at the cheque presentation to Bliss. 

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Green Park Day Nursery declared ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted

Green Park Ofsted Outstanding

There was cause for celebration at Green Park Day Nursery in Reading as devoted practitioners and proud parents learnt that the setting had achieved Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ status, following an inspection in January.

An outcome achieved by only 16 percent of all English Early Years providers, the inspector praised the “rich experiences and purposeful staff interactions” on offer to the “exceptionally happy” children at the setting on South Oak Way, with practitioners commended for having “excellent knowledge and understanding of children’s interests”.

In the report, the inspector credited staff as being “exceptionally proficient in helping children gain knowledge across all areas of learning” and noted the “highly effective” strategies in place to help children with special educational needs and disabilities reach their potential.

Partnerships with families were admired as “extremely positive” by the inspector, who explained “parents state positively that settling in and transitions are smooth, staff are highly supportive and information for home learning and routines is valuable”, whilst “parents of children with SEND demonstrate their gratitude to the dedicated staff that support them.”

The inspector credited these relationships for helping to provide children with new cultural experiences, from parents visiting nursery to share stories and festival celebrations, to making bangles for Diwali and teaching traditional dances, adding “this helps children understand and have respect for different types of people, families and communities.”

Ofsted inspector, Aileen Finan observed;

“All children flourish at nursery. They benefit enormously from a curriculum that is delivered by enthusiastic and dedicated staff. This curriculum has a strong focus on children’s emotional well-being, building attachments, independence, confidence and awareness of feelings. It fully supports the ways in which all children are ready for the next stages of their learning. Children demonstrate that they are incredibly willing and motivated to learn.”

Green Park Day Nursery Manager, Emma Carmichael, who was described by the inspector as a “confident and very capable manager who leads her team extremely well and has an exemplary vision for future improvement”, explained;

“We are so thrilled to receive this outcome from Ofsted and have our efforts recognised across the board. We are committed to giving our children the best possible start in life and this is made possible with the support of our incredible network of nursery parents.”

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Bags of joy for Julia Durbin Day Nursery children

There were smiles all round at Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Headington as delighted children across the setting traded in their old red tote bags for brand new grey rucksacks.

Complete with reflective piping for being safe and seen, as well as a hidden zip pocket and debossed Childbase Partnership logo, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Roosevelt Drive proudly paraded the new accessories, which have been provided as a free gift to every child attending one of the 44 Childbase nursery settings.

Julia Durbin Day Nursery Business Administrator, Emma Piorkowski explained;

“There was so much excitement amongst the children at the sight of their new rucksacks. They have been wearing them non-stop and were thrilled to show their parents during pick up time. The bags are also a great tool for promoting school readiness amongst the group, encouraging independence and looking after their property before their next stages.”

Julia Durbin rucksacks

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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

Email: cedars.nursery@childbase.com