‘Culture Day’ for new Childbase partners

Childbase Culture Day

Nothing says ‘You belong’ like lunch with the Chairman as 40 new recruits to Childbase Partnership discovered during ‘Culture Day’ at Head Office – the highlight of the newly launched four-part induction  process at the company.

As Angela Brown, Chair of the Partnership Council – the 45 member ‘face’ of employee ownership at Childbase Partnership  – explained, the realigned induction process goes much further than simply ‘how to do the job’, with an emphasis on individual belonging and thriving.

“Culture Day is about demonstrating that support for the individual extends further than each workplace and that employee voice and feedback is paramount in achieving the very best outcomes for the children in our care and for each other. It is also about myth-busting and putting faces to names of the people who support us,” she said.

In addition to Head Office support teams circulating during the chef prepared lunch, members of the senior team – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Operations Director – joined the new recruits to talk about their experience and encourage feedback.

The meal and sweet treats followed a morning focusing on, for example, company values – the five principles defining company identity and motivating everyone in common goals. The Values are the result of lengthy consultation and deliberation in each of the 45 settings in the company and not top-down decision-making.

Culture day – one a month at Head Office – is the culmination of a stream-lined, four-part process of induction that offers greater flexibility to appeal to individual learning styles and needs, with delivery by video, Zoom/team meetings, on-site and lastly at Head Office.

Pictured: Angela Brown, Partnership Council Chair, with Chef Emanuel and new partners.



Cedar Park Day Nursery children enjoy firefighter visit

Cedar Park firefighters

Following an interest in ‘people that help us’, children from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford were delighted to welcome local firefighters to the setting for a special visit.

At the award-winning day nursery on Bridge Farm Road, firefighters spoke to captivated pre-schoolers about the equipment used to extinguish flames, before showing them the protective clothing worn and giving a guided tour of the fire engine and its sirens.

As part of the learning experience, children were able to ask the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service heroes questions to further their knowledge, before heading inside to assess any possible risks and ensure everyone knew fire drill procedures in place.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“This was such an exciting learning experience for the children, who were all captivated by the visit. As well as furthering their understanding on the emergency services and their important role within the community, this taught some hugely valuable messages on identifying potential hazards in our environment and tips for staying safe.”



Emscote House Day Nursery children create spa experience

Following a focus on wellbeing and self-care, children from Emscote House Day Nursery in Leamington Spa were delighted to create their very own spa, complete with treatments.

From a yoga and conscious breathing session to a morning foot soak to invigorate the senses, pre-schoolers from the setting on Warwick Place were immersed in relaxation opportunities, complete with warm dimmed lighting to create the tranquil atmosphere.

As part of the experience, children enjoyed relaxation time in their pyjamas with a drink of cucumber water and positive affirmations to encourage confidence and self-esteem, as well as using cucumber slices to help cleanse and rejuvenate the eyes.

Emscote House Day Nursery Practitioner, Lilly Bradley explained;

“We have been focusing on children’s mental health and reinforcing the importance of taking care of both mind and body. The children had a fantastic time creating their own spa and this created lots of lovely learning opportunities. The role of Early Years in determining and maintaining good mental health through childhood has really never been more vital.”

Emscote House Spa



Celebrating 20 years’ service at Windermere Day Nursery

Windermere 20 years service

There was cause for celebration at Windermere Day Nursery in Kettering as colleagues honoured beloved Nursery Practitioner, Martine Fear, as she marked her milestone 20-year anniversary at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting.

Having started at the Kettering General Hospital Site in 2003, Martine has helped to positively shape the lives of hundreds of children in her care throughout her career, working predominantly in the baby room and supporting them as they reach their early milestones.

Raising money for worthy causes has also been integral to Martine’s time at Windermere, taking part in team fundraisers including dress up days, charity auctions and food bank drives, which have helped contribute to the £3 million and counting raised by Childbase Partnership for charities including ‘Mind’ and ‘Bliss’ over the past 30 years.

To mark the special occasion, adoring colleagues organised celebrations complete with balloons, cake, banners, bubbly, flowers and photo displays from the past two decades, with applause from the staff team and congratulations from nursery families and children.

Windermere Day Nursery Practitioner, Martine Fear explained;

“I feel incredibly spoilt by the team and can’t believe how quickly the last 20 years have gone. It has been wonderful to witness so many children grow up and begin their journeys with us, I have made friends for life and have so many cherished memories from my time here. I am delighted to be celebrating this anniversary and am looking forward to the future.”



Seabrook Day Nursery make vital food bank donation

Seabrook Food Bank

Generous parents and practitioners from Seabrook Day Nursery in Luton have made a donation of essential food items to the Dunstable Foodbank to help local people who need it most, having pledged a year-long fundraising and donation drive for The Trussell Trust.

Following a record-rise in demand for items at food banks due to the cost-of-living crisis, families from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Lewsey Road made contributions of products including pasta, tinned goods and teabags in efforts to keep the charity well-stocked in supplies, with their contribution weighing over five stone in total.

Colleagues from Seabrook visited their local Trussell Trust drop-off point to deliver the donations, which were gratefully received by volunteers, who gave the team a better insight into how the food parcels are packed and the positive impact their support would have. 

Seabrook Day Nursery Manager, Becky Smith explained;

“We are delighted to be supporting The Trussell Trust this year and helping them in their important mission to end food poverty. We decided to ask for a food donation instead of a monetary donation for our Valentine’s pink and red dress up day and were overwhelmed with the response from our incredible nursery parents. This generosity also sets a brilliant example to the children about the importance of kindness and sharing with others.”

Dunstable Foodbank are currently appealing for items including tinned tomatoes, tinned custard, sponge puddings, tinned fish, cereal bars and teabags.



Meadow View Day Nursery team praised on International Women's Day

Meadow View International Women's Day

There were smiles all round at Meadow View Day Nursery in Newport Pagnell as grateful parents showed their admiration for the childcare team on International Women’s Day.

Whilst taking part in the latest Early Years training on their annual Inset Day, colleagues from the award-winning setting on Westbury Lane were delighted to be surprised by a nursery family, who delivered bunches of flowers to the devoted workforce to mark the occasion, which celebrates the achievements of women across the world.

Meadow View Day Nursery Manager, Danni Wright explained;

“We were over the moon to receive such a thoughtful visit and are so grateful for the continued support of our nursery families. I am so proud of the amazing women in our team and their dedication to providing the children in our care with the best possible start in life.”

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March.



We #EmbraceEquity for IWD 2023

International Women's Day

An employee perk that helps address period poverty in the UK is just one focus of International Women’s Day celebrations at the award-winning Childbase Partnership.

Freely available period products in each of the company’s 44-day nurseries and Head Office – over 2,500 items in 2021 alone – are matched in a ‘buy one, donate one’ partnership established in 2020 with Hey Girls, the award-winning period product social enterprise.

Reaching out to women in need, the boxes of environmentally friendly period products are distributed through women’s refuges, food banks, homeless shelters and others identified by 150 community organisations.

Flowers, treats and a focus on opportunities in the company marked setting-based celebrations in this year’s ‘Embrace Equity’ themed event which Emma Rooney, Chief Executive Officer – one of three women on the five-member main board at the employee-owned company – described as perfectly aligned with the Childbase approach.

“At Childbase Partnership we aim to give all colleagues, irrespective of gender, what they need to thrive and develop their career. Robust inductions and training plans unique to everyone, and a commitment to address practical needs and promote opportunity on an individual basis, ultimately levels ‘the playing field’ and means colleagues have the work experience and career they want, ” she said.

“A variety of forums – including the company’s Diversity Forum – enable colleagues to confidently voice their opinions and share their lived experiences. On-going reflection and action are a result of active listening ensures positive change. This is further reflected in the range of training, support and mentoring initiatives, and the courses available to meet a variety of learning styles through The Childbase Academy of Excellence,” she added.

Pictured below: Childbase Partnership main board directors (L-R): Justin Clubb, Finance, Lorna Wigley, Quality and Training, Louise Hill, Operations, Emma Rooney, Chief Executive Officer, Mike Thompson, Chairman/Founder.



River View Day Nursery declared ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted once again

River View Day Nursery Outstanding Ofsted

There was cause for celebration at River View Day Nursery in Hertford as devoted practitioners and proud parents learnt that the setting had achieved Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ status once again, following an inspection in February. 

An outcome achieved by only 16 percent of all English Early Years providers, the inspector praised the staff team for their “complete dedication to providing the highest quality care and an inspiring learning environment”, as well as the “deep-rooted culture of respect among adults and children, which values and celebrates the uniqueness of every child.”

In the report, the inspector commended the “rich and meaningful curriculum” and “boundless opportunities” for children to lead with their own ideas, resulting in “exceptional progress in their personal development”, including children with special educational needs/disabilities.

Partnerships with families were admired as “exceptionally strong” by the inspector, who explained, “parents fully appreciate the outstanding individual care and attention their children receive to help them flourish and reach their potential”, with praise for initiatives including free parent training courses to support their understanding of child development.  

Ofsted inspector, Emily Woodhead observed;

“Children are at the heart of everything in this remarkable nursery. Children become deeply engaged in their learning environment. They separate from parents well as they arrive and very quickly become focused in their play. They show motivation to explore every corner of the exciting and interesting environment.”

River View Day Nursery Manager, Tasha Boon, who the inspector praised for ensuring “the quality of teaching remains at the highest level” whilst making her team feel “highly valued and appreciated” explained;

“We couldn’t be prouder to maintain our Outstanding rating by Ofsted. 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.”



Lime Grove Day Nursery celebrate World Book Day

Lime Grove World Book Day

Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes and the Minions were just some of the beloved characters that children and colleagues from Lime Grove Day Nursery in Hemel Hempstead embodied as they marked World Book Day with a series of themed celebrations.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Park Road, pre-schoolers were delighted to share their favourite stories with friends and take part in book themed crafting, whilst practitioners delivered exciting storytelling sessions complete with props to commemorate the annual event, which looks to celebrate and encourage a lasting love of reading.

Throughout the week, children have been taking part in a range of related activities, including ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ sensory play, where they explored different textures to represent the scenes in the story, including the ‘swishy swashy’ grass and snowstorm.  

Younger children also enjoyed baby sign sessions to aid language development and communication, focusing on animals, whilst pre-schoolers have been using their creative writing skills to put together the story of Bernard the Bear, who has been on adventures to different locations with nursery families, including Dubai, Spain, Italy and Center Parcs.

Lime Grove Day Nursery Team Leader, Robyn Shuck explained;

“We had a fantastic time celebrating World Book Day and immersing ourselves in the worlds of our favourite characters. Every year children and colleagues make an amazing effort with their costumes, and this year has been no different. This provided a brilliant opportunity to showcase our creativity, build literary confidence and celebrate the power of reading.”



Nature Trails Day Nursery mark Employee Appreciation Day

Nature Trails Employee Appreciation Day

Festivities were well underway at Nature Trails Day Nursery in Cawston as colleagues marked Employee Appreciation Day with a series of celebrations across the setting.

At the award-winning day nursery on Coventry Road, dedicated teams were provided with an array of sweet treats and lunch by their grateful Manager, Vicky Stancer, who thanked them for their outstanding contributions to nursery life and devotion to the children in their care, whilst colleagues took the time to express what they valued most about each other.

As part of the celebrations, parents wrote personal messages of thanks on a special appreciation wall for all to see, whilst practitioners were able to use their ‘Perkbox’ app to leave celebration comments and share recognition with fellow staff members.   

The occasion follows a string of events in nursery which put talented colleagues in the spotlight, most recently celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week which honoured the youngest staff members at the setting, who are attaining their childcare qualifications through the Childbase Academy of Excellence whilst gaining practical experience in nursery.

Nature Trails Day Nursery Manager, Vicky Stancer explained;

“I am so proud of our amazing team and the effort they put in to make each day special for the children. This was another lovely opportunity to show them just how much their commitment means to us and our nursery families.”

Employee Appreciation Day took place on 3rd March.


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