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International Lego Day at Rowan Tree

Rowan Tree Lego Day

There was delight for pre-schoolers at Rowan Tree Day Nursery in Welwyn Garden City as they were surprised with a fun-filled day of design to celebrate International Lego Day.

Arriving to special creation stations set-up throughout their classroom, children from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Guessens Road started with a brainstorm session, where they discussed their exciting build ideas with practitioners and put pen to paper by drawing up blueprints, before letting imaginations run wild with their inventions.

From crocodiles and telescopes to dragons and flying machines, pre-schoolers showcased their creativity with a series of individual designs, as well as working together as a team to create bigger and more intricate builds, including a huge ten pin bowling alley structure.

Rowan Tree Day Nursery Manager, Claire Ovenden explained;

“Our children had a fantastic time celebrating International Lego Day and were so engaged and inspired when channelling their inner architects. Lego not only sparks creativity, but also encourages problem-solving, teamworking and fine motor skills. It’s incredible to see how these bricks can empower our children to think outside the box and bring their ideas to life.”

International Lego Day is celebrated on 28th January.

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Meadow View celebrate Australia Day

Meadow View Australia Day

Pre-schoolers from Meadow View Day Nursery in Newport Pagnell were transported to a land down under as they celebrated Australia Day with a series of themed activities.

After learning all about the animals native to Australia through exciting co-research activities, children from the award-winning setting on Westbury Lane were delighted to create their very own cuddly koala faces using a range of materials and photographs for reference.

Dressed in blue to mark the occasion, children showcased their creativity by making replica flags and Aboriginal inspired dot artwork, before finding out about the history of the boomerang and having a go at decorating their own using the techniques they had learnt.

Meadow View Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Jen Curley explained;

“Australia Day presented a fantastic opportunity to teach our little ones about this beautiful country and its rich history. Not only did this learning experience give them a wider understanding of the world, but encouraged respect and appreciation for different cultures.”

Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet on January 26th, 1788.

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Burns Night celebrations at Knowle Green

Knowle Green Burns Night

Festivities were well underway at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as pre-schoolers showcased their creativity with a series of themed activities to celebrate Burns Night.

Having carried out their own co-research, pre-schoolers from the award-winning setting on Knowle Green were delighted to learn more about Scotland and the special calendar event, which is marked on the birthday of beloved poet Robert Burns, to honour his life and works.

As part of the celebrations, children created Scottish flags using an array of blue and white materials, as well as the country’s national flower; the thistle, before taking to the kitchen to bake their very own traditional shortbread biscuits with the help of talented Nursery Chefs.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Manager, Chanelle Weaver explained;

“Our children had a fantastic time celebrating Burns Night and it was wonderful to introduce them to the rich heritage of Scotland. It’s really special to witness them embrace and appreciate different cultures through experiences like these, and we really believe that early exposure to such traditions helps foster respect and understanding amongst our little ones.”

Burns Night is marked annually on 25th January. 

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Childbase Partnership hands over nearly £166,000 to The Trussell Trust

Childbase Trussell Trust cheque

Childbase Partnership teams and families in 44-day nurseries have raised a staggering £165,615 in cash and 9267.95kgs in food donations to support the Trussell Trust in the face of record demand in 1,300 UK food bank centres during 2023.

You are an extraordinary and passionate group who have far exceeded our expectations in this year-long partnership. Your legacy of fundraising, food donations and promoting awareness of the Trussell Trust will continue to make a difference going forward”, said Sophie Sharp, The Trussell Trust’s Corporate Partnership Manager at a presentation ceremony at the company’s headquarters.

Childbase Partnership Head of Charity and a Regional Director, Michelle Lockhart, congratulated Charity Representatives – one from each setting – and their nursery families for far exceeding the targets set. The food donations alone were the equivalent weight of two African elephants.

We are always ambitious in our fund-raising but given the cost-of-living crisis these totals represent extraordinary effort and generosity. We are mindful that the need remains and while our focus as a company will be directed to a new charity of the year in 2024, I know we will all continue to do what we can to address food poverty.”

The Trussell Trust, which supports the largest network of food banks in the UK, reported a record 3 million emergency food parcels were provided during the year with over 1 million of these for children.  

Childbase Partnership fund-raising activity included Snowdon climbing challenges, skydiving, sponsored walks and endless bake sales in all nurseries after over 2,000 plus employee owners adopted the charity for a year-long fund-raising and awareness drive in a company-wide vote.  

Childbase Partnership Chairman and Founder, Mike Thompson, described the fundraising effort as phenomenal and a proud moment for the company before thanking colleagues and nursery parents for their commitment and generosity.

Pictured L-R: Childbase Partnership Founder and Chairman, Mike Thompson,
Chief Executive Officer, Emma Rooney, Trussell Trust Corporate Partnership Manager, Sophie Sharp.



Volunteer Days at Childbase

As well as raising £165,615.96 for The Trussell Trust throughout 2023 and donating 9267.95kgs of essential food and household items – the equivalent of two African elephants – Childbase colleagues offered their help in abundance to food banks across the country.

Using their paid Volunteer Day – a company benefit to all colleagues across the employee-owned business, Childbase staff were able to see first-hand how their financial aid and physical donations would benefit people within their communities, as well as get a better sense of the work the charity does and the importance of spreading awareness in nursery.

Sophie Darling, Team Leader at West Cambridge Day Nursery, was just one of the devoted colleagues who took time to visit her local food bank, here she shares her experience;

“I chose to use my Volunteer Day to go to the Cambridge City Foodbank, which is the main warehouse in the area, where boxes are packed for those in need and distributed out to smaller foodbanks across the city for families and individuals to collect. My main duties of the day were to pack up the emergency parcels using the checklists provided, with different specifications depending on the size of the family or different dietary needs, and checklists rotated to ensure each family would receive different essentials each week. 

As part of my role I also had to keep the inventory of stock rotated to ensure items with a shorter shelf-life were being used first. Whilst at the warehouse I was shocked to see the sheer volume of items being donated which were already past their use-by date, which was really disheartening and an added task for the volunteers trying to put together parcels.

Whilst talking to the volunteers, I learnt that certain items were donated in large quantities, such as tinned tomatoes, beans and peas, whilst some other essentials were largely forgotten about, such as toilet roll and cooking oil. They also included treats in packages such as sweets and biscuits which was lovely to see, giving a lift to those receiving them.

I wasn’t able to talk to any members of the public about the impact the foodbank had on their lives as I was based in the warehouse, but I was able to speak to some of the hardworking staff and volunteers who gave me a better insight into how the charity operates and the different initiatives they have in place throughout the city to support families. This includes a ‘Fairbite’ shop in Cambridge, which offers people access to a selection of foods, usually surplus stock from supermarkets, for a small membership fee.

Unfortunately, the funding around this just isn’t enough, and I was really able to witness just how much The Trussell Trust appreciate and rely on companies like ours for fundraising and donations to help them support local people facing hardship. I found the experience incredibly humbling, and it certainly opened my eyes to how fortunate I am. I would recommend volunteering at a food bank to anyone and would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Sophie Darling at West Cambridge Day Nursery

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ZooLab visit for Windmill Hill children

Windmill Hill ZooLab

There were exciting learning opportunities at every turn for children at Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon as they received a special visit from the ZooLab and its animals. 

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Windmill Hill Business Park, pre-schoolers were delighted to get up close and personal with an array of creatures, including a tarantula, snake, frog, African land snail and millipede, all whilst learning facts from expert handlers.

As part of the experience, children were able to hold and stroke the creatures, before learning about their basic needs and care routines, including diet and habitat, as well as engaging in conversations around life cycles and the responsibility of caring for pets.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Manager, Kayleigh Blaylock explained;

“Visits from ZooLab are always incredibly popular with our children as they adore animals and love learning more about them. Their team are so knowledgeable and even adapted the experience to our youngest children, so they got the opportunity to meet the creatures too. We are so grateful to them for helping us create these special memories for our little ones, which inspired further activities in nursery including arts and crafts and storytelling.”

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Following interests at Lime Grove

There were learning opportunities at every turn for children at Lime Grove Day Nursery in Hemel Hempstead as they delved into their interests with a series of co-research activities.  

Following one child’s fascination with the Titanic, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Park Road were delighted to immerse themselves in the themed environments set up especially by Nursery Practitioner, Kathryn Jenkins and Quality Manager, Robyn Shuck, complete with books, photographs and videos of the historic vessel.

As part of the inspiration, practitioners designed water-based experiments with model boats to help children understand the concepts of floating, sinking and force, learning basic maths and science messages as they went, as well as introducing new language around the topic.

Lime Grove Day Nursery Quality Manager, Robyn Shuck explained;

“We love to nurture the interests of our children to help build on their natural curiosity and ensure they get the most out of their time at nursery. They have shown a great deal of enthusiasm towards the Titanic focus and have really grown to appreciate the importance of the historical events that have shaped the world we live in today, which is lovely to see.”

Lime Grove Titanic inspiration

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Lavenders colleagues unwind with yoga session

Lavenders yoga session

The focus was on wellbeing at Lavenders Day Nursery in Bedford as hardworking colleagues kickstarted the year with the first of their new fortnightly yoga classes.  

The initiative, which is available for all colleagues at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bushmead Avenue to attend for free, is run by The Little Yoga Company and aims to promote both physical and mental wellness during the 45 minute sessions.

Taking to their yoga mats after a busy day, colleagues were able to focus on balance, posture and breathing, before ending the class with a relaxing head massage.

The latest benefit in nursery follows a new company wellbeing initiative launched in January, giving each colleague the potential to earn up to 20 extra days of paid leave throughout 2024, based on attendance, to help improve and enhance work-life balance.

Lavenders Day Nursery Manager, Dizzie Newberry explained;

“At Lavenders, we believe that taking care of our colleagues is just as important as taking care of our little ones, which is why we’ve made the decision to introduce these sessions. We had a brilliant time at the first one, and with a relaxed mind and energized body, our team are better equipped to create a nurturing and inspiring environment for our children.”

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Grasshoppers children enjoy police visit

Grasshoppers St Albans police visit

Following an interest in ‘people that help us’, children from Grasshoppers Day Nursery in St Albans were delighted to welcome local police officers to the setting to learn more.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on York Road, pre-schoolers were captivated as they listened to the officers speak about their important role in keeping people safe within the community, before giving the group a guided tour of the specialist police car and sirens.

As part of the exciting learning opportunity, the Hertfordshire constables showed children the equipment they used as part of their role, which inspired role play activities back indoors, as well as answering questions, sharing tips for staying safe and posing for group photographs.

Grasshoppers Day Nursery Manager, Claire Greaves explained;

“Lots of our children are fascinated with the police at the moment, so we are incredibly grateful to them for taking the time out of their busy day to create such a memorable learning experience. The visit really has had a lasting impact on our little ones and has given them a much better understanding, as well as fostering a real sense of admiration and respect.” 

Grasshoppers Police 2

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Science Sid inspires Devonshire children

Science Sid at Devonshire

There were learning opportunities at every turn for children at Devonshire Day Nursery in Chiswick as they went on an exciting journey of discovery with the help of ‘Science Sid’.

The alter-ego of Nursery Practitioner, Alex Girvan and Team Leader, Charlie Fallon, the expert professor has been paying weekly visits to inquisitive youngsters at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bennett Street, delivering special masterclasses on STEM topics to ignite a passion for ‘Science’, ‘Technology’, ‘Engineering’ and ‘Maths’ amongst the children and build on their knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts.

During his latest visit, Science Sid led children on a trip to their local supermarket, where they used their clipboards and visual prompts to find the supplies needed to create an exploding volcano, which they purchased using the self-checkout and carried in their baskets back to nursery, along with the ingredients for a healthy cooking activity later in the week.

Having returned to the setting, children showcased their creativity by constructing their volcano from an array of materials, before mixing the bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and food colouring together to create lava, and watching on in awe as it erupted before their eyes.

Devonshire Day Nursery Manager, Emmy Avery explained;

“Our little ones have been eagerly anticipating their weekly visits from Science Sid and have had the best time taking part in the experiments, which promote a real sense of awe and wonder, as well as encouraging problem solving and forming opinions based on fact. We are so lucky to have such a devoted team of practitioners, who are committed to creating such rich and memorable learning experiences for our children and we hope these activities will continue to inspire a passion in them which we can continue to support in nursery.”

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Celebrating 25 years of service at Meadow View

There was cause for celebration at Meadow View Day Nursery in Newport Pagnell as the team of Early Years professionals honoured their beloved colleague and Nursery Practitioner, Kay Foulger as she marked her milestone 25–year anniversary at the setting.

Having started at the Westbury Lane setting in 1999, Kay has helped to positively shape the lives of hundreds of children throughout her career, as well as providing expert mentorship to staff and serving as Partnership Councillor at the nursery, representing the interests of colleagues and putting forward ideas to drive change at the employee-owned company. 

Raising money for worthy causes has also been integral to Kay’s time at Meadow View, taking part in countless fundraising ventures including tandem skydives and nights sleeping rough outside, contributing to the three million plus total raised by Childbase Partnership over the past 30 years for charities including Mind, Bliss and Alzheimer’s Society.

In order to celebrate her incredible quarter-century childcare career, Kay was presented with gifts and bouquets of flowers, as well as receiving a tax-free bonus reward payment and an extra paid week of annual leave, as well as being treated to lunch by her adoring colleagues whilst reminiscing over favourite memories from the past 25 years at Meadow View.

Nursery Practitioner, Kay Foulger explained;

“I am hugely proud to be celebrating 25 years at Meadow View and feel very lucky to be part of such a special team of people. It’s been a privilege to watch the children in our care grow up and even return with their own children, or come to work alongside us at the nursery. I have loved being part of all the events and making lifelong friends with my work colleagues.”

Meadow View Day Nursery Manager, Danielle Wright explained;

“Through her unwavering commitment, passion and expertise, Kay has continually proven to be an irreplaceable asset to our team and the families she has impacted over the years. This milestone anniversary is a testament to Kay’s incredible character and commitment to the profession, she has helped foster a sense of community amongst us, always leading by example and embracing each challenge with grace and determination.”

Meadow View Kay 25 years

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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