Celebrating professional development at Devonshire Day Nursery

There was cause for celebration at Devonshire Day Nursery in Chiswick as the proud staff team marked the achievements of their colleague and Apprentice, Sara Lates, as she graduated from the Childbase Academy of Excellence as a Qualified Nursery Practitioner.

Having worked at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bennett Street alongside her studies since March 2021, Sara is the first in her cohort of learners to complete the NVQ Level 3, passing her professional discussion and exam the first time. She is now showcasing her talent in the setting’s ‘Caterpillar Room’ with the youngest children aged from six weeks.

Established in January 2021, the Childbase Training Academy of Excellence was created to deliver a centre where all Apprentices are supported in-house by Childbase Partnership experts as they gain practical experience in nursery. The team provide face to face training, conduct in person observations and support learners in achieving their qualifications.

Through an extensive range of bespoke training days, Apprentices gain essential knowledge across all areas of their standard, with topics covered including Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity, Child Development, Safeguarding and SEND. These sessions are also supported with additional online training courses and resources to instil confidence.

Devonshire Nursery Practitioner, Sara Lates explained;

“I can’t explain how amazing this journey has been for me and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. The knowledge and confidence I’ve gained throughout is unbelievable and having the opportunity to go on training days helped so much as I could come back and put everything into practice. I had support throughout from my assessor and management team and I knew I could ask them for help anytime. It’s so helpful to be able to look back at all my work and studies to enable me to continue as an outstanding practitioner.”

Devonshire Day Nursery Manager, Emmy Avery said;

“We are so proud of Sara, turning 18 during her apprenticeship and going from strength to strength as she worked alongside her studies. The academy has put so many amazing things into place for apprentices, from the training days to the Teach to Reach training. As a manager I can really see how beneficial the courses have been for my team members.”

Learners must be at least 16 years old and be successful at interview for an Apprenticeship position. Vacancies can be found here:

Devonshire Day Nursery celebrate Apprentice



Childbase Partnership colleagues celebrate National Nursery Practitioner Day

Childbase Partnership celebrate Nursery Practitioner Day

Festivities were well underway at Childbase Partnership settings across the country as devoted colleagues marked the fifth annual ‘National Nursery Practitioner Day’.

Putting the spotlight on talented childcare teams, the occasion highlighted the dedication of Early Years professionals and their commitment to providing the children in their care with the best possible start in life, which was reflected within the 43 employee-owned nurseries.

From display boards filled with kind comments and reviews from parents, to presents of personalised goody bags containing pamper gifts, sweet treats and handwritten notes of thanks, appreciation was shown in a variety of ways by grateful managers and families alike.

Bespoke cakes, takeaway pizzas, buffet lunches, fruit platters, pick ‘n’ mix stations, team games and tombolas with prizes including cash boosters were just some of the treats on offer as staff celebrated their successes over the past year, which have included all 43 settings receiving the prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award from Eco-Schools and a maintained company average score of 9.8 on DayNurseries, the leading Early Years review website.

Despite the rising cost of living and financial challenges for all, determined colleagues across each Childbase Partnership setting have also spent the past year fundraising for Bliss, the charity for babies born premature or sick, with the generous support of nursery families. As a result of their efforts, which have included a company-wide sleep out under the stars, the Virtual London Marathon, Snowdon climbs, sponsored silences and more, they have so far amassed over £120,000 for the worthy cause, with two months of fundraising yet to go.

Emmy Avery, Manager of the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Devonshire Day Nursery in Chiswick explained;

“Our Childbase Partnership colleagues are all superheroes. They consistently go above and beyond to give our nursery children the highest possible standards of care and the richest learning experiences, whilst also taking time out of their work to raise money for families who need it most. We celebrate them every day, but it is lovely to be united across the Early Years sector today as we recognise all the incredible childcare professionals.”



Knowle Green Day Nursery colleagues mark World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day at Knowle Green Day Nursery

The spotlight was on wellbeing at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as colleagues marked World Mental Health Day with a series of celebrations at the setting.

At the award-winning setting on Knowle Green, the devoted staff team were each surprised with bespoke gift bags, filled with presents including personalised mugs with their names, pamper items including face masks, sweet treats and positive affirmations to inspire, whilst Deputy Manager, Chelsea Basley held an individual ‘chat and chomp session’ where colleagues could drop in and talk about anything they desired, no matter how big or small.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Chelsea Basley explained;

“World Mental Health Day provided a brilliant opportunity to remind ourselves of the small steps we can take to improve the wellbeing of ourselves and those around us. We always strive to show our colleagues how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate the incredible work they do, as well as open up the dialogue on this important topic.”

Other recent wellbeing initiatives have included a ‘Wonderland’ themed festival and awards ceremony for all Childbase Partnership colleagues, with entertainment provided Basement Jaxx, Scouting for Girls, Tinchy Stryder and Fatman Scoop, free family tickets to the UK’s top theme parks and attractions, as well as two salary increases within 12 months.



Summer spectacular for Windmill Hill Day Nursery colleagues

Windmill Hill colleagues enjoy summer social

Festivities were well underway for hardworking colleagues from Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon as they celebrated their achievements with an exciting summer social.

Dressed in an animal print theme complete with face paints, staff from the award-winning setting on Windmill Hill Business Park, Whitehill Way, were delighted to receive an hour-long masterclass from a local dance teacher, who taught them a series of moves, before leaving the group to showcase what they had learnt during their very own silent disco.

As part of the festivities, which honoured colleagues for their devotion to the children in their care, the Windmill Hill team also enjoyed a series of fun team building games to enhance communication skills, as well as a dinner of fish and chips to round off the evening.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Quality Manager, Gemma Gill explained;

“Our team work so hard and are incredibly devoted, as well as using their spare time to take part in fundraising initiatives for our charity of the year, Bliss. We are so grateful for all that they do and the social was a brilliant way of getting together and showing our appreciation.”

The summer social follows wellbeing initiatives including a ‘Wonderland’ themed festival and awards ceremony for all Childbase Partnership colleagues in May, with entertainment provided by Basement Jaxx, Scouting for Girls, Tinchy Stryder and Fatman Scoop.



Cedars Day Nursery colleagues take on charity Snowdon climb

Cedars team on Snowdon

A pair of devoted colleagues from Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard have completed a climb up Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, all in the name of charity.

Team Leader, Emma Selfe and Nursery Practitioner, Megan Viljoen, from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Mentmore Road were delighted to finish the climb in a time of five hours and ten minutes, raising a grand total of £530.00 for charity ‘Bliss’, which will now go towards helping support babies who were born premature or sick, as well as their families. 

The climb up Snowdon, which sits at 1,085 metres above sea level, is the latest in a series of fundraising initiatives for the Cedars team, who have also held a Platinum Jubilee Tea Party and Raffle, bake sales, squats challenges and more for the cause.

Cedars Day Nursery Team Leader, Emma Selfe explained;

“Climbing Snowdon was a tough but fantastic experience, made all the more worth it by knowing this money will do so much good for families that need it most. We are so grateful for the support we’ve had and the generosity of our nursery parents and colleagues.”

Cedars Day Nursery have adopted Bliss for a year-long fundraising drive.



Sponsored silence raises funds for charity at Julia Durbin

Things were quieter than usual at Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Headington as dedicated Business Administrator, Emma Piorkowski, took on a sponsored silence in aid of charity.

Having been challenged by her colleagues at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Roosevelt Drive, Emma, who is also Charity Representative, embarked on the eight-and-a-half-hour task in order to raise vital funds for Bliss, to support babies born premature or sick.

Communicating with nursery families and staff using only a chalkboard and her best charades, Emma was delighted to raise a grand total of £273.00 for the worthy cause.

Julia Durbin Day Nursery Business Administrator, Emma Piorkowski explained;

“I was extremely determined to complete the sponsored silence as everyone had their doubts; it was very hard not being able to talk to our nursery families but they were very supportive and I’m thrilled to have made it through the day. I am very grateful for the generosity everyone has shown and am so proud to be making this donation to Bliss.”

The sponsored silence is the latest in a series of fundraising initiatives for the Julia Durbin team, who have adopted Bliss for a year-long fundraising drive, with other challenges including a sleep out under the stars, as well as Jubilee Tea Party and raffle. 

Sponsored silence at Julia Durbin



Seventieth birthday celebrations at Highbury Lodge Day Nursery

There was cause for celebration at Highbury Lodge Day Nursery in Hitchin as beloved Nursery Practitioner, Eileen Duckett marked her milestone 70th birthday.

Having joined the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Highbury Road 17 years ago, Eileen is an integral part of the team who has helped to positively shape the lives of hundreds of children, as well as taking part in countless fundraising ventures, contributing to the £30million plus total raised by Childbase Partnership for charity in the past 30 years.

As part of the special festivities, colleagues decorated the nursery with balloons and banners, as well as presenting Eileen with flowers and a series of presents throughout the day. The children were also delighted to gift Eileen their handmade cards, before singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and watching her blow out the candles on her cake.

During her career at Highbury Lodge, some of Eileen’s highlights have included a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ trip to South Africa to visit educational projects with fellow Childbase Partnership colleagues, company balls and festivals, as well as making memories with the children closer to home such as swimming lessons and trips to the pantomime in Stevenage.

Highbury Lodge Day Nursery Practitioner, Eileen Duckett explained;

“I had a lovely birthday and was made to feel very special by my wonderful colleagues and nursery children. I have so many cherished memories from my time at Highbury Lodge and am hugely grateful for the friendships I have formed over the years, which have led to fantastic celebrations with the team including weddings and baby showers.”



Celebrating 20 years of service at Knowle Green Day Nursery

There was cause for celebration at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as the team honoured their beloved colleague and Business Administrator, Emma Packwood, as she marked her milestone 20year anniversary at the award-winning setting.

From Third in Charge to Deputy Manager, Emma progressed through several different roles at the day nursery on Knowle Green over the years whilst caring for her own growing family, and has helped to positively shape the lives of hundreds of children, as well as taking part in countless fundraising ventures including sponsored cycles and summer fayres, contributing to the £30million plus total raised by Childbase Partnership for charity in the past 30 years.

As well as being presented with flowers and gifts to mark the special occasion, colleagues reminisced over the highlights of Emma’s past two decades at Knowle Green, which have included family fun days, Childbase company balls and festivals and scooping accolades including Eco-Schools ‘Green Flag’ status and a ‘Nursery of the Year’ title.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Business Administrator, Emma Packwood explained;

“I joined Knowle Green back in 2002 and the time has truly flown since then. 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.”


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