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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.”

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Childbase Partnership employee owners raise £240,000 for charity

Childbase Partnership employee owners in 45 award-winning day nurseries are celebrating a record £240,000 for vital, life-saving cancer research following another year of active fund-raising for Cancer Research UK.

The largest single cash donation in Childbase Partnership fundraising history follows a £90,000 donation to Cancer Research UK in 2021 when employee owners agreed to adopt the charity for a second year running due to the pandemic.

Clare Lappin, Partnerships Manager at Cancer Research UK said in a message to employees and nursery parents:

“Over the last two years, your support has meant more than ever. Thanks to you we’ve continued funding the research that will save lives for years to come. COVID-19 may have slowed us down, but together we never stopped making progress.”

With the pandemic restricting usual fund-raising activities in nursery and Head Office, employee owners donned their running kits to take on a series of solo long-distance and ‘muddy’ challenges; shaved their heads and organized bake sales and children’s ‘Race for Life’ events to boost funds raised.  

The charity was chosen to benefit from a fund-raising and awareness campaign following a company-wide vote and was accompanied by a range of other programmes to support NHS workers on the front-line of the pandemic and local food banks.

Lucy Thompson, Head of Charity Fundraising at Childbase Partnership in thanking colleagues and nursery parents for their extraordinary generosity, said:

“We always aim to make a real difference with our fundraising and awareness campaigns and this has never been more important than during the pandemic. We know that important breakthroughs in the field of cancer research are possible if the dedicated research teams get the financial support they need and so richly deserve.”

Childbase Partnership employee owners and nursery parents have raised over £3.3 million for charities and worthy causes since the company was founded in 1989.

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Celebrating Lohri at Knowle Green Day Nursery

Festivities were well underway at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as children and colleagues joined millions worldwide in celebrating the festival of Lohri.

One of the most significant events in the Punjabi calendar, the festival marks the end of winter and the onset of spring, and was honoured at the award-winning setting on Knowle Green with a series of exciting activities. Children were also delighted to be joined by nursery parent, Amrit, who imparted her expert knowledge on the festival.

From dancing to traditional music and playing games to carrying out the custom of throwing ‘sweets’ on the fire as a goodwill offering for the season ahead, the group embraced all that the occasion had to offer, before enjoying a special lunch of homemade curry and samosas.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Manager, Jen Ralphs explained;

“We love to mark a range of different events throughout the year to give children a wider understanding of the world around them and celebrate the diversity within our local community. It was wonderful to have one of our nursery families come in and share such an important part of their culture with us, we had a fantastic time.”

Lohri is celebrated all around the world every January 13th.

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Mayor of Milton Keynes officially opens Hampstead Gate Day Nursery

Exactly one year on since welcoming its very first cohort of children, families and colleagues from Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes were delighted as local Mayor, Councillor Mohammed Khan officially opened the setting in a special ceremony.

Having been postponed due to ongoing Covid restrictions, the long-awaited celebrations saw the Mayor unveil a commemorative plaque and cut a bespoke cake at the 97 place setting on Eelbrook Avenue, which is part of the employee-owned Childbase Partnership with 45 day nurseries in the South of England, following a visit in the summer to plant a tree.

Complete with imaginative play and learning spaces, state of the art equipment and immersive role play areas, the Mayor praised the resources on offer to children aged between six weeks and five years, as well as the eco-friendly practices which have resulted in Hampstead Gate earning a prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award from Eco-Schools.

From babies using recycled paper from the shredder for sensory activities, to older children creating bug hotels for insect observations and growing vegetables in the garden which are then used in meals by talented Nursery Chefs, children of all ages take part in a curriculum of eco-activities the whole year round whilst learning key educational messages.

Hampstead Gate Day Nursery Manager, Elkie Taylor, who has over 20 years’ experience in the Early Years sector and previously managed another Childbase setting, explained;

“Respecting and protecting the environment is an important part of our commitment to give our children the best possible future. We are preparing happy and confident children for a smooth transition to mainstream schooling and, equally important, for their roles and responsibilities in a much wider world”.

Meanwhile, new technologies have been harnessed in both the equipment and toys available to the children like the ‘Mantra Lingua’ systems which makes books, posters, stickers and cards in nursery ‘talk’, with the aid of special stickers and ‘pens’, to effectively support children with English as a second language and help introduce this to others.

Like all Childbase Partnership settings, Hampstead Gate Day Nursery is powered by Green Electricity from falling water, the sun, the wind and organic waste material and diverts all nappy waste away from landfill. The waste is collected and sorted off site, with non-recyclable elements used in energy processes to power hospitals or boost the National Grid.

“We have had the most wonderful year and are absolutely delighted to be able to offer such rich learning experiences to the children in our care. Our beautiful play spaces inspire creativity and curiosity both indoors and out, and our devoted staff team provide endless opportunities for fun and learning. We marked the special occasion with fancy dress, and are so grateful to the Mayor for taking the time to support us”, added Elkie.

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Knowle Green Day Nursery scoop healthy eating award

There was cause for celebration at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as delighted colleagues and children received an ‘Eat Well, Start Well’ award, following a new scheme developed by Surrey Public Health.

The accolade, which has been awarded to the Knowle Green nursery, celebrates local Early Years Settings that provide healthy and nutritious meals to the children in their care. For the setting, this includes the use of ethically sourced ingredients; including the children’s home-grown produce and salt and sugar-free food, as well as the use of suppliers committed to environmentally friendly and ethical production.

Teachings at Knowle Green also emphasise the importance of healthy eating and lifestyles, with colourful displays in each age-appropriate room to support these messages, as well as daily activities which include celebrating diversity in marking cultural festivals with traditional ingredients and growing herbs and vegetables in the garden outside, where children also learn key maths, science and conservation skills.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Manager, Jen Ralphs explained;

“We are absolutely thrilled to have received this award and I couldn’t be prouder of my colleagues who have made this happen, especially our talented Nursery Chef, Carol Nevitt and Team Leader, Hannah Willis who carried out the awards consultation. We have amazing feedback from our parents, who are always welcome to approach us with tips and advice for healthy eating at home, and it’s wonderful to know how much the children are enjoying the meals they are served.”

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Local dentists visit Green Park Day Nursery

There were learning opportunities at every turn for children at Green Park Day Nursery in Reading as they enjoyed a visit from local dentists.

At the award-winning setting on South Oak Way, the over two’s were captivated as they learnt about the importance of good oral hygiene from experts at nearby Olive Tree Dental on Green Park Business Park, who arranged a series of exciting activities including quizzes and a teeth brushing masterclass with chance to practice.

To aid learning, children listened to songs about brushing and were delighted to receive a goody bag at the end of the visit, filled with helpful resources with information and ideas, as well as a toothbrush, toothpaste, stickers and treats.

In the New Year, Green Park families will also have the opportunity to visit Olive Tree Dental for further support and advice in engaging children in the subject.

Green Park Day Nursery Team Leader, Grace Critcher explained;

“The children had a brilliant time with the dentists and we are so grateful to them for taking time out of their busy schedules to impart their wisdom on this important topic. We aim to make these experiences fun and memorable for the children to ensure they have a lasting impact and help them to make healthy choices for the future.”

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Festive fun at Grasshoppers Day Nursery

Festivities were well underway at Grasshoppers Day Nursery in St Albans as children began to decorate the setting, starting with the Christmas tree in the garden outside.

After dressing the branches with a series of beautiful baubles and lights, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on York Road turned their attention to the individual trees in their age-appropriate classrooms for an annual decorating contest, which this year is themed around the topic of recycling.

As part of the competition, which will be judged by nursery parents, children and colleagues have been set the challenge of making all of the Christmas decorations from reused materials in order to promote positive environmental messages and their work with Eco-Schools, for which they have earnt a prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award.

 

During the festive period, an exciting schedule of events has been planned to bring joy to Grasshoppers, from a Christmas Jumper Day to a Carol Concert for families with seasonal treats including mince pies and mulled wine, as well as magical touches for the children, including reindeer food to take home on Christmas Eve. 

In the spirit of giving back, the nursery are also hosting a range of fundraisers over the holidays to raise money for Cancer Research UK, including a dress down day which raised a total of £362.00 and a Christmas shop with the opportunity to buy personalised snow globe gifts for a small donation to the charity.

Grasshoppers Day Nursery Team Leader, Lauren Ringrose explained;

“We have had a brilliant time preparing for Christmas and the children have been delighted to immerse themselves in all of the activities on offer. This has provided so many exciting learning opportunities, and we are now looking forward to catching up with our wonderful nursery families for carols, which we were unable to do last year.”

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Celebrating 30 years of service at Field House Day Nursery

There was cause for celebration at Field House Day Nursery in Buckingham as colleagues honoured beloved Nursery Practitioner, Sallyann Grantham, as she marked her milestone 30 year anniversary at the award-winning setting.

Having started in 1991, a decade before the Tingewick Road nursery was acquired by Childbase Partnership, Sallyann is Field House’s longest serving member of staff and has helped to positively shape the lives of hundreds of children in her care throughout her career, whilst witnessing the transformation of the original 15 space setting to 131 spaces with upcoming barn conversion and new outdoor play area. 

To mark the special occasion, proud colleagues organised a ‘30 cards for 30 years’ initiative, where each day through November Sallyann receives a card from a colleague, past or present, penning memories and offering their congratulations, whilst Field House are also planning a celebration outside of nursery with team members from over the years, and planting a special tree outside in her honour.  

From taking part in traditions and events including the annual Buckingham Christmas Parades with the children to helping local people in need with Field House food bank drives, the surrounding community has been hugely important to Sallyann, who has gone on to marry and have two children of her own, and is often stopped around town by former families from the setting who remember her fondly.

Raising money for worthy causes has also been integral to Sallyann’s time at Field House, from making her famous rocky road for nursery bake sales to taking part in team fundraisers including go-kart days, these efforts have helped contribute to the £3million and counting that Childbase Partnership have raised for charities including ‘Mind’, ‘Alzheimer’s Society’ and ‘Cancer Research UK’ over the past 30 years.

Field House Deputy Manager, Lucy Piosek explained;

“Everyone that works with or knows Sallyann knows how much Field House means to her and how much she means to all us here. She is far more than just a colleague and over the years has become a good friend to many people, including the parents.”

Speaking of the achievement, Sallyann said;

“I started working at Field House when it first opened as a nursery in 1991. 30 years later, I am still here and feel part of the brickwork. I have looked after so many children who I still see now, and their parents. Some of the children are now parents themselves. I have got so many happy memories of the children and the people I have worked with over the years. It has been amazing to watch the small nursery grow and change but still have the same Field House family feel. I can’t see myself being anywhere else, here’s to the next 30 years”.

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Seasonal celebrations at Julia Durbin Day Nursery

Festivities were well underway at Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Headington as delighted children celebrated an exciting range of calendar events.

Starting with Halloween, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Roosevelt Drive dressed up in their spookiest costumes to take part in the themed activities, which included pumpkin decorating and sensory play, as well as raising a grand total of £180.47 for Cancer Research UK with a creepy cake sale.

From trying on traditional clothing to creating their very own rangoli patterns using rice, there were learning opportunities at every turn for children during Diwali, whilst expert colleagues who celebrate the occasion explored henna with the group and shared their knowledge on why the ‘Festival of Lights’ is important to so many.

Following this, families from Julia Durbin were delighted to round off the series of festivities with Bonfire Night celebrations, where they joined together to enjoy the children’s homemade soup and bread, as well as sparklers in the garden outside.

Julia Durbin Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Aimee Corcoran explained;

“We have had a fantastic time immersing ourselves in all the events that this time of the year has to offer. Our Bonfire Night gathering proved to be a brilliant social opportunity for both the adults and the children and we have also been thrilled to raise money for such a worthy cause with our Halloween fundraiser.”

“We love to mark a range of religious and cultural events throughout the year to give the children a broad understanding of the world, as well as honour the rich diversity in our local community and express our creativity”, she added.

The nursery adopted Cancer Research UK in 2020 for a year-long fundraising drive, which has now been extended until the end of 2021.

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Cedar Park Day Nursery receive a ‘little love’

As part of Waitrose’s nationwide ‘Give a Little Love’ campaign, colleagues from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford were delighted to receive a range of supplies for the children in their care from their local Reading branch in the lead up to Christmas.

From cosy clothes and sleepsuits to sunhats for the warmer months, the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bridge Farm Road is now well-stocked in spare garments thanks to the supermarket, who are supporting the communities in which they serve in a variety of ways and encouraging kindness in the process.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“It was such a lovely surprise to be contacted by our local Waitrose store and considered for this donation. We are very grateful for the clothes, which will be put to great use, and this has inspired us to think of ways that we can give back too.”

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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