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National Apprenticeship Week at West Cambridge

National Apprenticeship Week at West Cambridge

The spotlight was on Early Years professionals in-training at West Cambridge Day Nursery as they were celebrated by their colleagues during National Apprenticeship Week.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Charles Babbage Road, Apprentices; Sofia Lakin, Jennifer Thatcher, Karla Jones and Ellen Curry were presented with gifts including a notebook and pen set, self-care items, reusable cups, a ‘positive potato’, chocolate and a bespoke card, thanking them for their continued dedication to the role.

As part of the festivities, Apprentices were treated to a celebration lunch by proud Managers, Lesa Clare and Kelly Howard, where they were encouraged to aim for their jobs in the future.

The ‘careers not jobs’ focus at the company is underpinned by Princess Royal Award-winning training, a full range of leadership courses, mentoring and support via The Childbase Partnership Academy of Excellence, established in 2021 to support all Apprentices in-house as they gain their qualifications alongside practical nursery experience.

West Cambridge Deputy Manager, Kelly Howard explained;

“Our Apprentices bring fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and a passion for learning, making them an invaluable asset to our nursery. They demonstrate impressive dedication and a genuine love for childcare, showing us their commitment to shaping the next generation. It’s been amazing to watch their growth and we are really enjoying celebrating them this week.”

Following investment at the Academy’s Buckinghamshire headquarters, apprentices also have inspiring learning environments, the latest technology and upscaled wellbeing amenities like barista-style refreshments on tap, home-cooked meals by the talented resident chef and cosy ‘chill out’ zones which they can enjoy during their training days.

Head of Childbase Training Academy of Excellence, Kara Tuckey said:

“We believe that education is the cornerstone of progress. With this belief, we have curated a team of passionate educators and experts who are committed to providing the highest quality of teaching, learning and assessment. Our commitment to excellence is unwavering, and we strive to set new standards in apprenticeship education.”

That includes Functional Skill Tutors supporting students with Maths and English both at the Academy and in nursery, as well as a team of Childbase Partnership experts, many of whom have worked within the 44-nursery settings, providing face to face training, in-person observations and support wherever required to help learners achieve their qualifications.

The Academy of Excellence is currently delivering courses in L2 Early Years Practitioner, L3 Early Years Educator, L3 Team Leader Supervisor and L5 Early Years Lead Practitioner, with the launch of L5 Manager and L3 Business Administrator also due to be rolled out soon.

Candidates must be at least 16 years old and be successful at interview for an Apprenticeship position. Vacancies can be found here: https://search.childbasecareers.com

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5th – 11th February 2024.

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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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West Downs children enjoy ZooLab visit

West Downs ZooLab visit

Young animal enthusiasts from West Downs Day Nursery in Winchester were delighted to start the year with an exciting visit from ZooLab, where they met an array of exotic creatures.

At the award-winning setting on Romsey Road, children were introduced to Jango the bearded dragon, Henry the tortoise, Dolly the snake and Buttercup the tarantula, all whilst learning facts from expert handlers and having the chance to hold and pet the creatures.

During the fun and informative experience, children were able to find out all about the basic needs and care routines of all the animals, including diet and habitat, as well as introducing conversations around growth, life cycles and the responsibility of caring for living creatures.

West Downs Day Nursery Team Leader, Danni Markwick explained;

“Our children absolutely love animals and had such a fantastic time getting up close and personal with these incredible creatures. They were fascinated to learn how crucial it is to protect and cherish wildlife, ensuring their conservation for future generations, and this has also inspired so many more activities in nursery following the special visit.”

West Downs are also the proud holders of a prestigious Green Flag award from Eco-Schools, which was awarded for exceptional environmental and conservation efforts, with activities including garden insect observations and creating habitats for garden visitors. 

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Coronation celebrations at Nursery on the Green

Nursery on the Green Coronation

Festivities were well underway at Nursery on the Green in Southall as families and colleagues took part in a series of celebrations to mark the Coronation of King Charles.

Dressing up for the occasion, pre-schoolers from the award-winning day nursery on Thorncliffe Road were delighted to welcome their parents for a special Coronation Party, as well as showcasing their creativity with a range of themed activities, from making cards and artwork of the King, to designing their very own crowns to commemorate the special day in history.

As well as reading books including the ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ story of King Charles, the group enjoyed a celebratory tea party complete with handmade sandwiches, cakes and scones, and even a visit from the King himself in the form of a life-sized cardboard cut-out.

As part of the occasion, talented Nursery Practitioner, Tracy Coutinho baked a special Coronation cake, decorated with Union Jack bunting, royal bows and a ‘God Save the King’ cake topper, which was auctioned off to nursery families, raising £100 for The Trussell Trust.

Nursery on the Green Manager, Emma Littler explained;

“We love to mark a variety of special occasions throughout the year, and it is always lovely to have our nursery families join us to help create these lasting memories. The children had a brilliant time preparing for the Coronation and this has presented some incredibly rich learning opportunities, all whilst helping to raise funds for our local food bank.”

Nursery on the Green are supporting The Trussell Trust as part of a year-long fundraising drive, with regular donations made to the Ealing Foodbank to help local people.

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Special storytelling session for Meadow View Day Nursery children

There were smiles all round at Meadow View Day Nursery in Newport Pagnell as children welcomed a special visitor to the setting for an exciting storytelling session.

Inspired by International Children’s Book Day, pre-schoolers from the setting on Westbury Lane were delighted to be visited by nursery parent, Liandra Walker, who read the beloved tale of ‘Zog’ by Julia Donaldson to the captivated group, complete with actions and voices.

As part of the festivities, children spoke about their favourite stories to read at home, before showcasing their creativity with a series of book themed crafting activities.

The nursery prides itself on a strong parent partnership initiative, with families regularly making visits to the setting to help impart expert knowledge on topics such as occupations and cultural celebrations, drawing on their own personal experiences to further learning.

Meadow View Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Tegan Letts explained;

“We are so grateful to our amazing nursery parents for taking the time to help create these rich and memorable learning experiences for the children. The group love having visitors and were thrilled to listen to Liandra read. We believe that families and staff working together is vital to ensuring each child gets the most from their nursery experience.”

International Children’s Book Day was celebrated on 2nd April 2023.

Meadow View storytelling Liandra

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Lime Grove Day Nursery colleagues banish the Monday blues

Lime Grove Blue Monday

Despite being labelled as the ‘the gloomiest day of the year’, there were smiles all round at Lime Grove Day Nursery in Hemel Hempstead as colleagues enjoyed a series of ‘Blue Monday’ inspired wellbeing celebrations at the setting.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Park Road, staff pulled out all the stops as they wore their brightest clothing to work, before enjoying a special ‘Rainbow’ themed buffet spread for lunch complete with exotic fruit platters, vibrant crudité trays and colourful cakes, providing the perfect antidote to the Monday blues.

The latest celebration in nursery follows a tax-free bonus of up to £3,000 for each colleague and a pay rise in December, recognising them all as employee-owners of Childbase Partnership, which has a total of 44 Early Years settings across England.

Lime Grove Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Yasmin Diver explained;

“We had a brilliant Blue Monday and thought what better way to feel good than eat good. We feel so lucky to work with such a passionate team who continue to deliver exceptional childcare every single day and endeavour to showcase this gratitude every day.”

‘Blue Monday’ is marked on the third Monday of January every year.

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Seasonal celebrations at Lime Grove Day Nursery

Lime Grove Day Nursery pumpkin patch

Children and colleagues from Lime Grove Day Nursery in Hemel Hempstead have been embracing all things autumn with a series of seasonal activities and celebrations.

From babies exploring the textures and sizes of different pumpkins in their very own pumpkin patch area, to older children collecting leaves and other natural resources in the garden outside to create autumnal wreaths, there were learning opportunities at every turn for the group at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Park Road.

Pre-schoolers were delighted to practice their mark making skills with leaf rubbing activities, admiring the different patterns left behind, as well as developing fine motor and mathematical skills by scooping the seeds from the pumpkin and using them to count with.

As part of the festivities, parents and colleagues pulled out all the stops with a ‘National Baking Week’ inspired cake sale, where they used their talents to make brownies, cookies, cupcakes and more. As a result of their combined efforts, they raised a grand total of £247.25 for charity ‘Bliss’, which will now go towards helping babies born premature or sick.

Lime Grove Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Yasmin Diver explained;

“Autumn has presented so many lovely opportunities for the children to showcase their creativity and we have really enjoyed observing the changes in our environment. Baking Week was also a brilliant success and inspired lots of cooking activities within nursery, we are thrilled to now be making this donation to such a worthy cause.”

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

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Knowle Green Day Nursery celebrate Persian New Year

Festivities were well underway at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as children and colleagues celebrated Nowruz, otherwise known as Persian New Year.

At the award-winning setting on Knowle Green, children were delighted to learn more about the festival, which is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and symbolic of the start of spring, from their resident expert and Nursery Practitioner, Eila Ahmadi, who imparted her wisdom and shared examples of traditional practices with the captivated group.

To further the learning experience, children were delighted to showcase their creativity by taking part in the custom of painting eggs, before proudly putting them on display.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Manager, Jen Ralphs explained;

“We have several families at Knowle Green that celebrate Nowruz so it was lovely to share this special occasion with them and gain a better insight into such an important part of their culture. The children had a brilliant time and are always thrilled to learn about different events, as well as the creative opportunities this brings within nursery.”

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Lego Day at Green Park Day Nursery

There were smiles all round at Green Park Day Nursery in Reading as children enjoyed ‘Lego Day’, filled with themed activities and learning experiences.

From building design competitions and colour matching games to an experiment which saw pre-schoolers create Lego cars, before testing their travelling distances in a race using balloons, there were exciting opportunities at every turn for children at the award-winning day nursery on South Oak Way.

Meanwhile, as a thank you for their hard work and dedication to the children in their care, colleagues were treated to a ‘Chocolate Cake Day’, complete with homemade cake from Area Manager, Emma Kemp and other treats, as well as non-uniform day.

Green Park Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Grace Critcher explained;

“We had a brilliant time celebrating all things Lego with our pre-schoolers and this provided endless opportunities to showcase creativity, as well as build fine motor skills and practice basic mathematics. All the children were hugely engaged and it was great to see their imaginations run wild.”

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Cultural celebrations at Knowle Green Day Nursery

There were learning experiences at every turn for children at Knowle Green Day Nursery in Staines as they marked a range of cultural occasions at the setting.

Inspired by Grandmother’s Day and Grandfather’s Day which are celebrated the day after each other in Poland during January, children from the award-winning setting on Knowle Green were delighted to create greeting cards for their own grandparents, whilst listening to traditional Polish nursery rhymes at they made their masterpieces.

Following this, creating traditional hats, food tasting and using chopsticks were just some of the themed activities children enjoyed as they celebrated Chinese New Year. To welcome the Year of the Tiger, pre-schoolers also practiced Chinese letter and number formation, before writing a group letter to a sister Childbase Partnership nursery in China to form pen pals and find out more about their way of life.

Knowle Green Day Nursery Manager, Jen Ralphs explained;

“We’ve had a wonderful time celebrating this calendar of events, which has provided the children with so many rich learning opportunities and a wider understanding of the world around them. We are now looking forward to hearing back from our friends in China and finding out what we can learn from each other.”

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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