Summer Fun!

It has been amazing weather this summer so far and during any type of weather its important to keep the children occupied and happy at all times. Bored children do not make for happy children (or parents! ) . . .

Here at Daybreak we have a multitude of activities and ideas to keep children of all ages happy and we thought you might benefit from us sharing some of them with you.

Outdoor fun: car/bike wash, ice play, ice cube painting, mud ice brick building, digging for worms, ice block treasure hunt, tin foil river,

12 Fun Playdate Activities for Toddlers, Including Scrub and Shine!  Love this idea for j and l...Painting with Ice - a fun summer activity to promote creativity with your kids! FOR ALL AGES!Add an ice cube tray to the mud kitchen to make mud bricks for construction playDigging for "worms" - a fun activity that will have the kids laughing and screeching. {Can you guess what was used for worms? So realistic!}

32 Of The Best DIY Backyard Games You Will Ever Play - not interested in all these. But there's definitely a couple I'll try with the boys this summer!Backyard safari and map activity! Fun for Apologia Aoology 3, Apologia Land Animals for #homeschool scienee, animal lesson


Rainy Day Fun: ziplock bag painting, bubble wrap painting, rock painting, pillow fun, colour hunting, cardboard box drawing, make sensory bags, baby drum circle

Paint in ziplock bags, taped to table. Great distraction, no mess! - GlamourizationBubble Wrap Paint Print | 25 Of The Best Toddler Crafts For Little HandsHave a Rock-Painting PartyWalking on Pillows.. why did i not think about this :s

colour scavenger buckets, tins, cereal boxes, pillow cases....Fab mark-making in a cardboard box - image from AINE Juguetes (",)sensory bagsPlay Create Explore: 200+ Activites for Ages 1-5

*All images from Pinterest*


You may also want to plan a few special trips and days out with your children so here’s our list of different activities in and around the local areas this summer.

London Royal Docks pop up beach – free entry from 18th August – 2 Sept
Monstersauraus show at Southbank centre – tickets for 7th -12th August

Amersham museum – various workshops, walks and activities throughout the summer holidays.

Aylesbury Thursday children’s events in Market Square
Play in the park  (Vale park, Aylesbury) – 2nd August
Play around the parishes (various dates and locations around Aylesbury and surrounding areas).

Gruffalo trail – Wendover woods

Paddington fun day – Waterstones, Watford, 16th August (free event).
Watford’s big beach (high street) 4th – 19th August
Bushfest, Busheys summer party – 26th August

Hope this has given you some ideas for over the summer.
Thanks for reading.








10 years’ service


Hi Hannah, thank you for the taking the time to speak about your amazing achievement of 10 years’ service here with us at Daybreak. I understand that you have progressed from a nursery assistant all the way up to the Managerial team at ACA!

Yes I’ve have been working for Daybreak for 10 years. I originally worked at the Rickmansworth branch for 7 years before progressing into a managerial role in the Amersham branch for the latest 3 years. I am extremely passionate about my job and love to help others. In my own time, I enjoy reading, socialising with friends, shopping and visiting restaurants.

Question 1
What was it that inspired you to come into childcare 10 years ago, when you first started at Daybreak?

Initially I wanted to work within the Travel and Tourism sector as I was studying this at college when I was introduced to Daybreak by my sister (who still works for Daybreak now). I worked two days a week whilst studying and really enjoyed the time I spent there so when I finished college, I decided to work at Daybreak full-time.

Question 2
During 10 years’ service you must have experienced a few Ofsted inspections, describe to us how you felt during your first inspection to now?

I have experienced many Ofsted inspections within my career. At the beginning, I didn’t have much involvement however I remember feeling nervous because they come in and watch your every move! I remember having an inspection at the Rickmansworth branch when I was in a room leader position. I remember giving them a tour, showing them what we do and give evidence. This year in February, I was involved in an Ofsted inspection at the Amersham branch and I am now in a managerial role so I had lots of involvement in answering questions in the management questioning part. I felt pretty confident and wanted the inspector to see what we do and do well. I reminded myself that they are only human and they carry out inspections to ensure we provide a high standard of care to the children!

Question 3
You will have seen and experienced many situations in 10 years; Ofsted inspections, changes to the EYFS curriculum, new and returning families, staffing, training. Is there anything that sticks out over the years as a fond memory or situation?

I have many memories of all the above, but the fondest memory which sticks in my mind was helping a child who was newly adopted to a new family and that child required a lot of support with their learning and development. The child was wonderful to be around and the parents were extremely grateful for everything myself and the setting provided. It was totally fulfilling and reminded me why I work with children, to not only support the child, but to support the families as well.

Question 4
What is it you enjoy most about coming to work?

When I get up in the mornings to go into work, my main aim of the day is to feel as though I have made a difference to someone else, whether that is a child, a staff member or a parent. That is what makes my job worthwhile!

Question 5
What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of my natural progression with Daybreak and the support that has been provided to me. I started as a Nursery Assistant and I am now in an Acting Manager position. I have many people to thank for the never ending opportunities.

Question 6
Do you have any advice for anyone not sure if childcare is the right path for them?

I think if anyone is considering a career in childcare, they need to ask themselves these two questions – do you enjoy being around children? And, are you passionate about making a difference to others? If you answer yes, then you should go for it. It is hard work but very rewarding!

Question 7
What would you do differently if you had your career path ahead of you again?

I studied my NVQ Level 3 Childcare and Level 3 Management training whilst working at Daybreak. Looking back, I would have enjoyed taking on further study and possibly undertaken a childcare degree however I am now in a different stage of my life now and very happy with how my career is going.

Question 8
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years???

It is hard to say where I see myself in another 10 years’ time, as I look forward to buying my own house and having children of my own. I would like to think I will remain in the childcare industry somewhere or another making a difference to others.


Thank you for your time Hannah and we look forward to your future achievements within daybreak Nurseries.

Sheryl Kinnison – An insight to a day in the life of a Nursery Chef…..

Here at Daybreak Nurseries we are always very conscious of our children’s nutrition and reflect this in our seasonal menus. We have key members of staff who devise healthy but exciting tea menus. They also sit down with our chefs and discuss the lunch menu in great detail in order to be able to provide the best options for all children, taking into account a varied diet and making sure all food groups are included sufficiently throughout the nursery day.

Q: Welcome back to Daybreak – what do you enjoy about being here and preparing the children’s meals?
Thank you, I’m really excited to be back and to start evolving the menu to include some really interesting flavours. It is so rewarding for me to be part of the nursery and see for myself the children really enjoying See the source imagetheir food.

Q. Are there any particular foods that you can recommend to new parents cooking meals for their children?
I find that they relish meals that are full of flavour – curries, for example – with lots of vegetables both blended into the sauce and some such as butternut squash or sweet potato in the curry. With the meat I cook it thoroughly so that it is really tender and not difficult to chew.
Q. What made you choose this as a career?
Being a mum myself I am passionate about nutrition and ensuring that children have the opportunity to have well-balanced meals. By working at Daybreak I can really contribute to this and have a work-life balance that earlier on in my career in catering was really difficult to achieve.

See the source image
Q. Is there a dish that you have prepared for Daybreak’s children that has been their favourite?
That would have to be the lamb tagine – not only does it fill the nursery with appetising aromas it is a dish that is sweet, full of flavour and colour – like sunshine on a plate – makes us all happy!
Q. Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to follow a similar career path?
Yes, work hard, put in the groundwork – start in professional kitchens to really learn the craft. The hours are tough but you learn from scratch and eventually it will all come together.


Thank you Sheryl for a lovely interview and we look forward to trying out lots of delicious dishes in the future!

Firework Safety – a handy help on the DO’s and DONT’s around the festive season.

Bonfire night safety…
Take a look at this very important safety guide for a fun filled Bonfire Night!


Did you know?
Fireworks can travel up to speeds of 150mph?!
It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.
If three sparklers are burnt together they will generate the same heat as a blowtorch!
Until 1959 it was illegal not to celebrate Bonfire Night in the UK.
Bonfire Nights original name is ‘Bonfire’!

As we all know, fireworks are dangerous. It is important to be very careful and carry out special precautions, always ensure an adult carries out these safety tips;
Lay out firework on its bottom or stand, ensure there are not any flammable materials or plants nearby.
An adult must always warn people before they are setting off the firework.
Please always stand well back at a firework display!
Remember to stay warm! We all know November is a cold month! Wrap up in your most comfortable snug clothing and don’t forget your thick socks, hats, jumpers, coats and scarves – and those ear muffs!
Always stay alert for health issues – if you or any other of your party suffer from heart problems, asthma or bronchitis it might be a safer idea to have fun at fireworks night inside! You can always turn of your lights for a better display!

The DO’S at Bonfire Night.
DO stand away from the bonfire and fireworks
DO light only one sparkler at a time, holding it at arm’s length.
DO only use sparklers if supervised by an adult.
DO keep a bucket of water ready for emergencies.

The DONT’S at Bonfire Night.
DON’T go near a firework after it has been lit.
DON’T go near a firework after it has been set off, let an adult clean up.
DON’T hold sparklers without any gloves,
DON’T give sparklers to children under the age of 5 years.
DON’T keep the bonfire in the way of objects.
DON’T use fireworks after 11pm. It is illegal.

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Sparkler fun!
Find an open space outdoors that is not too windy.
Always wear gloves to avoid getting burnt.
Get an adult to light the sparkler whilst you are holding the base of the stick.
Only light one sparkler at a time. Remember that sparklers are very bright and heated once they are first ignited.
Always hold a sparkler horizontally and away from your body and face as much as possible!
Have fun with your sparkler! You could try writing your name in the night sky.
Always extinguish a sparkler in a bucket of water.
Never touch the end of a sparkler, even long after it has stopped burning.




What does being “school ready” mean?

Hello Megan, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us today!
How are you liking your new adventure at big school?
“It’s great”megan
Are you making lots of friends?
What do you talk about with them/play at playtime?
“I ask if it’s ok to play with them”
“Can we play babies”
What do you find most exciting about your school day?
“Playing with my friends”
Is there anything that is a bit tricky for you to do/understand?
“Writing my numbers”
Is it exciting to see mummy/daddy at home time?
“Would like if daddy could pick me up one day”
What is your favourite time of the day?
“Playing outside”
Is there anything in particular you have enjoyed learning about so far at school?
“Harvest ….then paused…. We started learning the song today”

What class are you in?

What School do you go to?
“St Peter’s”

And finally, what is your favourite thing about School?
“Seeing my friends”

Thank you Kylie and Megan- we wish you all the best for school, please come and visit us very soon!

Claudia Winkleman’s Fancy Dress Campaign Success: A reminder of safety at Halloween.

Image result for claudia winkleman daughter's accident

Claudia Winkleman‘s campaign to raise the safety standards on children’s fancy dress outfits after her daughter’s Halloween costume caught fire, has been a success.
Sainsbury’s have promised their children’s dress up range will meet the same strict fire safety standards that apply to nightwear.
Tesco and Asda will be applying more rigorous testing, and Marks & Spencer will also do so on future lines.
Winkleman sparked debate after her Watchdog appearance found that children’s costumes are considered as “toys” rather than “costumes” and don’t go through the same vigorous testing as clothes.
Winkleman is pleased with the news, telling The Mirror: “I love Sainsbury’s for it. Others are doing it too. I had to so something.”

Winkleman’s eight-year-old daughter, Matilda, suffered horrific burns after her Halloween fancy dress costume caught fire in Halloween 2014.
She said in an interview with BBC 1’sWatchdog: “It was like horrific birthday candles you blow out and they come back. It was really, really fast.”
An experiment was completed on Watchdog to see how flammable children’s costumes were, which found that when some fancy dress items were lit with a candle, they were set alight in a matter of seconds and began to melt.
At the time, Rachel Burrows from parenting site Netmums said to HuffPost UK Parents: “Selling children’s costumes as toys not clothes to avoid stringent safety tests is appalling. While it may benefit the manufacturer, it has already left children injured and could well lead to a child’s death.”

The Watchdog investigation and Winkleman’s campaign has proven to be a success.
James Brown, director of non-food at Sainbury’s said: “”We have looked at every detail of our children’s dress-up range in creating our new standard and believe that it will be industry-leading.
“This has not been a simple task, but the safety of children is our number one priority and introducing more rigorous safety standards for our children’s dress-up is the right thing to do.
“All clothing carries some fire risk, but we hope that introducing our own rigorous testing standards that test clothes as clothes rather than as toys will be the first step towards safer testing across the industry.”
A Tesco spokesperson commented: “There’s nothing more important to us than the safety of the products we sell and we will always act when we hear customers are concerned.
“We’ve re-tested all of our F&F/Tesco children’s fancy dress costumes and can confirm they all meet the legally required toy test and the kids nightwear test – we won’t be selling costumes that do not meet this stricter regulation.”
A spokesperson from Asda added: “While all of our products meet the current industry standards, we are always looking at ways of improving our own testing methods.
“We recognise children’s dress-up costumes are no longer occasional wear and George has already taken steps to introduce an additional test that goes over and above current requirements to ensure that they are fit for everyday use.”
M&S told HuffPot Uk Parents: “We do not currently sell children’s fancy dress clothing. However, any future ranges would meet the very high safety standards we set ourselves, which go over and above all the relevant safety regulations.”

For information on Halloween safety tips, follow the useful link below.


The End of Maternity Leave: a poem for Mummy



Please read a lovely poem for a mums first day back into the big wide world of work after her maternity leave. 

The End of Maternity Leave: a poem for Mummy on her first day back at work
It’s a date that’s been in the diary for months, yet nobody has been looking forward to it. The emotional day when a new mum heads back to work at the end of maternity leave.
If you’re lucky enough to have wangled some shared parental leave, so that dad can take over at home, I’m sure it softens the blow slightly. But for the vast majority of new parents, the end of maternity leave means that, for the first time in their life, your little pride and joy will be someone else’s responsibility. And I think every parent that’s been through it can agree, this is a mammoth, highly-charged adjustment for mums (especially) to process.



You’ve cared for me tirelessly,
since the day I popped out
and I’ve loved every minute,
of that, there’s no doubt..

But it’s time now to head back
to your nine to five;
I know it seems scary, but
I know you’ll survive..

Just think of the freedom
you’ll have, once you’re there,
with no nappies to change,
or me, pulling your hair..

Like drinking a cuppa
before it’s gone cold,
and dealing with grown ups
who do as they’re told..
Or grabbing a sandwich
when lunch hour hits,
without having to chop it
into small bite sized bits..
And wearing clean clothes
(that I’ve not yet stained),
while mingling with adults
who are all potty trained!

Plus, I’ll be just fine mum,
so don’t get distraught.
You’ve prepared me so well
with all that you’ve taught..

I won’t scream the place down;
I’ll smile on cue;
I’ll eat all my lunch up
and sleep when asked too..

Of course, I’ll miss you,
but the hours will fly by…
so be a brave mummy,
and try not to cry..
You’ve left me in safe hands.
It’ll be a right laugh!
I’ll fill you in later,
when you give me my bath…
It’s time to head off now,
or else you’ll be late!
Just try to enjoy it…
I know you’ll be great..

I see you’re still nervous
but, really, we’ll be alright.
So chin up, head down
and I’ll see you tonight!