National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2024

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 will run from Monday 5th to Sunday 11th February, & is the 17th annual celebration of apprenticeships. The week aims to bring together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to celebrate the value, benefit & opportunity that they bring.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is “Skills for Life”, & gives us all the opportunity to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills & knowledge required for a rewarding career, & employers to develop a workforce with future ready skills.

Apprenticeships are something that we, as a Company, have supported since we began 25 years ago. We believe in their worth & have seen many learners develop into successful members of staff, & even progress to Management level!

Just some of the many benefits:

  • Learn while you earn – £6.40/hr, progression after 12mths for those aged 19+
  • Wealth of transferable knowledge
  • Practical job-specific skills
  • Work alongside experienced staff
  • Gateway to a career
  • Increase in confidence


  • 16yrs+ (no upper age limit)
  • Living in England
  • Not in full time education

All the lucky apprentices that work for us at Early Years Care & Education Ltd also benefit from our amazing infrastructure; they have access to support from their training provider, their management team, their Room Coordinator/mentor, & our fabulous Quality Practice team.

The Quality Practice team is dedicated to supporting apprentices to learn the necessary care routines, & best practice, from the offset of their employment with us. The QP team models how to complete a specific aspect of the daily routine, sets attainable targets & works with apprentices to ensure thorough training dedicated to each individual. We have had a passionate set of apprentices, who have moved through the programme with great success with the support of their team. We’ve worked hard together, creating a group of qualified & confident Early Years Educators, who should be as proud of their achievements as we are of them.

Anna Cam, Quality Practice Manager 

We should also take the opportunity to praise the wonderful training providers that work with us, supplying their valuable time & efforts to help get our learners through their apprenticeships. It’s partly due to their dedication that we can boast about the number of qualified staff we now have following completion. In 2023 alone, we had an incredible 16 members of our team achieve a new or higher qualification, & we look forward to celebrating the successes of many more in 2024.

Get in touch today to enquire – kickstart your Early Years career by joining our growing Company!

Don’t just take my word for what a great choice an Early Years apprenticeship is, read on for comments direct from our learners…

I love my job & I’m really glad that I took the opportunity. It’s really challenging, but also really fun. My experience so far has been better than I ever imagined. It pushes me daily, & helps me grow. I love that my co-workers are so supportive & willing to help me. I have learnt a lot through my apprenticeship, & working hands-on really helps with my coursework as I personally get the experience.


I want to give thanks for the support I received during my apprenticeship, I had a great team & assessor. I was very proud of myself when I achieved my qualification & gained more knowledge. It makes it so easy as now I know what I’m doing. I was interested in the early years industry & thought of doing an apprenticeship because I would get the experience, alongside doing the work. I make a real difference in children’s lives, supporting them in their development & learning, supporting their family throughout. Whilst doing this I create a beautiful bond with the children & family.


I am currently Level 3 qualified & am completing my Level 5. I chose to complete the Level 5 due to moving into higher roles in the Company, so wanting to improve my knowledge of more leadership aspects to allow me to progress more. I love to see the positive impact I can have on children’s lives! I am finding it manageable to complete all my work alongside working full time, & would highly recommend this to others as it is a very rewarding course, I have also learnt lots of new information too! 


I thought starting an apprenticeship in childcare would help me gain practical skills, enhance knowledge, & improve career prospects in a specific field. I chose Early Years so that I could contribute to the development & well-being of young children, fostering a positive impact on their early learning experiences. My experience from beginning until now has been amazing, I’ve been lucky to work with a great team of staff & management. I received all the help & support I needed to complete it, & I knew where to go if I was ever to need some extra help. 


My reasons for choosing to do a higher-level qualification was to improve my career & gain me another qualification. I chose Early Years as this is something I have always wanted to work in & enjoy. The course is very interesting, informative & encouraging me to learn new things. I will always encourage others to do further learning to enhance their career, & to always follow their heart.



My experience so far, I can say that I am enjoying the challenges & rewards that come with being part of the Early Years. I encourage others to consider a similar path. The combination of practical experience & alignment with the company’s values has made my journey easier. If you share a passion for Early Years education, this is the place for you.


October at Kingswood

Well, October has been a very busy month here at Kingswood with activities and events galore! We’ve had everything from our annual photo day to National Poetry Day, Halloween spookiness, scavenger hunts and charity days! Please keep scrolling to read and view more of what we have been up to.

Our Chosen Poem for National Poetry Day

This poem really sparked an interest with the children, encouraging them to discuss the time of year and the season of Autumn. National Poetry Day gave us lots of inspiration for future activities, and ways of how we can extend our knowledge of all things Autumn.

The Pre-School children enjoyed playing outside with the scarves, watching how they flowed in the wind. They made patterns by stretching their arms out wide and using their bodies to move in all different directions.


Our spooky skeleton!

The children particularly enjoyed the Halloween party day, but they also learnt new skills by taking part in our baking activities. The babies extended their vocabulary by using new words such as ‘mix’, ‘stir’ and ‘whisk’. The older children developed physical skills by mixing the ingredients together and discussing how the ingredients felt, if they were ‘heavy or light’ and how the mixture changed as we added each new ingredient.

As well as baking, Halloween gave us opportunities to be creative in other ways, so the children took part in and enjoyed potion making, vegetable printing and spider making. Our ‘word of the week’ was also ‘spider’ so we really celebrated this word and incorporated it into many of our October activities and group times!

Wear it Pink

We took part in this event by wearing something pink!!! We all had great fun wearing our pink clothes and raising lots of awareness and money for such a great charity! We raised £200.00 so a big well done and thank you to all who contributed!

Scavenger Hunt!

With all things Autumn solidly in the the forefront of our minds, we went on a scavenger hunt to the field that we are lucky enough to be next door to. We used our autumnal findings for many different activities; we did some amazing leaf rubbing, and some counting and sorting. We found out how fun maths can be! We made piles of different objects we found, we counted them and decided what was heavy and light and what the textures of the objects we collected were like. We did lots of sorting and matching activities too.

Healthy Early Years

Chloe, our setting’s HEY lead (Health Early Years), has been hard at work sharing different recipes that the children love to eat at nursery with all of our families. We most recently shared our ingredients and method for the Rainbow Vegetable Risotto. Some of our parents have given great feedback and said their children ate this meal at home! Chloe has also added to our already healthy and balanced menu to give the children choices amongst the meals we serve. For example, most recently, the children have been offered a beetroot and feta salad as an accompaniment to their jacket potatoes, as well the children voting for if they would like fish fingers or veggie fingers for lunch. The children having the additional choice has been a success!

That’s it for October, but we’ll be back again soon to update you on the latest events at Kingswood :)

A helpful parent guide to oral health

From brushing their first tooth to their first trip to the dentist, here’s how to take care of your children’s teeth.

A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health. Follow these tips and you can help keep your kids’ teeth decay-free.

Toothbrushing tips
It’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay.

Toothbrushes should have a small head size (the toothbrush needs to be small enough to reach behind the back teeth and brush them easily). The bristles should be medium/soft so that they do not hurt the gums. Toothbrushes should be replaced at least every 3 months, or sooner if required. Toothbrushes should be individually identifiable for each child

Children aged up to 3 years
 Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later).
 Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing.
 Brush teeth twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
 Brush last thing at night before bed and on 1 other occasion.
 Use children’s fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
 Use only a smear of toothpaste.
 Make sure children don’t eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.

Children aged 3 to 6 years
 Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
 Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
 Brushing should be supervised by a parent or carer.
 Use children’s fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
 Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
 Spit out after brushing and don’t rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won’t work as well.

Children aged 7 and over
 Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
 Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
 Use fluoride toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm of fluoride (check label).
 Spit out after brushing and don’t rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won’t work as well.
Children aged 7 and over should be able to brush their own teeth, but it’s still a good idea to watch
them to make sure they brush properly and for about 2 minutes.

How to help children brush their teeth properly
 Guide your child’s hand so they can feel the correct movement.
 Use a mirror to help your child see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth.
 Make tooth brushing as fun as possible by using an egg timer to time it for about 2 minutes.
 Don’t let children run around with a toothbrush in their mouth, as they may have an accident and hurt themselves.

Taking your child to the dentist
 NHS dental care for children is free.
 Take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can advise you on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child’s mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practise for the future.
 When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits.
 Take your child for regular dental check-ups as advised by the dentist.

Fluoride varnish and fissure sealants
 Fissure sealants can be done once your child’s permanent back teeth have started to come through (usually at the age of about 6 or 7) to protect them against decay. This is where the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are covered with a special thin plastic coating to keep germs and food particles out of the grooves. The sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years.
 Fluoride varnish can be applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth. It involves painting a varnish that contains high levels of fluoride onto the surface of the tooth every 6 months to prevent decay. Some children may need this more often. It works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
 From the age of 3, children should be offered fluoride varnish application at least twice a year. Younger children may also be offered this treatment if your dentist thinks they need it. Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish or fissure sealing.

Between meal snacks
 Avoid sugary and acidic food / drinks between meals and an hour before bedtime
 Honey, smoothies, fruit juice and dried fruit are not tooth-friendly snack
 Milk is a tooth friendly drink during the day, water is tooth friendly at any time
 From 6 months onwards encourage the use of open top cups, discourage bottle use after the age of one year
 Remember to ask for sugar-free medicines whenever possible
 If you need help finding a dentist please telephone: NHS Helpline: 111 or visit their website:

How to brush
Place the head of the toothbrush against the teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45 degree angle against the gum line. Move the brush in small circular movements, sever-al times, on all the surfaces of every tooth
Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gum line.
Do this again, but on the inside surfaces of all your teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small, circular strokes with the front part of the brush.
Brush the biting surfaces of your teeth.
Spit out after brushing and do not rinse, so that the fluoride stays on the teeth longer.

Song to sing to your child
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
(Tune ‘Row, row, row your boat’)

Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Brush them every day
We put toothpaste on our brush
To help stop tooth decay

Clean, clean, clean your teeth
Clean them every day
Your teeth will sparkle for years to come
In the most beautiful way

Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Brush them every day
Happy, healthy teeth you’ll have
If it’s done this way

May 2021 at Kingswood!

Wow, what a busy month May has been! We have been up to all sorts of things, including celebrating festivals and cultures as well as looking after living things and raising money for charity. Take a look below at some of the amazing activities our children have been engaged in. We have also had fantastic news that Claire, from the Baby Room, has been awarded the Termly Bonus for her dedication, hard work and commitment; well done Claire, enjoy your reward!

May Day

The children used flowers to create ‘May Day’ hats to celebrate the Summer. They had lots of fun discussing the colours they could see on the flowers. The children went outside to see what flowers they could see, and even learnt some flower names such as bluebell, pansy and daffodil.

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Looking after living things

At Kingswood this month our children have shown a real interest in looking after living things, including our nursery fish Pedro and Guppy, as well as our chrysalis’/caterpillars/butterflies. The children also found a snail in the garden, who they were very interested in; they wanted to find the snail a new home in the nursery garden. As this was an interest led by the children, the adults extended the children’s learning through using story sacks/creative activities and providing new vocabulary to learn.

Ramadan and Eid

At nursery this month we have enjoyed learning about Ramadan and Eid. The children learnt that the traditional food that is used to break the Ramadan fast are dates. Using their senses the children enjoyed tasting some dates using describing words such as soft and sticky. ☪️ The children have been busy creating moon pictures in celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid, as the new moon is important in determining when Eid will take place. The children enjoyed exploring the textures and using their fine motor skills to collect all of the different materials to make our moon pictures.

Charity Event for Crackerjacks – PJ Day!

What a cosy day we all had wearing our pyjamas! We enjoyed helping to raise money for Crackerjacks Children’s Charity and the Toddlers even pretended to have some ‘bedtime’ stories 📖 Well done everyone and thank you to all those who helped to raise our incredible total of £305.50 for such a worthy cause.

April @ Oak Valley

April saw the start of some lovely sunny weather for us, so here at Oak Valley we decided to make the most of our outdoor learning opportunities. Rising 3’s and Pre-School took a trip to the park where they played on the swings, climbed on the high frames and took part in a treasure hunt. Back at nursery the Baby and Toddler rooms enjoyed splashing in the paddling pool and playing with the bubble machines.

The children have done a lot of exploring this month; the babies have enjoyed joining in with Rhythm Time waving the coloured scarves and playing the musical instruments, while Pre-School and Rising 3’s had lots of fun dancing using different ribbons and fabrics, moving in different ways and expressing themselves.

Also this month we have been learning about life cycles and have been lucky enough to have experienced hatching our own chicks in nursery. We watched the eggs turn into chicks and named them ‘Scoop’ and ‘Digger’, as voted by the children. The children took great pleasure in caring for the chicks, taking it in turns to feed, clean and hold them for several weeks before it was time for them to start their next chapter on the farm.

Following on from this, we also learnt about the life cycle of a butterfly, starting with caterpillars. The children drew pictures of them and enjoyed digging in the messy trays searching for minibeasts! Once the caterpillars had transitioned into butterflies, the children took them out into the garden to feed them oranges before releasing them.

To finish off the month, we have taken part in lots of sensory activities! We particularly enjoyed the ‘dinosaur escape’ where the children had to free the dinosaurs from blocks of ice! We have practiced our mark-making skills with flour and paintbrushes, and have explored the dinosaur world with erupting volcanoes! What a busy month we’ve had, what will May and beyond bring?!

March @ Highgate

At the beginning of March the children enjoyed dressing up as their favourite characters for World Book Day & helped raise money for new books through our sponsored listen event! A big thank you to everyone that got involved.

Our Baby Room have been busy doing lots of sensory activities this month, from playdough & painting to baking. They had so much fun exploring all their senses by touching, smelling & tasting.

The children in Rising 3’s have been learning all about Baby Bear’s travels to Italy! They helped to make pasta neapolitana, garlic bread & pizzas from scratch and then ate them for their dinner – yummy!

We’re now looking forward to celebrating Easter. We’ll be back soon to fill you in on more exciting Highgate activities :)

Celebrating with Riverview Day Nursery, February 2021!

It has been a very busy month of celebrating! We started the month by supporting Mental Health Week; we practiced some yoga with the children to aid their physical development and to promote them being mindful of themselves. From this we have also purchased some books about being mindful and grateful towards others.

We then went onto celebrate the Chinese New Year by having a lovely Chinese cuisine for lunch. All the children really seemed to enjoy this meal!

Valentine’s Day was next; we shared the love by baking and engaging in many different activities, from using flavoured teabags to imprint different effects and colours onto the paper, to gluing and sticking heart pictures, exploring different shapes and textures.

Pancake Day – my personal favourite! We were very fortunate to have been given a donation of ingredients from Jacks Supermarket to help aid us in celebrating this yummy day. We enjoyed trying lots of different toppings, from a wide variety of fruits to support healthy eating, and also a choice of a yummy treat toppings of maple syrup, or chocolate or strawberry sauce.

Finally, this month we celebrated our 1 year anniversary of officially opening! And what a year it has been!  We had fun marking the occasion with the children and enjoying the delicious cake that Rachel, our Deputy, kindly made for us. Here’s to many more years of Riverview success!

January 2021 at The Little School House

Firstly, may we wish you all a Happy New Year – what a year 2020 was! It provided us with many challenges that none of us could ever have imagined; two national lockdowns, closing our doors to many children and some of our staff being furloughed to name but a few! I think we can all agree we are more than happy to see the back end of 2020!

With that in mind, we have welcomed 2021 with open arms and look forward to the relaxing of restrictions in good time. During January, we spent a lot of our time outdoors exploring our local environment. We are extremely fortunate to have Graves Park on our doorstep and take full advantage when we can. Here are some pictures of our Baby Room & Toddler children walking though the park and into the woods. They used their senses to talk about the different noises they could hear and used the opportunity to practice their running skills, considering their speed while they were at it!

The month of January also brought us lots of lovely snow. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for the children and we were lucky enough to have many occasions outside experiencing the temperature, texture and different experiences it brings. The children enjoyed making some fantastic structures; snowmen and snow fairies among others! But most of all, the amazing fun of sliding down the hill – such a simple process that brings such joy both to them doing it and to us observing them.

Our loose theme through January was ‘All About Me’ and our Pre-School children spent time drawing self-portraits. There was discussion about the facial features we all have and how, despite that, we are all different. Here are some of our self-portraits for you to see:

We’re looking forward to Valentine’s day and pancake day in February, and sharing more of our Little School House adventures with you all soon :)

December 2020 @ Kingswood

Here at Kingswood Day Nursery, we have made the very best of a ‘different’ type of December. During the pandemic we have made every effort to ensure that the children accessing the nursery, are receiving the same level of high quality care, along with a variety of activities to not only extend learning and challenge the children’s creative and critical thinking, but to excite and offer enthusiasm and fun too!

During December Kingswood engaged in a range of festive events starting with a staff team ‘Bake Off’! Each week the staff members from a room within the setting would bake some goodies to share with the rest of the team and I can personally vouch, that the bakes I sampled were yummy!

The nursery also participated in Christmas Jumper Day and we all had so much fun comparing our jumpers, as well as raising some money for the very worthy cause ‘Save the Children’.

We celebrated our home family traditions by having our very own Christmas Dinner Day (vegetarian style), prepared and made by our lovely cook Alice. The dinner was so yummy and was enjoyed by all; Quorn roast with all the trimmings!

We know that lots of plans had to be put on hold in 2020, and that going to see Santa was not always possible, so we were super excited when we received the news that he would be making a visit to Kingswood whilst on his way back to the North Pole! It was only a flying visit as he still had lots to prepare for Christmas, but all the same we were so pleased to receive a socially distanced visit from the big man himself!

Finally, to try and spread some festive cheer and memories amongst the staff and families of Kingswood, we asked the staff to share with us any funny stories or favourite gifts they remember receiving as a child. There were some very interesting ones, and Nicola and Chloe were happy to share their memories of an Easy Bake Oven and Baby Annabelle!

We would like to take this opportunity to say we hope all our families had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, despite the challenges, and that you all enjoyed time spent with family and loved ones. Please continue to stay safe, here’s hoping that 2021 will bring health and happiness, and a step in the right direction to coming through this challenging time we have all faced in 2020.

November at Oak Valley

We started a busy month off at Oak Valley celebrating Bonfire night. The children were excited to make firework pictures, explore different colours and design their own rockets! The children then made their rockets using junk modelling equipment and flew them outside. Using the children’s interests Pre-school investigated colour further by enjoying lots of messy play in the cornflour and chalk while Baby room made hand and footprint pictures in the paint.

Messy play
Messy play
Poppy pictures

We raised a fantastic £90 for Children in Need by coming into nursery in fancy dress/pjs! The children took part in lots of fun activities such as making Pudsey bear hats and baking buns. We also had a bear hunt in the garden where we managed to find 10 different bears that were hiding from us! We also paid our respects on Remembrance day by making poppy pictures and having a 2 minutes silence.

Bear hunt

Road safety awareness week also took place this month. We made road signs and practiced how to cross the roads safely. Pre-school & Rising 3’s particularly enjoyed role playing scenarios with the cars and bikes outside taking it in turns to drive the cars and hold the signs. Toddler room read road safety stories and were excited to explore the ‘Ready, Steady, go’ tray while Baby unit got messy painting in traffic light colours.

Road safety Awareness week
Road Safety

As November drew to a close, the children wrote their letters to Father Christmas and made him lots of lovely pictures. We went on a walk to post the letters and make sure they safely arrive at the North pole.We are looking forward to lots of Christmas themed activities such as craft workshops, party days & festive baking. We also welcomed a little visitor to nursery,.I wonder what mischief he will cause in December…………………?

Buddy the Elf
Posting letters to the North Pole