New Fees Starting April 2017

Dear Parents & Carers


This letter is to inform you, that the nursery will be increasing its childcare fees from Monday 3rd April 2017. Due to unprecedented increases in business rates and the introduction of pension costs and staff wage rises, the fees are increasing more significantly than in previous years. To give you some idea of the increases we are facing, our business rates have increased by up to 100%.


We know that our fees still remain competitive and are below many other providers, even before their annual increases. Unfortunately we may still need to make another increase this year in September but will monitor our costs in the coming months.


I would like to draw your attention to the Late Payment Charge. We currently only charge a one off payment of £20 per month where the account remains in arrears at the month end. This will change from April and all accounts which remain in arrears after the month end will incur a weekly charge of £25. This charge is to cover the management costs incurred in chasing late payments and to act as a deterrent so fees are paid according the fee policy. If you already have a payment plan in place and you are adhering to it, then no additional charge will be made. Please speak to your setting manager  immediately if you are experiencing difficulties in paying your fees, as we may be able to help.


The Birkbees Group of nurseries continues to invest in staff development through continuous  training and  professional development as well as budgets for new resources and technology. In order to maintain a high quality service to all families, this investment must be possible if we are to develop the settings further and provide outstanding teaching and learning opportunities.


If you receive support with your childcare through Tax Credits please make them aware of the increases immediately. If you require letters from the setting then please speak to the Manager who will be happy to help.


If you still haven’t registered to receive Tax Free Childcare then check out We would like to take this opportunity to thank all families for using our service and to reassure you all that we are fully committed to providing the best value service.


If you have any questions about the changes to fees please contact your setting manager

Yours sincerely,

Tracey Fenton

Company Director

Treasure Basket Activity

A baby responds through senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight and physical movement. A treasure basket is ideal to support a baby’s exploration through these senses by providing a rich variety of everyday objects to offer stimulus to these different senses.

A treasure basket should be constantly changing and evolving and be regularly replenished with new objects.

Suggested items for a treasure basket:

  • Fir cones
  • Large pebbles
  • Shells
  • Chestnuts
  • Feathers
  • Pumice stone
  • Conkers
  • Piece of luffa
  • Small natural sponge
  • A lemon
  • An apple


Objects of natural material

  • Woolen balls
  • Little baskets
  • Wooden nail brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Shaving brush
  • House painting brush
  • Cosmetic brush


Wooden objects

  • Small boxes
  • Small drum
  • Castanets
  • Clothes pegs
  • Cotton reels
  • Curtain ring
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Bowl
  • Egg cup


Metal objects

  • Wire sponge
  • Small egg whisk
  • Bunch of keys
  • Lemon squeezer
  • Garlic squeezer
  • Bulldog paper clips
  • Closed tins containing rice, beans, gravel
  • Tea strainer
  • Tin lids
  • Large scent bottle top
  • Costume jewelry


Objects in leather, textile, rubber, fur

  • Leather purse
  • Colored marble eggs
  • Velvet powder puff
  • Tennis ball
  • Golf ball
  • Small cloth bag containing lavender, rosemary, thyme, cloves
  • Fur pompoms.


Paper/ cardboard

  • Inside of kitchen rolls
  • Small cardboard boxes
  • Tin foil
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Notebook




How is your baby responding?

  • Looking
  • Touching
  • Licking
  • Grasping
  • Mouthing
  • Picking up
  • Dropping
  • Banging
  • Selecting
  • Discarding
  • Sucking


Babies are exploring

  • Weight
  • Texture
  • Sound
  • Decision Making
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Smell


As they choose an object they are discovering

What it is? What it can do? What they can do with it!

Fixbies Visit the Fire Station

As part of our theme ‘People who help us’ we managed to arrange a visit to Rastrick Fire Station. The children were very excited as they had been learning all about the emergency services and had their very own little Fire Station within the role play area of the Preschool room, with coats, hats, gloves, scarves and high visibility jackets on we manned the mini-bus and headed the short journey down to the Fire Station.

We were greeted by firefighter Paul who introduced himself to the children and the staff team and then by Firefighters Alex and Robert. With all children in tow we were divided into two groups and shown the daily routine of White Watch from where they kept their uniform, helmets and apparatus, to the Fire Appliances they used to help people in an emergency


The children loved the Fire Engines but I think the highlight of the day was the Fire Boats where the Firefighters gave the children a ‘bumpy ride’ simulating how it would feel on the water. There were screams of delight and cries of ‘More! More!’

Thank you White Watch we had an amazing informative insight as a day in the life of a Firefighter! We had lots of re-enactments when we got the children back!

When Doctor Johnson Came To The Nursery

The children were very excited as Gracie had been telling them all last week that mummy and her were coming to nursery with their doctor’s bags. Doctor Johnson works in the local community and explained to the children what her job entailed. Her job was helping to make people better. Both Dr Johnson and Dr Grace brought along their doctor’s kits, Grace looked the part wearing her doctors white coat too.

Doctor Johnson brought along with her a wonderful jigsaw (which she kindly donated at the end thank you Petra) showing the different body parts and organs which make up the body. She divided the children into two groups and as teams they worked together putting the jigsaw together, lots of questions and screams of delight on parts they were able to identify ‘oh look that’s a leg’ and ‘oh look that’s his head’. Brandon glanced across at me and said ‘look Angie we are doing a jigsaw’. Dr Johnson then went on to talk to the children about the many amazing tools she carries in her doctor’s bag such as the stethoscope, ear and pulse monitor.

Dr Johnson explained what she uses her stethoscope for ‘I listening to your heart.’ Would you like to listen to your heart Dr Johnson asked the children. Lots of eager hands were raised and Brandon was one of the first to listen. Petra asked him ‘what does it sound like?’ Brandon said ‘like a drum,’ giving her one of his cheeky grins! Harmony listened to hers, pulled a face but did agree that it sounded like a drum.

Dr Grace and Dr Johnson together went through their doctor’s kits talking about what they had in, Dr Grace pulled out some glasses from her bag and said ‘these are to help you see,’ she pulled out a syringe, ‘this helps you stop getting poorly or sick.’ Dr Grace and Dr Johnson went through their doctor’s kits each in turn pulling out the many different instruments used to help a doctor identify and establish someone’s illness or injury.



Dr Grace was animated as she told the other children what her clever mummy did and took great delight in helping demonstrate what each instrument was used for, She was a little unsure about the otoscope and didn’t really want her mummy looking into her ears! Dr Grace bounced back and enjoyed helping her mummy show us how we could also listen to our breathing with the stethoscope, how we could take our pulse and what did they think Doctors give medicine for and why we needed to be careful with them.

Well with no further prompted Dr Grace told the children that ‘if you take the lid off (referring to tablets in a medicine bottle) and you swallowed it by accident the grownups would be very cross,’ and ‘because you can’t touch them cos medicine can make you very sick,’ Grace repeated ‘don’t touch the medicine,’ the children listened intently, one or two nodding their heads as if in agreement!

The next trick up Dr Johnson’s sleeve was a fantastic demonstration about why we should wash our hands properly. She asked for a balloon, glitter and a little bit of water, she blew the balloon up, put some water on the outside and then put the glitter on top. She asked Dr Grace to pass the balloon around the group explaining as they went about getting rid of bugs and germs and how they spread. Dr Grace said ‘we get rid of the bugs by washing them away’, this was quickly followed by ‘I need to wash my hands’ by the majority of the group!

Whilst the children were washing their hands Dr Grace took over and passed the doctor’s instruments around to the remaining children and telling them what that particular item was used for.  A massive thank you from all at Fixbees for delivering this amazing session Petra and once again for our jigsaw. And thank you to Dr Grace too, mummy couldn’t have done it without you!