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‘Waste Not, Want Not’ – apetito supports WRAP’s Food Waste Action Week

As figures show the UK wastes over 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, (with a value of over £19billion), which would be associated with more than 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Meals provider to the nursery sector, apetito, has pledged its support to WRAP’s Food Waste Action Week (#FoodWasteActionWeek), 1 – 7th March.

Adding its weight to other brands who are joining forces to drive awareness of this increasingly big issue – and the associated impact that food waste has on climate change – apetito has reinforced its commitment to wasting less food and in turn reducing the impact on our global environment.

The company currently sends all its food waste to anaerobic digestion (which produces renewable energy and reduces greenhouse gasses).  In addition – and as part of its commitment to the Courtauld 2025 initiative – apetito has pledged to halve food waste from its manufacturing operations.

All its business units embrace the same principles of supporting waste reduction from top to bottom across its business.  Every step of the production process is continually under review to ensure as a business, apetito ‘leads the way’ in responsible trading.

Lee Sheppard, director of corporate affairs and Policy, said:

‘Food waste is a subject of environmental and socioeconomic concern in its own right – however, the associated impact on climate change is not widely known.   Food waste actively feeds climate change, which is of increasing concern and relevance to us all.

‘It’s a worrying fact that food waste produces six-times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as global aviation, and WRAP’s own research shows that while 81% of people in the UK are concerned about climate change, fewer than 30% can see a clear link with wasting food.

‘Right now, 70% of all food wasted post-farm gate in the UK is wasted by consumers in their own homes.  As a country, households throw away more than 6.6 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten, and that’s before we consider any food waste across Hospitality, Foodservice and manufacturing establishments.

“We fully support and applaud WRAP’s campaign and believe that with businesses and households working together and all ‘doing their bit’ – that collectively, we can make a real difference.’

WRAP is looking to drive awareness that wasting food is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.  When we throw away food that could have been eaten, we are not just wasting food but the valuable resources that went into making it, including water, land, and greenhouse gases.

Check out: ‘Love Food – Hate Waste’ @LFHW_UK for further details on how we can all tackle food waste and the associated impact this has on climate change.


Inglenook nursery school in Birmingham finds new owner

Business property adviser, Christie & Co, has announced the sale of Inglenook Nursery School in Birmingham. Funding for the sale was sourced through Christie Finance.

Inglenook Nursery School is a prominent, reputable day nursery with huge potential for growth under new management. The business sits in a converted residential property with significant playroom space and ample car parking for pickups and drop offs, and has an effective operating capacity for 55 children aged three months to five-years old.

Inglenook benefits from being located close to a busy commuter route in a densely populated residential area in Birmingham. The suburbs of Selly Park, Edgbaston, Moor Green, Moseley, Harborne, Selly Oak, and Kings Heath are within close proximity to the nursery, and Birmingham city centre is just circa three miles away.

The business has been purchased by existing day nursery operator, Lowdan Holdings Limited – which trades as Mereside Farm Children’s Nursery – which has been actively looking for second site for a while.

Speaking on behalf of the company, Mr Alan Lowe commented:

‘We had been looking for some time to purchase another nursery and felt the location, size and potential of Inglenook was what we were looking for. It fits in nicely to our portfolio as it is performing nowhere near its potential and we intend to renovate and rejuvenate the site, extending it slightly while redesigning the layout to make fit for purpose.’

Jassi Sunner, associate director at Christie & Co, who handled the sale, added:

‘Any instruction in Birmingham is going to get a range of interest due to the number of buyers looking in the West Midlands. One that is so central with a prominent building along a commuter route provides unimaginable potential to tap into the changing demographics of the area. We were delighted to be instructed on the sale of Inglenook Nursery School and worked closely with our client and their complex needs to agree a price and then complete the sale successfully in a short amount of time.

‘Alan and his team have a strong reputation in South Birmingham already, and we look forward to seeing him make his mark in Central Birmingham and introduce this ethos successfully into a second setting.’

David Ward, senior director at Christie Finance, stated:

‘I am really pleased to have supported Alan and Ruth with their expansion plans and am delighted that we could not only find finance for them, but managed to fund it under the CBILS scheme, which resulted in many cost savings. This was not a straightforward purchase, but we were able to provide a vital link between the buyers and the lender which enabled the purchase to complete.’

Inglenook Nursery School was sold off an asking price of £725,000.

Engaging reluctant readers: Hope Education shares 10 tips and ideas

World Book Day is being held on Thursday 4th March and for the event, leading UK educational resource supplier Hope Education, have decided to focus on the reader who may not be looking forward to celebrating their favourite book: the reluctant reader. Working with teachers and educators, Hope Education has compiled 10 easy to apply tips and tricks to engage reluctant readers of all ages.

  1. Be a reading role model

Children learn by example, so it is always a great idea to make sure you are giving your class a vision of what reading for pleasure looks and feels like. Have books on your desk, be willing to share what you are reading and suggest new books you think your class will like which are not necessarily on your reading list.

  1. Schedule a D.E.A.R

No, we are not talking about penning letters (although it is a great idea to encourage reading!). D.E.A.R known by its full name as Drop Everything and Read is an effort to get pupils reading more often without it being pencilled in. It costs nothing to implement and you simply get every member of the school or class to stop what they are doing and pick up their current book of choice; making reading more of a ‘go to’ activity in a reluctant readers world. Best of all, it gives you, the teacher, a moment to catch your breath and immerse yourself in a different world.

  1. Start a book club

We might be in the midst of a pandemic, but book clubs are still a great way to engage shy and reluctant readers via Zoom for distance learners or in appropriate bubbles in the classroom. Get reluctant readers on board by asking them what they want to read, whether it is a subject, author or length of book. Add some excitement by asking children to design a bookmark or book jacket to accompany the chosen novel.

  1. Fill their world with books

Books, books, books. The more choice you provide children, the better. Although some children may feel overwhelmed with too much choice, so consider creating themes on your classroom book shelves. For reluctant readers at home, encourage care givers to make books more easily accessible at home.


  1. Speak to an author

Contact a local author in your area and invite them to join your class electronically through video calling and ask your class to prepare questions for the meeting. Plus, with the ability to connect electronically, it is a fantastic, shared opportunity for home and classroom learners. Encourage reluctant readers to participate by

  1. Donate a book on your birthday

Re-frame how your reluctant readers see books and encourage children to donate a book from their collection to their classroom. Engage them with both the class and the book and ask them to explain the story to the class and why they should read it too. Peer recommendation is a great way to engage reluctant readers.


  1. Host a reading challenge

Friendly competition is a great way to engage children who shy away from story books. A reading challenge gives your class a goal and unites both children learning in the classroom and at home and gives them a reason to read. It could be anything from reading a set number of books, to fulfilling a checklist or even recreating a famous scene from a book. Add prizes to really bring the challenge to life!


  1. Book of the week

Find some space in your classroom and dedicate it to ‘book of the week’. Whether it is a new arrival, the most read book in class or the novel of a film recently on television; bring one book to life each week in new and exciting ways to encourage children to pick the book up and to read. You could further engage reluctant readers by asking them to nominate their favourite book for book of the week.


  1. Craft a reading corner

Put ten minutes into your diary (yes, we know this might be the biggest challenge!) and browse Pintrest and Instagram to give your reading corner a makeover. The importance of crafting an accessible, inviting reading corner in your classroom cannot be understated. Some reluctant readers can feel reluctant to engage with the space, so make sure to include magazines and comics to broaden the appeal and to make the space feel accessible. Once a reluctant reader is in the space, it is far easier to engage them with more weighty literature than the tempting comics!


  1. Write book reviews

It has been the favourite of book shops, especially in recent years, but a humble book review can do wonders for engaging with those who may otherwise avoid a book. Encourage children to write reviews of the books they have read and enjoyed and pin them in a special area of your classroom, perhaps the recently revamped reading corner.

Ultimately, these tips are intended to feed into one, big overarching idea…which is that reading is fun! Whichever way you decide to encourage more reading for pleasure amongst pupils, give it your full attention and the time it needs to make reading a regular habit. Before you know it, you will soon find even the most reluctant reader will become a budding bookworm.

In addition to sharing tips for reluctant readers, Hope Education’s Managing Director Chris Mahady and members of the team across the business will be coming together to read aloud from their favourite books on World Book Day on Facebook (, Twitter (@HopeEducationUK) and Instagram (@HopeEducationUK). Join us on the day to guess their book of choice and come and celebrate one of our favourite days in the literary calendar.


N Family Club launches The N Academy

N Family Club has joined forces with leading anti-racism expert Liz Pemberton to launch their educator learning hub programme, The N Academy.

The partnership will develop anti-racism training for N Family Club’s new professional development platform, The N Academy.

Sarah Mackenzie, chief education and people officer at N Family Club, said:

‘We were keen not just to draw on the expertise of our in-house team but to also collaborate with carefully selected partners, recognising opportunities to learn from other experts in their fields. One of those partners is the brilliant Liz Pemberton from the Black Nursery Manager. We’ve already experienced the benefits of blending internal and external expertise in the development of our bespoke pedagogy and curriculum, and we’re very excited to see this continue in The N Academy.’

Liz Pemberton at The Black Nursery manager said:

‘The process of engaging with N Family Club on anti-racism has been brilliant. N Family Club has ensured that anti-racist practice is embedded for the onboarding of team members, and choosing to partner with me in this process has been something that I deeply value.’

With The N Academy launch, N Family Club also plans to turn the tide on the high proportion of educators within the sector who leave roles dissatisfied by a lack of investment in learning. According to a recent LinkedIn study on workplace learning, 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if there were a greater commitment to training.

As part of its commitment to recruit, develop and retain an outstanding team of educators, N Family Club has created the academy to support its teams’ long-term development, help them set career goals, and equip them with the skills, expert guidance, and inspiration to achieve them.

The platform offers an extensive leadership programme, foundation awards to equip educators with essential skills and specialist courses for those excelling in their roles and who want to lead in a particular area, such as Forest School Leaders, Atelieristas or as a Team Happiness Champion.

Jess Ringer, head of learning & engagement at N Family Club, said:

‘The N Academy coming to life is an amazing opportunity for us to give something back to our teams. We’re passionate about challenging sector norms at N, and our academy plays a large part in helping to transform early years into the respected profession that it deserves to be recognised as.’


Kids Planet expands into Oxford

Kids Planet are to expand into Oxford having been selected following a tender process by the University of Oxford to operate their five existing nurseries.

Previously managed by Bright Horizons, the five nurseries are located in North/Central Oxford and Headington.

The move, the first into the South of the UK, will be the group’s third time outside of the North West having acquired Chesterfield-based ‘Excellence in Childcare’ in 2019 and a new nursery in Shrewsbury, Shropshire which is to open later this summer.

Kids Planet was established in 2008 by Clare Roberts and her father, John Hoban when, at the time, Clare was struggling to find a convenient nursery offering outstanding childcare for her first daughter.

From there, the group has expanded rapidly throughout the North West and Midlands. It has become the third largest nursery group in the UK caring for over 8000 children and employing over 2000 staff across the 59 settings.

Alongside significant growth, the group now runs its own Training Academy, delivering qualifications from apprenticeships to master’s degrees to enable staff to achieve the outstanding standard of childcare which has become the group’s hallmark.

Speaking about the move into the South, Clare Roberts, CEO of Kids Planet said:

‘Against the backdrop of a challenging year, we are absolutely thrilled to take the Kids Planet brand to Oxford. Our teams provide exceptional care in a safe and enabling environment and we are confident we will be able to build on the foundations already built by Bright Horizons. We look forward to welcoming families to Kids Planet and continuing to provide the outstanding level of childcare that has become synonymous with our group.’

Northamptonshire Nursery Group sold

Specialist nursery consultants Coulter Consulting are pleased to announce the sale of Bambino Ltd ; The company operates three Ofsted Outstanding nurseries in Northamptonshire. The settings have a combined operating capacity of just under 160 places. The nurseries, which are in Wellingborough, Little Houghton and Harpole offer high standards of childcare made possible by an excellent team and successful management infrastructure.

Coulter Consulting were engaged to find a suitable buyer and did exactly this last year. What nobody anticipated was the complication of a worldwide pandemic mid-sale. The buyers delayed the transaction, which was not a surprise given the circumstances, but went on to complete the transaction late January this year.

Andrew Coulter commented:

‘The timing, in relation to lock downs was far from ideal but what this confirms is the incredible strength of the nursery market. It was a pleasure working with all parties and I believe both sides are incredibly happy with the outcome. The company was sold on a leasehold basis for an undisclosed sum.’

PVI nurseries to receive testing kits

The Government has today set out its plan for the return of all pupils to schools and colleges as part of the roadmap for leaving lockdown, published this afternoon on

The Government has been clear that the return to face-to-face education is the national priority and that two weeks’ notice would be given ahead of any change. As part of the roadmap, the Government has also announced that all staff at private, voluntary and independent nurseries will now have access to tests to use twice weekly at home. This will be available from  Monday 22 March. Childminders can continue to access community testing, and the Department continues to work with colleagues across Government to review the testing approach available for childminders.

Early years organisations and charities have, for months, called for access to testing since they remained open across England witnessing increasing Covid infections across settings.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said:

‘There are two crucial pillars to keeping staff and children as safe as possible in early years settings, mass rapid testing and vaccination of critical workers. The announcement that all staff in PVI nurseries and pre-school settings will have the same access to testing as schools is fantastic news for the sector.

‘We have worked hard alongside our members to ensure the practical and logistical challenges are overcome. We hope that soon childminders will also be able to access the testing kits. Early years staff have been desperately waiting for this support since the scheme for schools was announced in December.

‘We hope that the roll-out of this plan can happen as soon as possible so early years workers can test at home before setting off to work, limiting the spread of the virus. The next stage has to be the question of vaccination for staff because that is how we can ensure they are as safe as possible and minimise the disruption of care and education for our youngest children.’

Commenting Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said:

‘After months of sector lobbying, today’s announcement will come as welcome, though long overdue, news for private and voluntary nurseries and pre-schools – although many will be understandably frustrated that they will have to wait a full month for this change to come into effect.

‘It is completely unacceptable, however, that there is still no information on when – or even if – home testing kits will be available to registered childminders in England.

‘Like their nursery and pre-school colleagues, childminders have continued to provide vital care and education in close-contact environments during the most worrying period of the pandemic. Given that childminders care for young children in their own homes, and the direct risk this places not just on them but also on members of their households, there is no excuse for excluding them from this latest rollout.

‘As the number of Covid reports from early years settings continues to rise, it’s clear that the whole sector, without exception, must have access to home testing kits as soon as possible. As an emergency interim measure, we at the Alliance have asked government to work with us to develop a system allowing home tests for childminders to be distributed safely via local group settings.

‘At every stage of this crisis, PVI early years providers have had to fight to get the support they need to continue operating as safely as possible. It is incredibly disappointing that what should been a positive announcement for the sector has been undermined by more unequal treatment of hard-working early years professionals.

‘What’s more, we know that asymptomatic testing is just one important step in protecting the early years workforce. Priority access to vaccinations remains crucial to safeguarding everyone working as a childminder or in a nursery or pre-school. We therefore continue to call on government and the JCVI to ensure all those who work in the early years get this vital protection as part of Phase 2 of the vaccination delivery plan.’


Ladybird Nurseries to use solar power to meet energy needs

Ladybird Early Learning Centre announced the contract award to Al Shirawi Solar for the supply,
installation and commissioning of a 166 kWp solar photovoltaic system for its purpose-built,
LEED Gold Certified setting in Jumeirah Village Circle.

The contract was signed between Monica Valrani, CEO of Ladybird Nurseries, and Simon
Brennan, managing partner of Al Shirawi Solar. At the signing ceremony, Monica Valrani

‘The future of our children depends on how we produce energy. At Ladybird, we
are acting on our responsibility towards a low-carbon economy to guarantee a sustainable
future for the planet.’

The rooftop array will consist of 308 panels connected to the DEWA grid under The Shams
Dubai Initiative. The system will produce more than 250,000 kW hours of clean green electricity
per year for the next 20 years, reducing the nursery building’s carbon footprint and promoting
sustainable energy use within the local community.

Al Shirawi Solar look forward to completing a successful project before the start of the 2021-22 school year.

About Ladybird Nursery

Founded 25 years ago, Ladybird Nursery has established itself as one of Dubai’s leading British
nurseries for children aged between 6 months and four years, with an outstanding reputation for
the high quality of its childcare and education.
Ladybird Nursery follows the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum in a Montessori
setting, to provide an enriching and well-balanced programme of activities covering learning
areas such as personal, social, emotional and creative development, communication, language,
literacy, problem- solving, reasoning and numeracy.
Ladybird Nursery is located in Jumeirah 1 and has a purpose-built, LEED Gold Certified setting in
Jumeirah Village Circle. A third world-class setting in Al Barsha is presently under construction
and is expected to open next year.

Mama Bears invests in fogging equipment

A South West-based nursery group has invested in the latest anti-viral fogging equipment to keep its 24 settings safe.

Mama Bear’s Day Nurseries & Pre-School group, a family-run business operating across Bristol, Somerset and Devon, has introduced fogging machines in all of its nurseries in order to sanitise each room at the end of the day.

Nursery leaders say that fogging decontamination is the fastest and most effective way to sanitise a space and will help to protect staff and children against coronavirus and other germs.

Tony Driffield, who co-owns Mama Bear’s with wife Bev, said:

‘We are delighted to introduce our new fogging procedures to each of our 24 nurseries. Using this equipment has been proven to kill the Covid-19 virus so it gives further reassurance to both our staff and parents that the settings are as safe as possible.

‘The machines work by covering the whole room with tiny droplets of a non-toxic, non-alcoholic, water-based sanitising solution.

‘It’s safe to use on all surfaces including soft furnishings, textiles, wood, metal and plastic and we will be using the equipment at the end of each day to sanitise the nursery.

‘We have worked throughout the pandemic, supporting key-worker and vulnerable families, and more recently we have been open to all families. This has meant that our Covid-19 procedures are firmly in place and this latest precaution is just another tool to ensure our environments are as hygienic as possible.’

For more information or to arrange a Covid-19 secure tour at your local Mama Bear’s Nursery visit

Former pub granted planning permission for large day nursery

Christie & Co, has brought to market The Woodspring in Weston-super-Mare, a former pub with planning permission for a 100-place day nursery.

This sale presents an exciting opportunity for a new owner to acquire a large blank canvas day nursery property with lots of development potential. The building already has a suitable kitchen space and multiple toilets, and ample parking and space for outdoor play areas.

This site sits on the main road of the large village of Worle in the historic seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. The village is historically significant and sits just 3.6 miles from Weston-super-Mare beach and 18 miles east of the city of Bristol.

There are a number of new residential developments in the pipeline in the local area, thanks to government housing targets, which are set to commence in September 2021. Currently, the total population of Weston-super-Mare is circa 80,000 though this is expected to increase with the number of new developments which, in turn, will heighten demand for additional nursery spaces.

The Woodspring is currently owned by Boogasaurus Ltd which is looking to lease the premises out after some initial off-market interest as a day nursery.

Jassi Sunner, associate director at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, commented: ‘Obtaining planning permission for a sizeable day nursery in a prominent location is a real coup and attractive proposition for anyone looking to take on this new lease and business venture. This former pub offers so many unique possibilities for a day nursery operator, from the large open-plan former bar area and restaurant space to the industrial kitchen and multiple toilets. The parking and large outdoor area is also ideal for a day nursery setting. With great access along a commuter route in and out of the ever-growing town, there are few obstacles in making a future business successful here.’

The asking price for The Woodspring is available upon application.