Iver Community Childcare

Term dates 2017-2018

Term Dates for Universal and Extended hours funding  2017-2018

(Dates may be subject to change at short notice)

Autumn Term                    1-Monday 4th September 2017 to Friday 20th October 2017

2-Monday  30th October 2017  to Friday 15th December 2017

Spring Term                     1-Monday  8th January 2018 to Friday 9th February 2018

2-Monday 19th February 2018 to Thursday 29th March  2018

Summer Term                   1-Monday 16th April 2018 to Friday 25th May 2018 (closed Monday 7th May for bank holiday)

2-Monday 4th June 2018 to Friday 20th July 2018


No funding applies to any other dates.

We are open all year round for non funded sessions with the exception of closure dates below.



Christmas closure                           22nd December 2017 reopening 4th January 2018,

Bank holidays                                 30th March 2018, 2nd April 2018, 7th May 2018, 28th May 2018, 27th August 2018.


Summer holiday play scheme bookings.

We are now taking bookings for the summer play scheme. Please complete our booking form The Launchpad Summer Play Scheme Booking Form 2017 .

Don’t forget to let us know if there have been any changes to your contact details or your child’s medical details including changes to medication routines.




Nursery Open Day 8th July 2017

We are having an open day on the 8th for parents who would like to take a look around the nursery and speak to staff. This coincides with a Family Fun day being run on the playing fields behind the nursery so it’s a great day to pop in, view the nursery and then enjoy the events at the Family Fun Day!  12 noon to 4 pm.  Follow signs to drop in during the day or call 01753 654 546 to arrange an appointment.IMG_5381

Place available in the nursery now.

tt board 1

Active Agers

Two new clubs for older adults with time on their hands! Darts, pool, table tennis, dominoes and more. Cake and a cuppa. Do you know anyone who would like to pop in and meet up with old friends and make new ones. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 12 noon to 2pm in the Evreham Youth Centre, Swallow Street, Iver.  Term Time only. Contact admin@ivercommunity.org  Tel. No. 01753654546 for more information. £2.00

Active Agers poster May 17 v2

Christmas Holiday Ideas


It’s almost the Christmas Holidays. Our final day for funded children is Friday 16th December and for non funded children the 20th December. We reopen on the 5th January 2017 for non-funded sessions and on 9th January 2017 for funded sessions.

Don’t forget to keep a record of any WOW moments over the holidays to tell us about in January or add to our WOW board by the main door. If you do need to contact us we will be keeping an eye on the admin@ivercommunity.org emails and any messages left on the office phone 01753 654546.

Happy Holidays everyone! Click below to see a selection of activity ideas for the holiday period.

Christmas Holiday Ideas


Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Toddlers and young children are growing very quickly. They have small tummies and so need small nutrient packed meals. Here are some healthy lunchbox ideas that you might find useful if your child stays for lunch.

The Lunch Box
A small inexpensive plastic box is perfectly acceptable. Please check that your child can open the box easily. Don’t forget to label the box with your child’s name.

Remember to include a named bottle of fresh drinking water for your child to use during the day.

Keeping It Cool
Although lunchboxes will be stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight we cannot refrigerate them. A small freezer pack is a good idea to ensure that your child’s lunch remains cool.

The Packed Lunch
We are very keen that children bring the kind of lunch that they will be expected to bring or eat when they go to school i.e a healthy packed lunch that forms part of a healthy balanced diet. A packed lunch should contain:
1 portion of vegetables or salad—carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, pepper sticks, broccoli, sweetcorn
1 portion of fruit—fresh, dried or tinned (in natural juice) fruits are all good
1 portion of milk or dairy products—Cheese, fromage frais, yoghurts
1 portion of meat, chicken or protein– Ham, chicken, cheese, tuna, low fat sausage, beans, chickpeas
1 portion of starchy food– Bread, rice, pasta, pitta bread, bagels, crackers, wraps
1 small treat (optional)- Slice of malt loaf, flap jacks, carrot cake, small fruit bun

A portion is what will fit into a cupped hand. How many grapes would fit into your child’s cupped hands?

The eat well plate below gives an idea of the proportion of each food type we should be aiming for.


Do you know how much salt is in your child’s diet?
Too much salt in a child’s diet will increase their blood pressure, which in turn damages the heart and can lead to heart disease and strokes in later life. Children under 3 should have no more than 2g of salt a day and children under 5, no more than 3g.

One packet of crisps, a ham sandwich and a cheese string will contain over half a child’s recommended salt intake for the day. Please don’t put crisps in your child’s lunchbox everyday and let them have them as an occasional treat. Try breadsticks, crackers, dry cereal like puffed wheat, dried fruit or popcorn instead.

For further information and ideas visit:





Brilliant Brownies

This week at The Pod’s Cookery Club we’ll be baking Jamie Oliver’s delicious ‘Brilliant Brownies’. If you’d like to try these delicious teatime treats and cook along at home with an adult you can follow the recipe below. 



  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
  • 75 g dried sour cherries, optional
  • 50 g chopped nuts, optional
  • 80 g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 65 g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 360 g caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • zest of 1 orange, optional
  • 250 ml crème fraîche, optional


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 24cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the cherries and nuts, if you’re using them, and stir together.
  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate, cherry and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency.
  1. Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them so, unlike cakes; you don’t want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.
  1. Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares. These make a fantastic dessert served with a dollop of crème fraîche mixed with some orange zest. Enjoy!


Learning Through Play – Numbers

Edited from text for TES.


Numbers can provide a lot of entertainment for small children. They first become aware of the sounds of numbers, then they begin to understand what they mean. Finally they need to recognise them when they are written down.
There are four main skills that children need to develop before they can count. Follow the links to see these explained and how you can help.

1. Recognition of the sounds of the numbers.
2. The understanding of one-to-one correspondence.
3. The understanding of “How many are there?”
4. The number of objects is the same however they are arranged.

The next stage is for your child to recognise numbers as symbols which can taught by playing number recognition games.

Once children recognise numbers they will want to start writing them themselves. To help encourage them to form their numbers correctly, use our number formation guide. (found at the back of this leaflet)

Skill 1

Children need to learn the sounds of the numbers ‘one, two, three…’.

Children can start to recognise the sound of numbers from an early age if they hear number songs and rhymes and hear people counting. Some examples of rhymes are:

Five currant buns in the baker’s shop
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I caught a fish alive
Five fat sausages frying in a pan
1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4

Books and stories that include numbers can help too. At story time make a point of counting the characters and the key items in the pictures. Some examples of books are:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Three Little Pigs

These will give reinforcement to the sound of counting and with it the fact that numbers relate to different amounts. Children will then start to notice numbers in speech and begin to develop an understanding of how they are used.

The children may even be able to count by reciting the numbers from 1 – 10, but this has little meaning at this stage. It is a good idea to point out numbers that appear in everyday contexts such as on a clock, a telephone, on doors and money. This will help children to understand that numbers have a practical use, as well helping them to recognise written numbers.

Skill 2
Before learning to count a child needs to understand ‘one to one correspondence’. This means being able to match one object to one other object or person.

You can practise ‘one to one correspondence’ in all sorts of different contexts. Laying the table is a good idea. Alternatively you can do this in a play situation as indicated below.

Dough Cakes
Make some dough cakes and ask your child to give one to each of their soft toys. Use very small numbers at first.

Skill 3

Children need to understand what is meant by ‘How many are there?’.

As you count objects together touch each one. This helps children to understand they are counting one thing at a time. Also, only count up to three at first and do not progress until your child can do this successfully. Gradually add one more number at a time. Counting opportunities arise with everyday objects such as cutlery or biscuits. Ask your child to guess how many objects there are before counting them together. It is important to build confidence through positive comments.

Counting Game/Throwing Games
Games which involve throwing a number of objects, such as rolled up socks, in a waste paper bin or cardboard box can give good counting practice.

Counting trays
Use paper plates for this activity. Write a number on the plate. Provide a pile of dried pasta or bricks and show your child how to count the appropriate number onto each plate before he or she has a try. Underline 6 and 9 to avoid confusion.

Counting everyday objects
You will find many daily opportunities to count aloud together. Cooking is a wonderful way to introduce a child to practical maths and extend vocabulary. You can count baking cases, spoons of sugar or chocolate button decorations. Later you can use buns for simple addition and subtraction sums.

Skill 4
The number of objects is the same however they are arranged.

Ordering Numbers
Make some cards with numbers on one side and the corresponding number of spots on the reverse.

Lay the cards out with the spotted sides upwards and ask your child to put them in order.


It is important that he or she can recognise the number of objects however they are arranged. Using the cards theme, you can represent some numbers with different patterns of spots. Ask your child to match the cards with the same number of spots. Take the opportunity also, to arrange everyday items in different formations, for your child to count.

Developing the ability to estimate is also a useful skill. Asking a child to guess how many items are on a tray will help to develop this. Always count them out together afterwards, so that the child can see how close he or she was.

Recognising the Symbols
A fun way to help recognition of numbers is to select a few number cards. Take one from the pile without letting your child see it. Ask him or her to guess which one you have as you gradually expose the number from behind a screen (eg. a book) If your child guesses wrongly explain what the number is. Introduce a few numbers at first and build up slowly.

Number Formation Guide

Encourage your child to form numbers in the standard way. Bad habits are difficult to break, so following our simple guide can help to prevent problems at a later stage

Spots indicate the starting position of the pencil. The pencil should remain on the paper, following the arrows. For the numbers four and five, the pencil must be raised before completing the second part of each number. Crosses indicate the second starting positions.

Number Formulation


Learning Through Play – Letters and Sounds

Edited from text for TES.

Why begin Teaching Reading through Games?

It is vital that early reading experiences are happy and positive. The aim should be not just for children to learn to read, but to enjoy reading. Whilst games may appear to be an indirect approach, they do protect a child from a feeling of failure. By ‘playing together’ both parent and child are relaxed. Where a child could feel pressured in a formal teaching situation he/she will usually enjoy reading activities in a ‘play’ situation. This leaflet aims to give you simple ideas to try.

The Sounds of Letters

Tips for teaching your child the sounds:

• It is important for a child to learn lower case or small letters rather than capital letters at first. Most early books and games use lower case letters and your child will learn these first at school. Obviously you should use a capital letter when required, such as at the beginning of the child’s name, eg. Paul.

• When you talk about letters to your child, remember to use the letter sounds: a buh cuh duh e … rather than the alphabet names of the letters: ay bee see dee ee . The reason for this is that sounding out words is practically impossible if you use the alphabet names. eg. cat, would sound like: see ay tee

• When saying the sounds of b, d, g, j and w you will notice the ‘uh’ sound which follows each, for example buh, duh… You cannot say the sound without it, however, try to emphasise the main letter sound.

Sound Games to Play at Home

Common Objects
Collect several objects that begin with the same sound and make a card with this letter sound on it. Make a second group of objects beginning with a different sound and a card to go with those.

Discuss the sounds of the letters on the two cards with your child and shuffle the objects. Separate the cards on the floor and ask your child to put each object near the sound that it starts with. This activity can help your child to “hear” the first sound of a word.

Odd-one Out
Say a number of words, all but one of which begin with the same sound. See if your child can pick out the odd one. It can be helpful to have the corresponding objects there for the child to look at.

For small children the usual way of playing that starts ‘I spy with my little eye something that begins with ….’ can be too difficult. You can make this easier by providing a clue. ‘I spy with my little eye something that barks and begins with.

Sounds Scrapbook
Write a letter at the top of each page of a scrapbook. Concentrating on a few letters at a time collect pictures of objects that begin with those letters. Do not use as examples words where the first sound does not make its normal sound such as in giraffe, ship, cheese, thumb. Stick the pictures on the appropriate pages.

Games For Recognising Letter Shapes

Fishing for Sounds
You will need a few cards with individual letters. Attach a paper clip to each card. Using a small stick with a string and magnet, your child fishes for letter sounds. If your child can say the sound of the letter he/she wins the card, otherwise you win it.

Sequencing the Letters in your Child’s Name
Providing the individual letter cards for each letter of your child’s first name can be a useful way to teach the sequence of letters. Remember you will need to write a capital for the first letter and lower case for the rest.

If you want to print out the cards using a word processor use a font such as Century Gothic on PC which has not a. Show your child how to make the name first, before shuffling the cards for him/her to have a try. For a very long name work with the first few and build up a letter at a time.

What does it start with?’ Box
You will need:
• A box
• Several items each beginning with a different sound
• Corresponding letter cards

This game is similar to the common objects game on the previous page, but the emphasis now is on recognising the sounds the letters make. Ask your child to choose an object from the box, to think what its first sound is (remember it is the sound you are looking for rather than the alphabet name) and then to match the object with the relevant card.


Sand Tray or Finger Paints
Children enjoy writing letters with their fingers in a tray of sand or with finger paints. These ways provide good opportunities to teach correct letter formation.

sand tray

Sentence Games

This activity is quite useful when your child has been given an early reading book. Quite often parents say “He’s not reading the book. He’s remembering the story off by heart”. This can happen. Some children become over-dependent on the picture clues and do not look for clues from the words.

Making Sentences
Read the book with your child so he/she is familiar with the story. Then simply use the first sentence from the reading book and copy it out on a strip of paper. Either write it out or if you use a word processor use a font such as Century Gothic (font size 36 at least). Leave a double space in between each word. Now cut up the sentence into the individual words. For example:


Ask your child to make the sentence, “This is a dog.”, using the individual words. At first you will probably need to help. When he/she has made the sentence ask your child to read it to you and encourage him/her to point to each word with a finger.

Retain interest by only spending a few minutes a day on the activity. If your child makes a mistake do not say “That’s wrong” immediately, because negative comments discourage. Ask your child to read the sentence and mistakes will often be self-corrected. If not, you can give clues such as, “What sound does dog start with?” If your child is still unable to read it, say positive comments such as “What a good try. You got all these right and only this part wrong. Well done.” Then show your child the correct order.

We recommend working on a maximum of five sentences on each reading book.