First Steps Childcare Coronavirus Update

13th March 2020

This update provides information regarding COVID-19 – also known as Coronavirus – and specific information for parents and carers of children at First Steps Childcare, and Children First Nurseries.  We are following official advice from Government and Public Health England (PHE) at all times. Their websites are updated on a regular basis and should always be the first port of call for general and medical advice. The global situation and advice can change rapidly so you should always refer to live information on these websites and we have provided links for these.

Please ensure that you read this briefing fully and carefully as it includes both general updates and specific information regarding First Steps, and Children First.

Where to find the latest information

On 12th March, the Prime Minister issued additional advice for people with a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature to self-isolate for 7 days. Further details can be found here: At this point in time, First Steps/Children First settings are not planning to close. We will not shut unless we are told to do so by Public Health England and/or if we have significant issues with staffing.  We are drawing up contingency plans for a number of scenarios which might happen in the future but we hope not to have to implement these.

Department for Education (DfE) Coronavirus helpline

The DfE Coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and childcare. Staff, parents/carers can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Latest Department for Education information is also available on social media:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

As of 10 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated advice about travel to Italy. The FCO is currently advising:

  • against all but essential travel to Italy
  • against all travel to Hubei Province, in China
  • against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
  • against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of COVID-19 but this can change so please review this link for the latest advice

Updated advice for travellers returning from Italy

On 10 March, PHE updated its travel advice for travellers returning from Italy, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111. The advice can be found here:


Further information on what you should do if you are required to self-isolate can be found here:

The importance of hygiene

  • Personal hygiene is the most important way to tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water. 
  • In addition to handwashing before eating and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. 
  • Watch this short NHS film for guidance:
  • We are actively implementing enhanced hand washing procedures in the nurseries

CCG Updates and Information

We do not know exactly what may happen both in the UK and at our nurseries as a result of Coronavirus. Our priority is to ensure we have a robust business continuity plan for all eventualities. We will continue to follow Government and PHE advice at all times.  Emails, communications at drop off/pick up, our website and social media will be used to provide further updates.

The nursery cannot provide advice on personal health and individuals should seek this from their usual medical practitioner and/or from NHS 111 or the 111 online coronavirus service.

Our estates teams have been regularly checking and keeping soap and hand sanitisers topped up across settings. We are working closely with our cleaning company to review cleaning requirements across all of our settings.

Absence & Absence Reporting

If your child is sick, please report their absence in a normal way. If there are concerns around Coronavirus, you will be asked a series of additional confidential questions regarding individual circumstances. This will enable us to monitor the level of risk to other children and staff.

At the moment, our absence policy and charging remains the same. We will continue to review this and in any exceptional circumstances, may consider reviewing these.

Parents and Carers should also remain vigilant and alert to advice and restrictions relating to specific countries and regions. Country-specific information is available on FCO travel advice pages. With the Easter holidays fast approaching, we recommend you review this in relation to your own travel plans as restrictions could be put in place (like Italy) to require self-isolation when returning from a country.

What would happen if the nursery/nurseries had to close?

First Steps Nurseries and Children First Nursery intend to stay open and current advice from Government is to do so. To be prudent, however, we have full business continuity plans in place to manage any required closure. We are also reviewing how we might manage reduced operations if we were significantly impacted by staff illness – this could include considering prioritising places e.g. for parents who were health professionals.

If a full or partial closure is announced, we will communicate to all parents/carers via existing channels including email, phone, websites and social media.

Providing continuity of childcare services remains our priority wherever possible.

Policy for External Visitors

The safety and wellbeing of our children, families and staff remains our priority and as such, we have put in place additional steps to monitor visitors to our settings.

First Steps Village & Forest School Holiday Clubs

For parents/carers who use First Steps Village and/or the Forest School Holiday Clubs, please be advised that as per Government advice, these continue to operate as normal. We review Government advice daily and will advise if any changes are required. 

Ongoing CommunicationsO

Please continue to use the official Government and PHE links at the start of this note to obtain the most up to date information regarding Coronavirus. We will continue to communicate with you as any significant updates arise.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sue Carpenter

Senior Childcare Manager

First Steps Childcare Group

Introducing … the First Steps Hub

6th April 2018

What’s the First Steps Hub you may ask?
We are the first point of contact for all enquiries, we book in nursery visits, handle new admissions, provide on-going support and advice to our families, prepare invoices, process Free Entitlement claims and liaise with nursery suppliers. We are also responsible for all parent communication, including newsletters, announcements, questionnaires, reminders and correspondence, and play a key role in all internal and external marketing and events, including nursery advertising, the management of our website and social media platforms.

And who works in the Hub?
There are five of us in the First Steps Hub: Lucy Oldham, Sam Stokes, Lucy Averill, Cheryl Wright and Sheryl Madeley. Whilst we are based at our Chichester setting, we support all of our nurseries so you will often find us out and about at one of them.

Why ‘First Steps Hub’?
Three of our team previously formed what was known as ‘Central Admissions’ but, recognising that they were responsible for far more than just admissions, and having recently expanded the team to offer a full complement of support, we are now the hub of First Steps Childcare. We are an approachable, friendly team that anyone can come to for information, advice and support.

For regular updates, news, pictures and nursery announcements please keep an eye on our Families Page on the First Steps website and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Meet Sheryl ….

Sheryl, we’d love to know a bit more about you and your role at First Steps. How long have you worked here?
“I’ve worked at First Steps for 3 years this July. The time has passed very quickly as there’s been a lot to learn about the industry which is a new area for me”.

What do you most enjoy about our job?
“The variety – with three nurseries to help look after there’s plenty to keep me busy and our in tray is never empty!”

What’s the best thing about working with First Steps?
“Being able to get some helpful tips for my 4 ½ year old, who was only a toddler when I first started working here!”

And what do you enjoy when you’re not busy working?
“Walking along the beach – despite living so close to it, it still doesn’t happen often enough!”

Tell us something we don’t know about you!
“I once roller-bladed an entire fun run (just over 8km) – so much more fun than running! In my humble opinion the words fun and run should not be seen in the same sentence!”

Summer or Winter Olympics?
“Winter – all that snow looks a lot more fun. I only wish it was on more often than four years.”

Name one thing on your bucket list
“To fly in a helicopter and land on a glacier.”

And Lucy Oldham … (pictured with 3 members of her family!)

We see your name on lots of things – what’s your role at First Steps?
“I am the Marketing and Business Development Manager and head up the First Steps Hub. You’ll see my name on lots of things as I write our monthly newsletters, blogs, post regular Facebook and Twitter updates and work closely with Sue, our Senior Childcare Manager and our Nursery Managers, on all parent communication. “

What part of your job do you enjoy most?
“I love the variation and diverse nature of my job – every day is different. I have 2 young children myself so I am passionate about childcare and education. Watching the children thriving at our nurseries under the care of our fantastic staff and seeing the feedback we get from our families is incredibly rewarding. I also really enjoy the events we hold – our recent Open Morning during Lambing Live at Brinsbury was great fun and it was so good to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

Why did you choose to work at First Steps?
“I have worked in PR, marketing and sponsorship for over 20 years, working for big, international businesses and household brands, as well as handling the publicity for some high profile individuals including Olympic Champions. This most recent role for me was something very different but it combines two things I am extremely passionate about.”

What are you currently working on?
“I am currently working on the launch of First Steps Village in Brinsbury and Chichester – it’s a big and really exciting project so it’s keeping us all very busy!”

How would your children describe you?
“Haha! I have a 7 year old boy and a 5 year old girl. My son would probably say ‘You’re sometimes a bit shouty’ and that I look strict in my new reading glasses but would also say he loves my food, that I’m an excellent cook (I’m not!), that I read the best stories and I always win family games. My daughter would say I’m the best at putting tights on (note – my competition – her Daddy – is not the strongest!), making cupcakes and cookies and that I give good cuddles. They would also both say that our family dog, Jemima, loves me the most and that I take A LOT of photographs of everyone!”

And something we wouldn’t know about you …
“This one always impresses my little boy … I was a black belt in the Korean martial art Tae Kwon Do when I was a teenager and regularly competed in sparring and breaking competitions so have a stash of trophies and medals hidden away somewhere! Just don’t ask me to perform a reverse turning kick these days!!”

If you have any questions, need any advice or support, please contact First Steps Hub – we are all always happy to help:

Tel: 01243 530427
Facebook: First Steps Childcare
Twitter: @FirstStepsTweet

A trip of a lifetime

13th September 2017

Last month two members of our team visited Nakuru in Kenya, home to the school The Big Build Kenya, in partnership with Chichester College, have been building. For Lauren, from our Bersted nursery, and Elora at our Brinsbury nursery, it was an experience of a lifetime.

Thanks to all of our fantastic children, their families, our staff and friends, we have raised a huge amount of money towards this project over the last year and whilst Elora and Lauren were in Kenya they officially opened the new school and the First Steps Classroom on behalf of us all.

We wanted to find out more about their experience …


Was the trip what you expected?

Lauren: “As much as you prepare yourself for the trip by attending the college meetings and researching websites, you’ll never know what to expect in Kenya until you are there and actually experiencing it.”

Elora: “The trip was more than I expected, I would do this trip a million times over! We saw some great sights and it was amazing to see the classroom that the money we all raised built. For me the trip was extra special as I was with some amazing people.  I shall hold these memories forever.”


 What was the highlight for you?

Lauren: “My highlights were being greeted by the happiest group of children and seeing the excitement when we arrived every day at the project! But there were so many more – finishing the school and classroom ready in time for the opening ceremony,  getting to experience teaching in class, stepping over the equator and going on safari.”

Elora: “The highlight of the trip for me was seeing the children every day at the Walk Centre and how happy they were to be there. It also made me realise what we all have at home and how much we take for granted.”


 What did you find hardest?

Lauren: “Going to the rubbish dump was the hardest bit for me, knowing that the majority of the children from The Walk and Prisons Primary lived there was heart breaking. Even then, they were still so happy to show us where they lived though. Although it was raining, we all wore sunglasses to hide our emotions – because to them, it’s their everyday life.”

Elora: “I think I found the toilets one of the hardest things…. boy was I glad to get home and use a toilet properly and not have to remember to take tissue with me or hold my nose!!

“I found the rubbish dump really challenging – the children were so happy to let us in to their homes and show us where they lived, yet they have nothing. Often 7 to 10 people live in a tiny shack they make out of the rubbish around them or whatever they can find. This is why the walk centre is so good for the children as 70% of them live on the dump and when they come to school they get a hot meal every day.”


Would you do it again?

Lauren: “Would I do it again? Most definitely, yes!! It’s a totally different way of life and I loved every minute (even though we had stew for lunch and dinner most days!) To be able to step outside the world of normality into a whole new culture and way of life was just an incredible journey! It was a once in a lifetime trip and I have learned so much from it!”

Elora: “YES I definitely would go again!!!!! I think everyone should experience it as I have got memories that I shall cherish forever. I can’t put into words what the experience meant to me and I’m sure everyone will have a difference experience but I am so pleased I had the opportunity to go.”


If you could sum up your experience in one line, what would it be?

Lauren: “The most overwhelming, eye-opening, emotional, amazing, funny, stew-filled journey!

Elora: “An amazing experience and one that I shall never forget, there will always be a piece of me there!”

Meet … Connor Bowley

12th July 2017

The latest in our ‘meet the team’ blog series features Connor, who after more than five years with First Steps, joined our Brinsbury nursery earlier this year.

As one of only a handful of male Childcare Assistants at First Steps, and having worked at each of our nurseries during his time with us, we thought it would be good to find out a little more about Connor…


When did you first join First Steps?

I first joined First Steps in 2013 as a student at the Chichester nursery working 2 days a week.


What made you decide on childcare as a career path?

I was going to go into care work for my best friend so started to get the qualifications I needed. One of the placements was at First Steps Chichester and so it began…!


As we know, childcare tends to be female dominated. Are people surprised when you say you work in a nursery and why do you think there aren’t more men following this path?

Yes, when I say I work in a nursery it is automatically assumed I work in a plant nursery! There really aren’t many men in this career so people are quick to judge.


What’s the funniest thing a child has said to you?

Are you Kristoff?

(We think Connor does look a little like Kristoff actually!)


Having worked at each of our nurseries at some point and with First Steps for a number of years, what do you think makes us different to other nurseries?

I feel the main difference is that we are very child focused and really think about each child’s experience. We have fantastic resources and dedicated staff that challenge, motivate and inspire the children, encouraging them to be confident, independent and really enjoy their time with us. We have access to great outdoor space, both within our nurseries and on our campuses, and we are always looking at how we can improve and adapt to continue offering the very best.


What’s the best thing about working at our Brinsbury setting?

Definitely the location! Our countryside setting is amazing and the children have fantastic access to nature at it’s very best. The children also love our proximity to the Animal Centre and the fact that we can hear dogs, sheep, ducks, ponies and cows from the nursery, as well as watching horses walking by.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

I enjoy spending time with my family and I love playing rugby.


Name three things you’d take with you to a desert island?

A rope, knife and tomato ketchup!


What’s your favourite nursery rhyme (and you have to have one!)

Sleeping Bunnies. Or one of the different versions I sing on a daily basis.

(If you visit Brinsbury, you will often hear Connor in full song in Step 2!)


And now for some quick fire questions Connor …


Tractor or Porsche?

Both please! A tractor because you can go anywhere and it has a lot of power and a Porsche because it is fast and has excellent handling.


Pop or rock?



Take-away curry or pizza?

Pizza, everytime!


Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig?

Paw Patrol


Dog or cat?



Do you have any pets?

No, I used to though.


What’s the best holiday you’ve been on?

Either Florida or California. Both were brilliant.


Where would you live if you could choose to be anywhere in the world?

America. Florida, California or Hawaii – I love the surfer life style!


Do you have a party trick?!

Unfortunately not. Still searching for it!


And finally … tell us something we don’t know about you.

I have done a sky dive over Salisbury.


Thanks Connor.

Meet…Lauren & Elora who are off to Kenya!

30th January 2017

Two members of our intrepid nursery team are off to Kenya in July to help at the build a school project we have been supporting for the past year with African Adventures.

Lauren Parfoot from our Bersted nursery and Elora Chriss from Brinsbury, both stepped forward when the opportunity arose and are now busy preparing for this exciting adventure. We thought it would be good to get to know them both a bit better and find out why they are looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity…


Lauren, how long have you worked in childcare and, specifically, at First Steps?

First Steps was my first job in childcare after I had finished my college course. This will be my sixth year working here.


And Elora?

I have worked at First Steps for five years – it will be six in August.


What do you most enjoy about your jobs?

Lauren – being with the children. Knowing that I have an impact on helping them grow, learn and develop to reach their next milestones and having that continuous bond with them. Nothing beats the hugs, smiley faces, laughter, fabulous imaginations and proud moments I get when they learn something new.

Elora – I really enjoy watching each individual child grow in confidence and independence, watching them move from one milestone to the next is so rewarding.


If you could describe yourselves in three words, what would they be?

Elora – Outgoing, fun (that’s only two Elora! We’ve chosen one for you – warm)

Lauren – Ambitious, fun, caring


Why did you put yourself forward to go to Kenya Elora?

To gain this once in a lifetime opportunity was amazing – I am very excited to see their way of life and make a change for the better for everyone in their immediate environment.


And, Lauren?

I put myself forward to go to Kenya to broaden my horizon and enrich my experiences with new challenges and responsibilities and seeing a whole new way of life. I’m also keen to offer my skills and learn new ones.


What are you most looking forward to? 

Lauren: The whole trip! To make this project an absolute success; being part of the building and teaching, I’m excited about the chance to go on safari and I never thought I’d step over the equator! I am looking forward to the different experiences every day will bring. I really can’t wait!

Elora: I am most looking forward to the adventure although I think it is going to be quite a shock when I am there! I am also really looking forward to feeding the giraffes at the sanctuary.


How do you think you will be able to support the project whilst you are there?

Elora: By helping others and supporting a great cause, working together to meet new people and make a big difference to their environment.

Lauren: By bringing my knowledge, passion and teaching skills. I will be willing to give everything a go and will put every effort I have in to everything I do.


Are you worried about anything?

Lauren: Making sure I get all the right jabs needed, being prepared by having all the malaria preventions I can and being prepared for any emotional challenges we may come across.

Elora: I am really worried about the injections before we go!


What are you doing to prepare for the trip?

Lauren: I’ve done lots of research about the trip and about Kenya in general. Also, finding out about which jabs I need and what to take.

Elora: I have been reading up on the area and checking out what we will be doing. I am also keeping in contact with Lauren and have started to get a few bits together that I would like to take with me.


What home comforts will you struggle to go without?

Elora: I am really going to miss having a decent shower and my own bed!

Lauren: I will definitely miss my bed, Cadbury’s chocolate and not having a cup of tea!


What or who will you miss when you are there?

Lauren: I’ll miss my family, friends, my home comforts and a good roast dinner with all the trimmings!

Elora: I am going to miss my family and friends too. I know that my two dogs are going to miss me!


What will you be packing?

Lauren: The every day essentials, as much mosquito prevention products as I can and gifts for the children. Oh, and my camera so I can capture the amazing experiences!

Elora: I am going to be taking plenty of dry shampoo and baby wipes and I will also be taking sun cream.


Lauren, what do you think you will learn from this experience?

By stepping outside the world of normality and stepping into a whole new way of life, I think I’ll learn lots of new skills and broaden my knowledge about Kenya and the cultural differences.


Our General Manager Michelle Cogger, currently heading up our Bersted nursery, visited Kenya back in July 2013 as a volunteer and has been helping Lauren and Elora prepare for their visit with advice and tips from her experience.


Michelle, if you could offer the girls one piece of advice before they head out to Kenya, what would it be?

Throw yourselves whole-heartedly into the experience. Don’t take things too much to heart whilst you are there. You will see extremes of poverty that cannot be described so it can be easy to think how awful it is and feel very sad but it is important not to show that. Remember, this is their life! One of the things that really struck me was how happy everyone was – and that’s something to hold onto. Enjoy – it really is an opportunity of a lifetime.


Michelle kept a diary whilst she was in Kenya and we just love her final entry which seems like a perfect way to end this blog:

“And this was the end of my amazing, wonderful, eye-opening, sad, funny, mashed potato, peas and carrot filled Kenya trip.” Michelle


We can’t wait to hear all about Lauren and Elora’s experience this summer and look forward to sharing some of their pictures and words with you.

On behalf of everyone at First Steps, we are very proud of you both Lauren and Elora and wish you a fantastic trip. They will be very lucky to have you both there supporting this wonderful project.

And finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our families who have supported this project and helped raise (and continue to raise) the huge amount of money First Steps have been able to contribute to the build a school fund. None of this would have been possible without you so THANK YOU!

Making Phonics Fun At First Steps

6th December 2016

We are delighted that the lovely Janna, who regularly visits all three of our nurseries introducing Fun Phonics to the children, is our guest blogger this month. Here she tells you a little more about herself and what she does.


Fun Phonics for parents

Fun Phonics came about by accident when my son started reception at St Mary’s school in Pulborough. As a parent and qualified primary school teacher, I found myself listening to and helping parents with their concerns about their children’s education. It became apparent to me that many parents were confused about phonics. Consequently, I hired out a village hall and set up a free workshop for parents to actively learn about phonics through games and discussion. I created a Facebook page to promote the event and thus Fun Phonics was born.


Fun Phonics for pre-schoolers

Before long, I had interest from many local pre-schools. First Steps were among the first nurseries to ask me to work with their children. I devised a short, but active, phonics session for pre-schoolers, and the children loved it! I use a range of techniques to teach the children including sign, rhyme, alliteration, song, dance and of course PLAY.


So how do I help your children? 

I always begin by engaging the children with sounds. I play a variety of sounds and ask the children to identify them. During these sound sessions, the children have been to the ocean and the forest, they have listened to the sounds of birds and insects and they have drummed on saucepans and rattled their shakers. I have developed their ears to hear subtle differences in sounds and this has laid the foundations for their early letter sound recognition.


What’s in the bag? 

I have become famous for my song, ‘what’s in the bag?’  The children all sing along and put their hands up eagerly to discover what is inside the bag each week. The small objects inside the bag are always linked to the letter sound of the week and the children are becoming experts at hearing the first sound in many words.


Sound of the week

The weekly activities, nursery rhymes and stories are always linked to the sound of the week. The children have looked for snakes in the grass, they’ve had tea with tigers and zoomed cars down race tracks, among many other carefully planned activities. I enjoy watching all of the children grow and develop each week.





Thank you Janna. We at First Steps have no doubt that Fun Phonics plays a big part in helping our children transition smoothly from pre-school to reception and, watching the reaction Janna gets when she arrives each week, shows just how much the children enjoy her sessions!

If you’d like to contact Janna or find out more about Fun Phonics, take a look at her Facebook page for fun and friendly help and advice.  Janna urges no one to push children to read, but knows there are loads of fun ways to approach it through play and storytelling. You can also watch Janna’s ‘what’s in the bag?’ YouTube videos with your children  which are useful guides for parents.

Janna holds regular phonics workshops for parents in many different venues and you might like to subscribe to her website to receive notifications about forthcoming events.


If you would like to be a guest blogger for First Steps, please get in touch with We’d love to hear from you.

Meet…Sam Moore

4th November 2016

Sam heads up our Central Admissions team based in Chichester and may well be the first person you spoke to at First Steps. However, whilst all of our parents will have spoken to Sam or a member of her team at some point, they are unlikely to have met her.  We therefore thought it would be good to get to know someone who plays a key role in the day to day running of the business a little better.


Sam, please can you explain in one line who Central Admissions are?

Central Admissions look after your child’s booking details, from your very first enquiry to your last invoice and any changes in between, working closely with all the nurseries and reporting into our Senior Childcare Manager.


Who else is in your team?

Cheryl and Sheryl – gets a little confusing but they usually introduce themselves as AM Cheryl and PM Sheryl as Cheryl works in the mornings and Sheryl works in the afternoons!


How long have you worked at First Steps?

Nearly 15 years.


What did you do before?

I was Head Receptionist at a local city centre hotel.


What’s the best bit about your job?

The variety that it brings as there are always new families starting. Even after all these years working at First Steps I can be asked a question I have never been asked before.


What does a typical day look like in Central Admissions?

Answering and making lots of telephone calls, typing lots of things onto the computer and filling in lots of paperwork. There are always a few cups of coffee and biscuits in the day too!


Do you visit the other nurseries?

Yes – I help the nursery managers and administrators with various things and attend meetings so I can sometimes be seen in their offices too.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

I like gardening. Although I am not always very good at it, most things usually survive!


And, finally, some more gruelling questions that we know the children will want to know the answers to …!


Marmite. Love it or hate it?

One of my favourite things – there is always a jar of Marmite in our cupboard!


Bike or car?

Definitely car because I love singing along to my music and no one can hear me in my car.


Pop music or rock music?

Rock music – the louder the better!


Pirate or Princess?

Pirate – mostly because I have always wanted a pet parrot.


Tomato ketchup or mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise – especially with chips.


Summer or winter?

Definitely choose winter as it gives me the opportunity to wear my rather extensive collection of boots.

Meet … Gemma, Childcare Assistant at Brinsbury

31st August 2016

At First Steps, we employ over 60 staff and it is this team of hard working, talented and enthusiastic individuals that make our nurseries such a wonderful place to be. We are extremely proud of them.

To help you get to know the people behind First Steps better, we are launching a ‘meet the team’ series of blogs where we (or our children) will interview them to find out a bit more about them.

This month we are talking to Gemma Woodjetts. Gemma is a Childcare Assistant at First Steps Brinsbury working in Step 3 with our older children. Gemma can often be found reading to the children or splashing in muddle puddles!

Risking a slightly more diverse line of questioning, we thought it would be fun to ask some of our children in Step 3 to interview Gemma so here are Paxton, Amy, Freddie, Poppy, Noah, Frankie, Oscar, Max, Niall, Reg and Jens asking Gemma what really mattered to them:


Do you have a pet?

Not now. I did used to have a cat called Smudge though.


Do you walk every day?

Not every day, but I do like walking.


Where do you go on holiday?

In our caravan. We’ve just been away to Norfolk and went on a canal boat too.


Do you make dinner at home?

I do, sometimes for my Daddy too.


What’s your favourite food?

Pasta. I especially love lasagne and garlic bread.


What else do you do at home?

I enjoy reading and I make cards.


Do you like Minions?

Yes, I do.


How do you get to nursery?

In my Mummy’s car. It’s blue.


Do you have a bike?

Yes, it’s blue and white.


What’s your favourite colour?



Do you like having a bath?

I prefer a shower.


Do you do lots of sports?

I like swimming and Zumba.


What’s your favourite animal?

A tiger. And I like birds of prey too.


Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Yes, I have a younger brother called Alan and a big sister called Kelly.


The children also drew a wonderful picture of Gemma.  Thank for being our first ‘meet the team’ subject Gemma.

Watch this space for the next one …

Meet the team

5th July 2016

We employ around 60 individual members of staff at First Steps, from Nursery Managers and our brilliant childcare teams to our hardworking Admin Assistants and dedicated Cook. We are extremely proud of our fantastic team and everything they do to make our nurseries such wonderful places for the children to be.

To celebrate this and provide a little insight into members of our team across our nurseries, we will be selecting a few to take part in our series of ‘meet the team’ interviews. To make things a little more fun, we’ll also be asking the children to come up with questions of their own (let’s see if you can spot them!) and draw a picture of the individual too.

So … if there is anyone you are particularly keen on getting to know better, let us know!


Time for school

1st July 2016

It’s with great excitement, and a little bit of sadness, that we prepare to say goodbye to our children who will be leaving us this summer to start school in September. Many of them have been with us since they were tiny and some of us can remember saying goodbye to their big brothers and sisters before them.

It’s a big step but one we know all of our school leavers are ready for. We’ve watched them grow and develop so much over the past year and they have all embraced the many activities we’ve been enjoying in preparing them for this next milestone.

We believe that our nurseries provide an excellent start for the children; encouraging independence, developing social skills, understanding the daily routine and learning key skills such as dressing and feeding themselves. All of this will prove an enormous help when they walk into big school on their first day.

And don’t worry if they don’t know many other children, they soon will. Reception class is a fun, busy, exciting place to be and we will all look back in another year’s time and not believe how far they have come.

Good luck to each and everyone of you and please stay in touch. We love nothing more than hearing how the children are doing. We will miss you all very much!