Introducing … the First Steps Hub

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:

Email: firststepshub@chichester.ac.uk
Tel: 01243 530427
Facebook: First Steps Childcare
Twitter: @FirstStepsTweet
Website: www.firststepschildcare.co.uk