History of First Step
In the Beginning
When we began I don’t think we thought that far ahead. We all knew First Step was special and had absolutely no doubt of its success, but we were not thinking of the future.
Anne Milne (Honorary and Founder Member of First Step)
First Step started out as a small group of parents determined to find a safe, secure and fun place for their children. They went back and forth for two years desperately trying to find funds for the project and also suitable premises. In the beginning they were told that unless they had premises they could not get money and unless they had money then they could not have premises. They did not waste this time and started to consult people in order to strengthen their ideas and to take on board the knowledge that was available.
The Original Steering Group
The original steering group was based at the local community base - The Contact Point. We met every week to discuss how to take things forward. As a group we decided on our logo - a teddy bear on the first step. As it would be seen as something safe for the children and First Step - this was our first step to our final goal!
The 'S' it the First Step Logo was turned the other way as children very often write it incorrectly. We bought the sweat shirts and had them printed as a surprise for the community workers who were helping us.
Eventually they were advised about Urban Aid and that it was available to them. They were then told that premises were going to be made available. At last! It was finally coming together. An application was made to Urban Aid and the group worked with architects on what could be achieved with the building. At first the financial request was not accepted but they were invited to meet with the Secretary of Sate for Scotland to go over the application and work out how feasible it was going to be. Later the Urban Aid had been granted, so the project could go ahead.
This is when the serious work started – choosing the curtains, the couch, kitchen equipment and toys for the children!!!!
It did not take the group long to advertise and interview staff. At last it was all coming together and finally the doors of First Step were ready to open.
First Step opened in January 1990 and within a few weeks the childcare side was oversubscribed. There was also a great success with the options offered to parents.
The special thing about First Step is that we tailor our care to meet the needs of the users of the project. To do this and to make it work we rely on our qualified and experienced staff who go above and beyond their duties to ensure our success. The staff are led by the senior management team, who ensure the smooth running of the project.
There is also another important group of people – the parents who become involved - for without them a lot could not be achieved.