About us

First Steps supplies quality staff for children’s centres, schools, community organisations, and others, and provides quality childcare in its footprints@ settings.

Our staff work in services run by children’s centres and others, for children aged under 5 and their families, and for families in their home. Our aim is that these staff add value to the vital work undertaken by children’s centres and other organisations through our staffing solutions service.

Our footprints@ childcare settings place child and family at the heart of all they do.

We strive to provide a quality, competitive service which meets the needs of centres and others and work within the Early Years Stage Foundation.

We seek to adhere to and encourage equality of opportunity and diversity in our work and how we operate.

We also provide programme management, and consultancy, learning and other associated services.

First Steps Enterprise Limited - Team Photo

Who Runs First Steps Enterprise?

First Steps Enterprise has two directors.

Ian Merrison is the Managing Director of First Steps Enterprise.  He has worked for providers of childcare services for over twenty years. As Managing Director of First Steps, he has seen it successful grow over its three years of operation, supplying children and families staffing services across Merseyside. Prior to this, he was a senior manager at Eldonian Group Limited, and oversaw the significant growth of a number of services for children and families, and has worked closely with a number of services in Sefton and Liverpool. Ian was also the nominated person for two Ofsted-registered services on both the Early Years and Childcare Registers, and was the organisation’s Senior Safeguarding Officer.

Sarah Mercer is the Deputy Manager of First Steps Enterprise, and oversees quality assurance of childcare provision, and is a qualified Early Years professional. She has worked in children’s centres for over four years. As a School Readiness Worker, Sarah has supported vulnerable families, worked in partnership with other professionals, and has acted as lead practitioner on team around the family (TAF) cases for families on the threshold of social care. Sarah has developed and delivered universal and targeted groups that promote all areas of the EYFS, empowering families in supporting and understanding the early learning goals for their children and in being ‘school ready’.  She played a key role in the development and running of two nursery settings that support vulnerable children on the 2-year-old offer. Sarah has also worked in a local primary school as a Support Advisor for parents.

Jennifer Merrison is the other director of First Steps Enterprise alongside Ian.  She is a Year 2 Teacher and has taught in primary schools for over thirteen years. Jennifer also spent five years working for a community organisation in an outreach and school assembly role, working with children up to the age of 11 and their families.

Ann Howarth is our Administrator with over 15 years’ experience.  She has worked in a variety of organisations, including children’s centres, training providers, social enterprises, and local businesses.


First Steps Enterprises Limited | School Staffing Solutions

First Steps Enterprise Limited
54 St James Street
L1 0AB
Tel: 0151 665 0160

Company Registration Number: 08918285