Mealtime in the day nursery

We are committed to providing a range of benefits and schemes to help our staff achieve a good work-life balance and we have a suite of family friendly policies in place at the Trust to support staff who have parenting and caring responsibilities.


Childcare at First Steps Day Nurseries

For many staff, the availability of high quality, affordable and reliable childcare is one of the most important factors when choosing when and where to work or which employer to work for.

The Trust has two operational onsite nurseries, one at Ashford Hospital and one at St Peter’s Hospital, which are in operation for 50 weeks of the year.

The nurseries are open from 7am until 6pm (the baby rooms from 8am until 6pm). Between 7am and 8am spaces are limited and are therefore reserved for the children of nursing staff only (maximum 6 children per morning).

In addition to regular hours, we operate a limited shift place system where by 30 hrs a week is covered for Trust Staff over a five day period (you will be charged accordingly if you exceed the 30 hour limit). Both of these options are open to staff subject to agreement with either the Childcare Manager or Assistant Childcare Managers for each of the prospective nurseries as these places are limited.

The Nursery at St Peter’s has been operational for over 50 years on various sites around the Trust. We took over our present building, the old children’s ward in August 1992. The Nursery at Ashford has been operational since the year 2000, originally opening with just a baby unit and expanding in August 2002 incorporating an over 2’s unit and have been on this site ever since.

Both of the Trust nurseries are Ofsted registered; St Peter’s is registered for 81 places and Ashford 72 places per day. Both nurseries are extremely popular and have waiting lists. Places are subject to approval by either the Childcare Manager or Assistant Childcare Managers. Application forms can be obtained from either nursery.

St Peter’s site 01932 722192
Ashford site 01784 884757


Link to the AccessAble website


Information about access to the nurseries can be found on the AccessAble website for Ashford and St Peter's.


Thrive logo



The Thrive Approach has been embedded in a range of settings across England and Wales.

Even from the very earliest stage of a child’s educational development, Thrive helps to support social and emotional wellbeing.

In pre-school and nursery settings, Thrive creates a secure foundation for life and learning and supports transitions at times of emotional stress, such as settling in and, eventually, moving on to primary school.


Alphabet and hand prints


Play Scheme

We also offer a play scheme which runs from the St Peter’s site and covers the 11 weeks of school holidays during the academic year (following the Surrey County Council holiday dates). We regret that we are unable to cover in-set days as these vary from school to school. However, we do operate an emergency play scheme, which is subject to the availability of our staff, to cover emergency closures of schools during inclement weather. Play scheme is for children aged 4years (once at school) up until 10 years 11 months.

Please contact the St Peter’s Nursery Extension 2192 and ask for the Play scheme Coordinator or the Assistant Childcare Manager for more information.

Play scheme forms are available on the intranet for staff to access we do not post them until the previous play scheme has finished.


Purple boots on a fence


Childcare Vouchers

The Childcare voucher schemes were closed to new applicants as from the 4th October 2018.

For existing users you will be able to utilise the vouchers until you no longer require the service. There is no deadline as yet to use the vouchers by.


How To Get Help Paying for Childcare

You may be eligible for:

  • Tax Free Childcare
  • Tax Credits
  • Universal Credits
  • Help While You Study

For further information go to


Tax Free Childcare

Tax Free Childcare is a scheme administered by HMRC, whereby working families can be offered 20% support to qualifying childcare costs up to a certain limit. Both Parents are eligible if you are employed, self-employed or both. To qualify you have to be earning at least £120 per week and over the age of 25 years. For further information go to


Tax and NI exemptions for Workplace Nurseries

The Trust’s onsite nurseries are covered by the government’s ‘Work Place Nurseries Exception’ scheme and therefore the cost of a place in a workplace nursery is completely exempt from Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

If you received confirmation of a nursery place and it has been agreed in writing, call payroll on 2799 to see if you are eligible for the savings. (Please bear in mind this can have an impact on your pension contributions at a later date).


Funded Early Education, Universal and Extended Hours for 3 and 4 year olds

Both of the Trust Nurseries offer Funded Early Education for Two Year Olds (FEET Funding), Universal and Extended Hours for 3 and 4 year olds.


The top picture shows staff and children sitting down for lunch in the Tiggers Room at St Peter’s First Steps Nursery.