Recruitment options for childcare providers
Recruiting quality employees is the starting point to creating a strong workforce. Finding the right employee takes time and high employee turnover costs the childcare sector valuable time and productivity.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework states:
Suitable people 3.9. Providers must ensure that people looking after children are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles. Providers must have effective systems in place to ensure that practitioners, and any other person who is likely to have regular contact with children (including those living or working on the premises), are suitable.
One vital aspect of ensuring quality and safety in early years settings is the effective selection and recruitment of staff. EYFS safeguarding and welfare requirements states:
3.2 "Providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well"
If you need to recruit new staff think about:
- The Job Description clarifies the key roles and responsibilities of the position and the expectations required for the role.
- The Person Specification is based on the job description and sets out the essential and desirable skills, qualifications and qualities needed to fulfil the role and if the post is or is not exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) * and whether an enhanced DBS is required.
- Ensure that the Job Description and the Person Specification make reference to the settings commitment to the safeguarding and welfare of children.
Childcare employers should give serious consideration to using application forms as a key part of their recruitment process. When a candidate completes an application form it ensures that information given by the candidate is presented in a consistent format against the person specification and therefore makes it easier to assess the suitability of the candidate against the specifications when shortlisting for interview.
When all applications have been received and the closing date has expired senior or relevant staff members should shortlist against the person specification criteria. You may decide to score based on a point scoring process or a Met, Not Met, Partially Met basis.
- Note any gaps in employment.
- Invite applicants to interview.
- Interview letter should include date, time, place of interview.
- Details of any presentations the candidate may need to prepare.
- A sentence that’s asks if the candidate has any special requirements.
- A request to bring original qualification documents.
- A request to bring proof of identity to work in the UK.
- DBS number if subscribed to online update service.
- Agree an interview panel.
- Do agree, in advance, questions to be asked and by whom on the panel.
- Don’t ask questions that could be interpreted as discriminatory.
- Do agree how to score the answers given.
- The interview should take place in a quiet room with no interruptions.
- The Equality Act 2010 * prevents employers asking about the health of an applicant before making a job offer.
After the interviewing all the candidates, the panel should then compare notes and scores on each applicant so that a consensus can be agreed about who should be offered the post.
Once employment has been offered and accepted subject to satisfactory references and enhanced DBS check, the employer should prepare the induction process for the new employee. This will include probation period, regular supervision or induction meetings and agreed objectives.
ACAS offer lots of information and advice about employment law and can be contacted on 0800 464 0970.
There are lots of suitable childcare qualifications out there. Check if your applicants have the right set of skills and qualifications by using the DfE qualification checker.
What are Apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are a great way to grow your own talent within your business, either through recruitment or upskilling your current employees. They allow people to gain formal qualifications whilst in the workplace through a blended approach of on-the-job training and learning. They can last from one to six years depending on the level of the apprenticeship and they are funded from contributions made by the government and employers.
You can employ apprentices at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates to people who want to further their careers or change career direction and are already employed within your organisation.
How your business could benefit
There are many benefits to recruiting an apprentice or using apprenticeships to upskill your current workforce. These benefits include:
- having the opportunity to adapt training to the needs of your business
- a £3,000 payment for new apprentices
- apprentices are motivated to learn new skills
- the opportunity to expand or upskill your workforce
- fill key skill gaps in your business
- boosting employee engagement, by investing in their development
- improving retention.
To find out more about apprenticeships please visit the government website Apprenticeships - Hire an apprentice. For an initial discussion on how we can support you, please contact Derby’s Employment and Skills Team by email to email@example.com or telephone 01332 956989.
What is the Kickstart Scheme?
If you’re aged 16-24 and claiming Universal Credit, you might be able to get a six-month job with a local employer through the Kickstart Scheme. Kickstart jobs are funded by the government to offer exciting opportunities for young people to gain valuable work experience.
Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant), for 25 hours per week
- associated employer National Insurance contributions
- minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.
How your business could benefit:
- The government will cover the cost of paying each new recruit’s wages at the national minimum wage. This will be covered for 25 hours a week, with additional associated national insurance and pension costs
- £1,500 per job available for set-up costs, support, and training.
- The scheme offers employers a fully funded programme for taking on young workers without enforcing their commitment to permanent roles.
- Kickstart represents a real opportunity for small businesses hoping to expand, while also trying to mitigate the risks of the ongoing uncertainties in the business environment.
- Kickstart provides a free six-month work placement, within which you can trial a new post or the individual and be better informed in making decisions that require a longer-term commitment to staff resourcing. For example, a Kickstart placement provides the perfect routeway into an apprenticeship.
If you would like to discuss the Kickstart scheme in more detail or would like to recruit a Kickstarter, please contact Derby’s Employment and Skills Team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01332 956989
Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs)
What is the SWAPs programme?
A Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAPs) provides training and work placement for entry-level jobs. It enables both applicant and employer to understand the ‘match’ to the job. SWAPs offer help to those receiving unemployment benefits to transition into employment, unlocking potential talent into the workforce.
SWAPs can offer placement of up to six weeks and including three main components:
- pre-employment training – matched to the skills required for the job
- work experience placement – a great opportunity for your business to identify talent on the job and for the individual to cement their knowledge and understanding of the required role
- a guaranteed job interview – to recruit directly into the role you are recruiting.
An important feature of a SWAP is that each one offers a flexible approach and can be adapted to meet the needs of your business. If you are unable to offer all three components, we can develop a bespoke training package to meet your needs.
Participants remain on benefits while on a SWAP placement. The government will pay any travel and childcare costs whilst benefit claimants are on the scheme. There is no direct cost to an employer for running a SWAP as training and administration costs are covered by government funding.
How your business could benefit
- It’s a flexible programme that can be tailored to meet your recruitment needs.
- You can recruit staff with the right training and skills from the outset, developed through fully funded pre-employment training.
- Opportunity to provide work experience placements for potential employees to ensure they are suited to that type of role and your company, decreasing turnover of staff.
- Reduces the risks within the overall process of recruiting new employees.
- Reducing the cost of recruitment, avoiding agency costs for entry-level employment.
- SWAPs can be tailored to increase the diversity of your workforce by working directly with specific cohorts such as ex-offenders, care leavers, women, depending upon your recruitment priorities.
- Opportunity for positive publicity to showcase how you are working collaboratively with providers to meet your recruitment needs or corporate social responsibility goals.
What is a Traineeship?
A Traineeship is a government-funded education and training programme with work experience that last 8 weeks and focuses on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Traineeships include work preparation training, English and math's support (if required) and an 8-week work experience placement with an employer.
In addition to these core elements, the Traineeship Learning provider can work with you to add additional content to meet the needs of your business.
Why offer a traineeship?
- You can get ahead of the competition by bringing enthusiastic young people with their fresh ideas into your business before they get onto the job ladder
- Traineeships will allow you to shape the skills and experience of young people from your local community, helping your business to develop a loyal and talented workforce, generating good PR for your business
- Working with Trainees will give established members of staff the chance to develop their skills in mentoring and coaching young people
Your involvement as an employer:
You will need to commit to providing a high-quality work placement that includes pre-agreed content and objectives between your company, the Traineeship Learning provider and the Trainee.
How much does it cost?
The scheme is fully funded by the government and is exempt from the minimum wage rule, meaning you will not be required to pay the Trainee whilst they are enrolled on the programme. However, providing support for expenses such as transport and meals is encouraged.
How do you find a Trainee?
You will need to work a Traineeship Learning Provider such as:
How do Traineeships differ from Apprenticeships?
An Apprenticeship is paid and involves a contract of employment. A Traineeship can be viewed as a pre-Apprenticeship placement that is unpaid and requires no contract of employment.