The quality of the care/education required and provided for each child within our, Breakfast Clubs, Daycase, Pre-School and After School Clubs is to diverse that in order to maintain high standards a rigorous staff recruitment process is essential.
We belive that in order to offer excellence, we have to recruit the best staff available plus a strong emphasis on coaching and support to further enhance their knowledge and skills, this process is continuous in ehat is a continually changing world.
Our approach to recruitment is to provide a staged approach.
A job advertisment placed in the local newspaper to reach the widest audience possible which describes exactly the skills and experience required.
We have found this reduces the number of people that apply, those that fall short of our requirements tend not to contact us.
Contact by telephone, verbal interview.
We are able to gain an overview of the applicant, explain the requirements of the post and assess whether thay are suitable to ask them to the next stage of the process.
Stage Ofsted formal interview.
Before they attend, candidates would receive in the post an Application Form, Medical Questionnaire and an Ofsted Clearance Form if the applicant is not in possession of a valid C.R.B. fully enhanced disclosure. They are returned to us before the formal interview and are thoroughly reviewed before and during interview. A Structured interview takes place which examines the candidate's childcare knowledge, qualifications gained, practical experience and attitudes. Each candidate is asked the same structured questions, their replies are noted.
The purpose of this is two fold. Firstly to give the candidate a chance to see the setting and to observe our staff working so that they are able to arrive at a decesion as to whether they would like to work in such am environment. Secondly, but equally as important, the candidate is observed by our staff interacting with the children they are with. They are given the opportunity to work in all other areas of the business. From the observations their ability is assessed as to whether they are able to play with children at their level and also which candidates are accepted and liked by the children. After the practical interview the results of the observations added to the replies to the questions in the formal interview are considered and a decision is reached as to who is best suited to the advertised post.
We ask for two references which include the person's last employer. We follow these up in writing and also, where necessary contact the referee for further verbal information. The medical questionairre is coped and the person takes it to their doctor. This is for two reasons, firstly for it to be confirmed that the information they have given is correct and to get their doctor's opinion as to their fitness to look after other peoples children. (note: Ofsted only requests a doctors letter for manager/officaer in charge of a setting). copies of their certificates are taken along with proof of their identity. We as employees also use the Crimminal Records Bureau to check for relevant criminal records if the person is not already in possession of an up to date C.R.B. disclosure.
The 3 month trial period.
All successful employees are employed subject to the satisfactory completion of a 3 month trial period. Within this they receive a detailed, comprehensive and thorough induction programme. they receive on the job feedback and guidance. They have weekly performance reviews. The performance reviews are friendly supportive sessions with a senior member of staff where the employees observed actaul performance is discussed and guidance given. Most staff comment that these sessions are very helpful and supportive. Good performace is acknowledged and praised. Low performance is discussed and guidance is given on how to improve and an action plan put in place. At the end of the three month trial period people that meet the required standards are retained. Those who don't are not.
It is essential that all members of staff see childcase as a continuouslearning process and to this end quarterly performance reviews and regular coaching will take place. The three senior management staff, Childcare Co-ordinator, Training and Development and the Advertising and Promotions managers will have their reviews undertaken by the business partners Angela and Trevor Thomas. The remaining staff will have their reviews undertaken by one of the three senior managers. Based on identified development needs members of staff will be given the opportunity to enrol on internal or external courses which are then followed up when they return. Those members of staff who have no paper qualifications to support their proven performance will be encouraged to undergo accredited courses either at the work place or at college, for those that are already qualified but wish to take further qualifications this will be encouraged and supported by both senior management and the business partners.
Promotion of staff members is never down to length of service it will always be due to proven ability. Staff members who take on new roles or responsibilities under go supportive coaching and training both on and off the job. They are given ownership and opportunity to work things out for themselves and to make decisions that are inthe best interest of the business. Where support is necessary it is freely given they are never left to just sink or swim.
Continual Improvement and Striving for Excellence
An ethos of continuous improvement and striving for excellence runs right through our childcare business. We will never settle for what we have acheived our goal is always to "step-up" our performance and standards to the next level, the quality of care and education your child receives is directly linked to the quality of staff we employ and the training and development that is available to them.