Employment and staffing

Statement

We provide a high staffing ratio in line with the Welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that children have sufficient individual attention and to guarantee care and education of a high quality. Our staff are appropriately qualified and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with statutory requirements.

Procedures

Ratios

  • To meet this aim we use the following ratios of adult to child: 
  • Children aged two :1 adult : 4 children.  children aged three – five : 1 adult: 8 children, 
  • A minimum of two staff/adults are on duty at any one time.
  • We use a key person system to ensure that each child and each family has a particular member of staff for discussion and consultation.
  • We hold regular staff meetings to undertake curriculum planning and to discuss children’s progress, their achievements and any difficulties which may arise from time to time.

Vetting and Selection

  • We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection, when recruiting; competency in English will be taken into consideration and supported accordingly. At times we may choose to only advertise vacancies within the preschool and church.
  • All staff has job descriptions which set out their roles and responsibilities.
  • We welcome applications from all sections of the community.  Applicants will be considered on the basis of their suitability for the post, regardless of marital status, age, gender, culture, religious belief, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. Applicants will not be placed at a disadvantage by us imposing conditions or requirements which are not justifiable. 
  • We use Ofsted guidance on obtaining two references and enhanced criminal record checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service for staff and volunteers who will have unsupervised access to children. 
  • Staff will be expected to sign up to the DBS on-line update service which will be checked annually,  the cost of which will be covered by the preschool.
  • All staff will complete a declaration of suitability annually.
  • We keep all records relating to employment of staff and volunteers, in particular those demonstrating that checks have been done, including the date and number of the enhanced DBS check, and, date of birth and online update reference to complete online annual update checks. 
  • Staff are not left unsupervised with children until all checks are returned satisfactory.
  • We inform Ofsted of any changes in the person responsible for our setting.
  • We have a nominated person who carries out DBS checks and a checking procedure that includes references.

Training and Staff Development

  • Our preschool leaders and deputies hold the Early Years Care and Education NVQ 3 or an equivalent qualification and a minimum of half of our staff hold the Early Years Care and Education NVQ 2 / Children’s Care, Learning and Development NVQ 2.
  • We provide regular in-service training to all staff – to paid staff or volunteers, and provide access to outside training providers, enabling best training opportunities for all staff.
  • Our preschool budget allocates resources to training.
  • We support the work of our staff by regular monitoring, supervision and annual appraisals. 
  • We encourage experienced staff to mentor new colleagues.

Induction

  • We provide staff induction training in the first week of employment. 
  • We have a written induction plan which includes the following:

Introductions to team members.

Familiarising with building, health and safety and fire procedures.

Ensuring policies and procedures are read and carried out, with special attention given to Safeguarding Children, Health & Safety, Confidentiality and Behaviour.

Details of tasks and daily routines to be carried out.

  • Introduction to key children and families as appropriate.
  • During the probationary period the individual must demonstrate understanding of and compliance with policies, procedures and routines.

Staff absences and contingency arrangements

  • As a term time only setting we plan for staff to take their holidays when the setting is closed. Where staff take time off for any reason other than sick leave or training this is agreed with the class manager with sufficient notice.
  • Sick leave is monitored and action taken when necessary in accordance with the contract of employment.
  • We have a pool of casual staff that we are able to call upon to cover absences.
  • We have a manager and deputy in each class who can support each other when needed to cover absences.
  • In the event of not enough staff being available to maintain appropriate ratios the group would follow the points set out below, to try and resolve the situation:

– call in another paid member of staff.
– work through the committee contact list for someone to come in and help.
– when parent/carers arrive ask for a volunteer to stay and help
– if no staff, committee members or parent/carers are able to help, ask for volunteers to take their children home, to bring the adult ratios back to within the legal requirement, offering them an alternative session at a later date to compensate.
– if we were still not within legal ratios we would reluctantly close and inform parents/carers as soon as possible on emergency numbers and keep a base of staff on site to advise any parent/carer we were unable to contact.

This policy was reviewed August 2019

Signed on behalf of the Preschool Anne Ridgway and Heather Gardner