After choosing the ages of children you will cater for and the number of places you wish to provide, you can then decide on your staffing structure. We'd suggest following the guidance in the Department for Education keeping children safe in education document, and recommend that there is a recruitment panel including at least one person who has attended Safer Recruitment training. This training can be accessed through various providers including the NSPCC. We can provide you with support for your recruitment panel.
The EYFS statutory framework has very specific requirements for recruiting adults that come into contact with children. For childcare providers these include:
- having systems in place to make sure that practitioners and any other person who is likely to have regular contact with children are suitable.
- telling staff they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings that may affect their suitability to work with children.
- taking action to make sure the safety of children if you become aware of information that could lead to disqualification of an employee.
- identifying and seek clarification regarding any medication staff are taking that may affect their ability to care for children, and putting controls in place where staff may need to take medication on site.
There must always be at least 2 staff on duty at all times, and the minimum ratios for staff members working directly with children are:
- 1:3 for children from birth to their second birthday
- 1:4 for children aged 2
- 1:8 for children aged 3 to 7
Depending on the number of rooms you have you'll need to think about whether you need a room leader in each room or multiple team leaders.
To help you to budget you'll need to set a wage structure that you can work to. Things you'll need to consider are:
- National minimum wage – current laws regarding pay and the age brackets for these
- local market – what others are paying in the area
- your financial projections and what you can afford
- additional benefits other than pay that you can provide to make the roles more appealing
- holiday pay and holiday cover costs
Volunteers, students and apprentices
Volunteers are valuable and can help with day to day activities, fundraising, administration or publicity. Students in colleges and universities may be asked to find a placement to support their learning in childcare. Apprentices can give you an additional person to support the setting; you can find out here about employing an apprentice in your business.
All volunteers, students and apprentices must be subject to the same checks as staff and the EYFS statutory framework must be followed.
You can use our example documents to help with the recruitment and staffing of your setting:
- shortlisting matrix for interviewing candidates
- recruitment checklist when you have selected your preferred candidate
- induction checklist when they start work
- domestic supervision template to record supervision meetings with staff in childcare on domestic premises, or with an element of domestic registration (such as 50:50 childcare)
- non-domestic supervision template to record supervision meetings with staff in childcare on non-domestic premises