Some of the most common questions asked by early years practitioners?
As many of you are aware here at Early Years Careers we hold a question and answer evening for one hour, twice a week. We do this on a Tuesday and Thursday evening, our followers send in questions which we post anonymously and then our followers and EYC staff give lots of really useful answers, advice, and support. The demand for our question and answer evenings is very high however it tends to be a lot of similar questions and answers that are being given. This article intends to tackle the most common questions and answers so you can get your answers promptly and so it can leave space for a wider variety of questions to be explored.
Questions and Answers
- Does my qualification allow me to be counted in ratio?
To be counted in ratio your qualification must be classed as full and relevant. The Dfe have released a whole list of criteria that a course must include but they have also made it super simple and created a list of all qualifications that allow you to work in and be counted in ratio in early years settings. Here is the link you need to check your qualification https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eyfs-staffchild-ratios-dfe-approved-qualifications. There is also a set of criteria to ensure your level 2 is classed as full and relevant..
2. Can level 2 practitioners be counted in ratio?
This is discussed in the statutory framework and the terms set out in this regarding ratio must be met. The ratio depending on the age of the children changes, however, the general rule is as long as one person is level 3 qualified and at least half are level 2 and the qualification is classed as full and relevant and they are over the age of 17 they can be counted in ratio. Here is the link you need if you would like more information, ratios and qualifications are discussed on pages 21 down. https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2017/03/EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017.pdf
3. What will I be asked in my interview?
This is a question and answer that features a lot unfortunately what you will be asked will vary from setting to setting, region to region and depending on the job role. This makes it difficult to give any clear answers to. Generally, early years interviews will be based on current hot topics in the early years or anything that has recently changed. Therefore currently questions may include –
- British Values
- Prevent Duty
- Your experiences
- Your personal qualities
- Team work/keeping morale high
The best and most useful advice we can give is to work on your general interviewing skills. If you have an early years qualification you will have all the knowledge you need to answer any questions you are asked which will never be the same in any setting. There is some great interview advice available here
4. How often should I get a break and how long should it be?
This is something which is a legal requirement and the minimum requirements must be met. Early years settings are often well known for long hours and short breaks. Always check your contract as many settings do not pay for rest breaks (this is legal) the legal requirements are –
- 1 x 20-minute break if you work for more than 6 hours. This can be given to you at a point during the day as long as it is not at the very beginning or end of a shift. If your break is interrupted and you asked to return early this makes your break invalid as it must be a full 20minutes interrupted rest(crown copyright, 2017).
- 11 hours rest in between working days e.g if you finish work at 8pm you should not start work again until after 7am
- 24hours break within a 7-day working week.
There are exceptions to these rules, for more visit gov.uk here
5 . Should i be paid for over time?
This question and answer is fairly straight forward as it is again a legal requirement set by the government. Therefore as stated by gov.uk “Employers don’t have to pay workers for overtime. However, employees’ average pay for the total hours worked mustn’t fall below the National Minimum Wage.” (2017) This means as long as it is stated in your contract your manager can expect you to work overtime and not pay you for it. In most circumstances in the early years, this is through staff meetings or training. Always refer to your contract to see what is expected of you by your employer. For more information here is the page you need https://www.gov.uk/overtime-your-rights