Whose job is it to carry out checks to make sure employees are suitable to work in childcare?
Ensuring employees are suitable to work in childcare is a major responsibility. These checks should be undertaken by the manager. It is down to the nursery managers to complete all checks to determine whether the person can work in childcare.
Checking employees suitability should be part of the recruitment process
The checking of employees suitability should begin at the point of recruitment. The checks should be incorporated into your recruitment systems. This would be a more efficient way of employing new recruits. It is down to employees to make a disclosure to the setting regarding any implications as to what might prevent them from working in childcare.
With regard to who carries checks out on managers is another question, as they can’t carry them out on themselves. Previously it was Ofsted’s responsibility, however, this now lies with the provider’s responsibility. This may cause providers some challenges as it is imperative that checks are carried out on managers, but the question is who does them?
What checks should be carried out?
When advertising for new employees it is crucial that employees are made aware that that a DBS check is required. It is good practice to state this in your job adverts and include a statement regarding safeguarding children.
Obtaining references are also other checks that contribute to ensuring the employee is suitable to work in childcare. Receiving references back can sometimes have its challenges as sometimes these get misplaced or they get put at the bottom of the pile of tasks to do. Why not give the person on the reference form a call as well as sending out a form and ask some questions over the phone this can save time.
It is good practice to ask applicants to bring ID with them to the interview. Suggested ID would be driving license, passport, birth certificate; document with an address on, this will all be used to start the process of a DBS check. The documents should also be checked and recorded on the settings Single Central Record, this is a record of practitioners qualifications their personal details eg address date of birth, DBS number and other relevant information about working in childcare. Ofsted will check your settings Single Central Record so make sure it is up to date with no blank boxes.
It is a managers responsibility to be across anyone taking medication that could affect the practitioner’s ability to take care of the children in their care. These health checks should be carried out regularly and monitored often. If the practitioner is under the influence of medication this could comprise the children’s safety.
Carrying out the necessary checks is vital in making sure people can work in childcare and to help protect children and adults from significant harm.