Safer Recruitment in Early Years
It is crucial to ensure that early years providers are creating a culture of safe recruitment that includes the implementation of a recruitment procedure that will help to eliminate or identify people who might pose a safeguarding or welfare threat.
With the launch of the new common inspection framework and its accompanying handbook, Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Ofsted must evaluate how well early years settings are fulfilling their statutory safeguarding obligations and keeping children safe.
But how well acquainted are you with this new document? To aid you in your reading, we have produced a short summary of key points taken from the new handbook, which you must adhere to when employing new members of staff:
- Employers must act reasonably in making decisions about the suitability of potential employees based on checks and evidence including the following:
-Criminal record checks (DBS checks)
-Barred list checks and prohibition checks
-Appropriate references together with interview information
- In addition to obtaining the DBS certificate, anyone who is appointed to carry out teaching work will require an additional check to ensure they are not prohibited from teaching. There is no requirement to carry out checks on current staff members – the necessary checks are those that were in force at the time of the employment.
- Registered early years providers must keep records of all who work in regular contact with the children, including volunteers who have been checked.
Generally, the information to be recorded by schools or other providers on individuals is whether or not the following checks have been carried out or certificates obtained and the date on which the checks were completed:
-a barred list check
-an enhanced DBS check/certificate
-a prohibition from teaching check
-further checks on people living or working outside the UK
-a check of professional qualifications
-a check to establish the person’s right to work in the UK.
While registered early years providers are not required to keep a single central record, they are still required to obtain the relevant information to confirm the suitability of those caring for children. The requirements are set out in the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage'.
During early years inspections, inspectors will check that the provider is able to produce evidence of the suitability of all relevant staff and adults.
Employers should also be given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if they have any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare.
It is also important to remember that as an employer you are responsible for ensuring that your staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role.
Please note, that this is a short overview of the main points in place to ensure safe recruitment in the early years; for more information and to see the points in their entirety please see the following documents Keeping Children Safe in Education, Working together to Safeguard Children and Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years.