A new childminder’s assistant needs a DBS check which is linked to the update service within 19 days of printing. Then they need to complete an EY2 form on the Government Gateway website.
While this is going through - and before you receive the Ofsted suitability letter for them - they should do an Ofsted approved paediatric first aid training course (if you are going to leave them unsupervised at any time with childminded children) and some LAs expect assistants to do Local Safeguarding Children Board child protection training as well… you will also need parents written permission for unsupervised contact with children.
You need to deliver induction training as well – Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, 2017) requirement 3.20 states:
‘Providers must ensure that all staff receive induction training to help them understand their roles and responsibilities. Induction training must include information about emergency evacuation procedures, safeguarding, child protection, and health and safety issues.’
It is essential that you provide your assistant with a good quality induction process so they understand their role in the provision and you make your expectations clear.
You need to inform your new staff member about:
- New staff should be provided with a Staff Handbook which details their roles and responsibilities. Your staff behaviour policy – this is required by the Early Years Inspection handbook – should be part of the handbook and they need to read it and understand the contents. It might talk about, for example, your expectations around information shared with parents and out-of-work relationships.
- Emergency evacuation procedures – do you have an ‘Emergency Evacuation Policy’ or risk assessments linked to emergency evacuation? Paperwork is always a good place to start – ask your new staff member to read through and then do an emergency evacuation practice which includes them and observe how they react and what responsibility they take for the children. you can then build on their knowledge during further training sessions.
- Safeguarding and child protection – ask your new staff member to read your Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedures – they need to understand the contents and know where to find safeguarding documentation if they are worried about a child’s safety or wellbeing. It is important new staff are told the name of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and any deputy DSL in the provision.
As part of safeguarding, new staff need to understand the Prevent duty and how you promote British values in the provision. You also need to explain your whistleblowing statement so they know who to talk to if they have a concern about a staff member.
- Health and safety – this covers how your provision is managed and lots of different areas of their work including, for example, new staff must understand the importance of how to lift children safely and what to do if a toy is broken. Staff must be able to risk assess for outings and understand your rules regarding fire safety and hygiene requirements.
- Your new staff member will need to know how you observe, assess, plan and track children’s progress in the setting – how you use the characteristics of effective learning in children’s observations and planning etc. If you use an online system or paper-based Learning Journey files your staff member will need to understand how to complete the documentation.
- If you are going to ask your staff member to be key person to any of the children you will need to detail their roles and responsibilities including how they will be expected to work in partnership with colleagues and liaise with parents.
- If your new staff member works with babies and children under 2 in the provision, note requirement 3.31 states: ‘at least half of all staff must have received training that specifically addresses the care of babies’. While this is not a requirement for childminders, it is good practice to ensure staff caring for babies have attended a specific ‘working with babies’ training course.
Note that you are required to offer assistants regular supervision meetings (requirement 3.21) –
‘Providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff who have contact with children and families. Effective supervision provides support, coaching and training for the practitioner and promotes the interests of children. Supervision should foster a culture of mutual support, teamwork and continuous improvement, which encourages the confidential discussion of sensitive issues.’
It is important to include safeguarding as part of supervision meetings – you might, for example, devise a little safeguarding quiz for your staff each supervision meeting. If you are a Childcare.co.uk gold member you will find information about supervision meetings on the Childminder Guides page.
The EYFS details what needs to be discussed during a supervision meeting which should be recorded - alongside supervision meetings, regular observations will allow you to recognise how your staff member is getting on and put support in place if they need help.
Staff should also be offered extra training and support as requested or needed to make sure they can do their jobs effectively. For example, they might ask to go on baby training In addition to this extra training, make sure you keep a list of when they last took paediatric first aid, food hygiene (if they also work in the kitchen) and child protection / safeguarding.
If you need further information about assistants, please see e-book 48 'Assistants' in my e-book library on my Knutsford Childminding website.
If you have any assistant training questions, please ask - and if you are local to Cheshire East and need a qualified trainer to come in and deliver bespoke induction or ongoing training to your assistants, please message me!
Thank you, Sarah.