Safe Recruitment of Staff

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Staff: Child ratios

Staffing arrangements must meet the needs of all children and ensure their safety


At Ladybirds Preschools Ltd. we are vigilant in our recruitment procedures aiming to ensure all people working with children are suitable to do so. We follow this procedure each and every time we recruit a new member to join our team. Our Excecutive Manager Zoe Marler-Hausen has undertaken Safer Recruitment Training.


Legal requirements

  • We abide by all legal requirements relating to safe recruitment set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and accompanying regulations
  • We also follow any requirements or guidance given by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in relation to carrying out checks; and abide by the employer’s responsibilities relating to informing the DBS of any changes to the suitability of their staff, whether this member of staff has left the nursery or is still under investigation. Please refer to the child protection/safeguarding policy for further information. 



  • We ensure that all recruitment literature includes details of our equal opportunities policy and our safe recruitment procedures; including an enhanced DBS check and at least two independent references for every new employee. We also include the requirement for an additional criminal records check (or checks if more than one country) for anyone who has lived or worked abroad.


Interview stage

  • We shortlist all suitable candidates against a pre-set specification and ensure all applicants receive correspondence regardless of whether they are successful in reaching the interview stage or not
  • All shortlisted candidates will receive a job description, a person specification and a request for identification prior to the interview
  • The manager will decide the most appropriate people for the interview panel. There will be at least two people involved, both will be involved in the overall decision making
  • At the start of each interview all candidates’ identities will be checked using, for example, their passport and/or photocard driving licence. All candidates will be required to prove they are eligible to work in the UK. The interview will also cover any gaps in the candidate’s employment history
  • All candidates reaching the interview stage are questioned using the same set criteria and questions. These cover specific areas of childcare, including safeguarding the children in their care, planning suitable activities to enhance the child’s development and their understanding of the legal frameworks applied to childcare and used in the preschool. The questions will be value based and will ensure the candidate has the same values as the preschool with regards to the safety and welfare of the children in their care
  • Candidates will be given a score for their answers including a score for their individual experience and qualifications
  • Every shortlisted candidate will be asked to take part in a supervised practical exercise which will involve spending time in a particular age group in the preschool interacting with the children, staff and where appropriate parents
  • The manager and deputy will then select the most suitable person for this position based on these scores and their knowledge and understanding of the early years framework as well as the needs of the preschool.
  • Every candidate will receive communication from the preschool, stating whether they have been successful or not. Unsuccessful candidates are offered feedback.


Starting work

  • The successful candidate will be offered the position subject to at least two references from previous employment or, in the case of a newly qualified student, their tutor and a personal or professional reference. Where possible these references will be taken up BEFORE employment commences. This may be verbal initially and then followed up with a written reference which will form part of their personnel file.  In the event of if not being possible to take full references before a candidate begins in the post (e.g. if ratios require) verbal references will be sought and a risk assessment made, with necessary limitation to duties e.g. not to be left with children unsupervised.
  • The successful candidate will be asked to provide proof of their qualifications, where applicable. All qualifications will be checked and copies taken for their personnel files where applicable
  • Prior to employment but after the job has been offered a health check questionnaire will be given to the employee and its results will be taken into account in making an overall decision about suitability. The preschool reserves the right to take any further advice necessary in relation to a person’s physical and mental fitness to carry out their role.
  • All new starters, other than those who have registered for the continuous updating service (see below), will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This will be initiated before the member of staff commences work in the preschool and they will not have unsupervised access to any child or their records before this check comes back clear. Further to this, the new starter will not be allowed to take photographs of any child, look at their learning and development log or change the nappy of any child without an up-to-date enhanced DBS check (whether supervised or not)
  • An additional criminals records check (or checks if more than one country) will  also be made for anyone who has lived or worked abroad.
  • The preschool will record and retain details about the individual including staff qualifications, identity checks carried out and the vetting process completed. This will include the disclosure and barring service reference number, the date the disclosure was obtained and details of who obtained it. The preschool will not retain copies of the disclosure itself once the employment decision is taken
  • There may be occasions when a DBS check is not clear but the individual is still suitable to work with children. This will be treated on an individual case basis and at the manager’s/owner’s discretion taking into account the following:
    • seriousness of the offence or other information
    • accuracy of the person’s self-disclosure on the application form
    • nature of the appointment including levels of supervision
    • age of the individual at the time of the offence or other information
    • the length of time that has elapsed since the offence or other information
    • relevance of the offence or information to working or being in regular contact with children.
  • If the individual has registered on the DBS update system, managers will use the update service with the candidate’s permission instead of carrying out an enhanced DBS check.
  • Regular checks of staff members DBS update service will be carried out no more than once per month and no less than 6 monthly.  Ad hoc checks may also be carried out.
  • New starters are required to sign (either application form, contract or separate form) to state that they have no criminal convictions, court orders or any other reasons that disqualify them from working with children or deem them unsuitable to do so
  • All new members of staff will undergo an intensive induction period during which time they will read and discuss the preschool policies and procedures and be supported by a named staff member who will introduce them to the way in which the preschool operates
  • During their induction period all new staff will receive training on how to safeguard children in their care and follow the Safeguarding Children/Child Protection policy and procedure, emergency evacuation procedures, equality policy and health and safety issues
  • The new member of staff will have regular supervision meetings with the manager and their mentor during their induction period to discuss their progress and safeguarding obligations.


Ongoing support and checks

  • All staff are responsible for notifying the manager in person if any there are any changes to their circumstances that may affect their suitability to work with children (staff suitability status will also be checked through an annual ‘staff suitability questionnaire’). This includes any incidents occurring outside the preschool. Staff will face disciplinary action should they fail to notify the manager immediately
  • All members of staff are responsible for ensuring their update service with DBS is renewed each year
  • All members of staff will update a health questionnaire on an annual basis to ensure management have a good knowledge of any changes that may require support or additional resources to aid them to carry out their day-to-day duties. This will also be discussed at staff supervisions/review meetings. Management may require this more regularly where health circumstances change.
  • The Preschool Directors will review any significant changes to an individual’s circumstances that may suggest they are no longer suitable to work with children and take appropriate action to ensure any unsuitable or potentially unsuitable employee does not have unsupervised contact with children until the matter is resolved. Please see the Disciplinary Policy for further details
  • Every member of staff will have regular meetings a year with the manager: one being an annual formal appraisal. This will provide an opportunity for the manager and member of staff to discuss training needs for the following 12 months as well as evaluate and discuss their performance in the previous 12 months
  • The manager will be responsible for any support the staff team may have between these reviews. This includes mentor support, one-to-one training sessions, ongoing supervision, work-based observations and constructive feedback
  • The preschool will provide appropriate opportunities for all staff to undertake professional development and training to help improve the quality of experiences provided for children.


Document ID-


Policy adopted at meeting – Sept 18

Reviewed by : Ladybirds Directors


Date reviewed












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