Staff recruitment

Guidance on ensuring that all staff are suitable to care for children.

Childcare providers have a duty under the welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that a safe and legal recruitment process is followed so all staff and volunteers are suitable to care for children.

Settings should base their decisions on the suitability of a candidate using evidence from:

  • references
  • full employment history
  • qualifications
  • interviews
  • identity checks.

Settings must notify those who work directly with children that they should declare all convictions and cautions. These include court orders, which may disqualify them from working with children or affect their suitability to do so. This should be done in the advert, the job description and at interview.

Registering with the Disclosure and Barring Service 

Anyone who works or volunteers with children must have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This includes people or organisations that are:

  • registered by Ofsted as a day care provider who want to employ people who work with children
  • applying to Ofsted to be registered as a day care provider.

The employer is responsible for carrying out checks to make sure the people they employ are suitable to look after, or be in regular contact with, children.

Before accepting a DBS check completed by another organisation, Ofsted needs to be confident that the type of DBS check is at least equivalent to the standard of check they need. In all cases this means the DBS check is:

  • enhanced
  • relevant to the child workforce (the position applied for must state 'Child Workforce' at the beginning of the position section - if it does not, or it states 'Adult Workforce', we cannot accept the DBS check)
  • signed up to the update service.

National Living Wage

From 1 April 2016, the government introduced a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above. Further details, including rates of pay, are available from the GOV.UK website.

Childminders as employers

Self-employed childminders must meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted. If you employ another childminder to work in your setting you need to display an employer’s liability certificate. Contact your insurance provider to find out their requirements. You will also be responsible for paying at least the National Minimum Wage and ensuring all payroll requirements are met.

Additional information

Last updated:
1 May 2024
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