Do you know the requirements? Recruiting & Managing childcare staff

   

Following on from the shocking exposure of bad practice in RTE's recent 'RTE Investigates' documentary, we recognise the high quality of childcare in the majority of cases.  
Over the next few weeks we will focus on QRF* standards which are particularly useful in the running of services to a high standard. This week we focus on Standard 9, which deals with Management and Recruitment of Staff.
*Tusla's Quality and Regulatory Framework was developed to help Early Years Services to meet the requirements of the 2016 Childcare Regulations.
Having the correct policies and procedures in this area is essential, we have highlighted these in our blog post below to allow you to refresh yourself on the requirements.
Essentially you must:

- Ensure staff recruited are competent and qualified.

- Have references to indicate they are of good character.

- Not allow anyone to work with children until they have received Garda vetting, this must also be renewed after 3 years.

- Provide a comprehensive system of support and supervision to ensure good practice is being followed and any potential problems are discovered and dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity.

- Encourage and support ongoing CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for your staff

- There should be clear lines of communication and it should be very clear who is in charge at any time.

As the manager it is your responsibility to be familiar with the following:     

Regulation 9: Management and Recruitment

The purpose of this Regulation is, that as the registered provider, you must ensure that an effective management structure is in place, and appropriate people are recruited to ensure the quality and safety of the care provided to the children attending the service. You must ensure that staff are competent to perform their roles by providing appropriate training, supervision and performance evaluation.

Core Requirements of Regulatory Compliance are;

  1. Governance » The service has clearly defined governance arrangements and structures that: set out lines of authority and accountability; specify roles and responsibilities; are appropriate to the size, ethos, purpose and function of the service; and are documented and available.
  1. Roles and Responsibilities » The registered provider and each person working in the service has a clear understanding of their own role and range of responsibilities to ensure the quality and safety of care provided to the children attending the service. The registered provider has established, and maintains, an appropriate administrative process, ensuring the effective operation of the service.
  1. Management » There is a designated person in charge. » There is a named person who can deputise if required. » The designated person in charge, or a named person to deputise, is on the premises at all times while the service is in operation. » The person in charge on a day-to-day basis is documented. Example: this could be an entry in the staff roster. » There is an alternative person in charge in the absence of both the designated person and the deputy. » There is a person in charge or a deputy at each place, where the service operates in more than one premises.
  1. Recruitment Policy » There must be evidence of the recruitment policy being implemented. » Relevant staff know the requirements, and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the recruitment policy. » Relevant staff have received training on the recruitment policy.
  1. Vetting» Ensure that vetting is completed before a person is appointed, assigned or allowed access to, or contact with, a child attending the service. » Each employee, unpaid worker and contractor is vetted. » Vetting documentation is available in English (or in Irish where applicable). » Vetting includes references and Garda/Police vetting:
  1. References: » At least two written past employer references if a person has been in previous employment. (One of the past employer references must be the most recent employer.) » References from reputable sources if a person has no past employers. » A reference, if practicable, from the childcare employer if the person was previously employed in childcare. » A reference from the registered provider if the person has been employed in the service for five years or more and does not have a previous employer. » All references must: 1.be from a reputable source; 2. be in writing; 3. be dated and signed by the referee, giving details of the referee’s position; 4. contain the address, phone number, logo or headed paper of the referee and the organisation’s stamp where applicable; Example: a letter with a college stamp. » be validated by the person’s employer or relevant organisation; » be kept (along with any other validations) in each individual’s file
  1. Garda/Police Vetting: » Vetting disclosure for the person is obtained from the National Vetting Bureau of the Garda Síochána in accordance to the National Vetting Bureau Act 2012. » Garda vetting is undertaken for any person aged 18 years and over. » Garda vetting is undertaken by the person’s employer or relevant organisation. » Police vetting, in so far as is practicable, is available for people who have lived in a state or country outside of Ireland for more than 6 consecutive months. Police vetting is undertaken by the individual and given to the employer. » Garda vetting for each person has been undertaken within the last three years, including Garda re-vetting.
     
  2. Qualifications: Each employee and a registered provider working directly with children holds one of the following: » A minimum of a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications, or a qualification deemed by the Minister to be equivalent. » An exemption from the qualification requirement and confirmation that this exemption is accepted by the Minister. » The qualification requirement or relevant specialist training and the basis on which the capitation may be used for a person employed under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), detailed in an exemption letter from Pobal.
     
  3. Staff supervision; A staff Supervision Policy will be in place » There is evidence of the staff supervision policy being implemented. » Relevant staff know the requirements, and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the staff supervision policy. » Relevant staff have received training on the staff supervision policy.
     
  4. Information exchange » An effective internal communications system is evident within the service which enables the flow of information between staff and management. This is evidenced by: having time set aside for one-to-one discussions and staff meetings for staff to ask and respond to questions without interruptions, and to communicate important information and provide feedback to management about the service; having staff meetings facilitated by a senior member of staff. Minutes are taken and made available, and actions are implemented; and having one-to-one supervision meetings between staff members and their manager.
     
  5. Staff Training / Staff Training Policy » There is evidence of the staff training policy being implemented. » Relevant staff know the training requirements, and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the staff training policy. » Relevant staff have received training on the staff training policy.

Adapted from :

Tusla (2018). 'Early Years Quality and Regulatory Framework'. https://www.tusla.ie/services/preschool-services/early-years-quality-and-regulatory-framework/

 

For support in developing any of these policies please refer to “Developing Policies, Procedures and Statements in Early Childhood Education and Care Services” available at; https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/4572-TUSLA_QRF_POLICY_PROCEDURES_LR.pdf

*A policy is a statement of principles, values or intent that guides decisions and actions, or (more usually) determines the decisions and actions to achieve a service’s goals. Policies help to ensure that you adopt a consistent approach – in line with the service’s principles and values – throughout the service. They provide you with a basis for agreed, consistent and well-thought-through decisions.

 

* Procedures spell out precisely what action is to be taken, in line with the relevant policy. They also outline the steps to be followed, or the way that a task is to be performed, to implement the policy. Clear written procedures can pre-empt issues that may arise. This can help to reduce the need to make decisions under pressure or to wait for a decision to be made by management when an issue arises. This is because the basis for decisions is made clear. You will have already made decisions when the policy was being developed — in consultation with all relevant people. Clear procedures provide for consistency and allow everyone to know what is likely to happen in a given situation.