Advice for employers | Oxfordshire County Council

Advice for employers

What you need to think about as an employer or potential employer.

Staff recruitment

Childcare providers can advertise job vacancies free of charge on the Family Services Directory. There is a link to the vacancies from the childcare and early education jobs and training page.

If you have a job vacancy you are now able to add vacancies to the Family Services Directory yourself following these instructions.

Safer recruitment

On 1 December 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The primary role of the DBS is to help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children. The services and processes carried out by the CRB and ISA have not changed, although a rebranding exercise has been carried out.

DBS Update Service

Individuals can now join the Update Service putting them in greater control of their information; allowing them to reuse their DBS certificates when applying for similar jobs . (You must do this within 19 days if receiving your certificate.).

This will reduce bureaucracy and save them time and money. If an individual subscribes to the Update Service their employer can go online, with their consent, and carry out a free, instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS certificate is current and up-to-date.

It is also important that employers do not just rely on checks by the DBS to make recruitment decisions. Employers have a professional duty to ensure that staff are properly managed and supervised and that, if they have concerns, information is referred to both the police and the DBS.'

For further information contact the DBS.

The Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board provides information about safer recruitment practices.

There is an expectation that at least one member of staff/committee that would sit on an interview panel, has attended the required safer recruitment training. Ofsted inspectors will look for evidence of the effectiveness of arrangements for safeguarding, including recruitment practices.

Safer recruitment training must be repeated every five years. OSCB recommends that classroom-based training should be completed initially, and online training be used to refresh every five years.

Making sure that we do everything we can to prevent appointing people who may pose a risk to children is an essential part of safeguarding practice and setting must recruit staff and volunteers following safer recruitment procedures.


When a new member of staff starts work in the setting, a manager or supervisor must ensure that they have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. Induction training must include information about emergency evacuation procedures, safeguarding, child protection, the provider’s equality policy, and health and safety issues. The person should sign to say they have understood and will comply with the setting policies. This understanding should be checked on an ongoing basis via staff meetings, supervision etc.

Staff numbers and qualifications

Check the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework document to check ratio requirements for the numbers and ages of children and the type of setting. As well as the setting manager, at least 50% of your staff must to be qualified.

Carry out an audit of the qualifications held by your staff and check these against the qualifications list on the Department for Education website to find out whether they are ‘full and relevant’. Where this is not the case, suggestions are made as to how they can be updated.

Regular staff supervision should be carried out to identify any training needs, and secure opportunities for continued professional development for staff. Providers should support their staff to improve their qualification levels wherever possible. Check the availability of funding for staff qualifications and support them to apply and study for their qualification. Supervision should foster a culture of mutual support, teamwork and continuous improvement, which encourages the confidential discussion of sensitive issues.

Officers in the Oxfordshire Early Years team are available to discuss your training concerns. 

Last reviewed
12 April 2016
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