At Little Hands Daycare we regularly support students from local training providers and we recognise the crucial role we play in helping students to become amazing members of the childcare profession for the future. We appreciate the difficulties that childcare providers have in recruiting the absolute best person for the role and how those early learning experiences really build the foundations of what makes a good Early Years Educator.
With this in mind we feel it is really important to gather as much information as we can before we accept a student on placement with us. We will be initially contacted by the training provider to request a placement at one of our branches and we will check our occupancy to ensure we are able to offer our time and expertise fully to supporting the student. We are very careful to only take on a limited number of students at any given time to ensure that we are able to sufficiently train them and build their knowledge of child development further.
Upon confirmation of a student placement we will, then carry out a ‘student telephone interview’ this will be carried out by our student supervisors who we have based at each setting. This conversation will be used to gain a better understanding of the student and what their career prospects are for the future. We will ask them about the course they are studying and also about any relevant experience they may have had.
Once the student has been through a successful DBS check we will then invite them in for a ‘student induction’. During the induction we will take them on a tour of the setting and introduce them to the team. The induction is very beneficial to the student as it helps reduce any initial anxieties they may have about joining us for their placement. We will discuss our expectations and which roles and responsibilities they will have as well as making it very clear that they will always be supervised by a member of staff.
Our student supervisors will gently enquire if they need any additional support from us and also sign post them to our well being coaches. This way they will always know that Little Hands is a supportive and nurturing environment with multiple resources available to them should they need it.
When a student has begun their placement with us they will be assigned a ‘student buddy’ who will be based in the room they are working in. The buddys role will be to ensure they are not only supporting them but also upskilling them at every available opportunity. They will be on hand to answer any questions and ensure that the student is getting the most out of their time with us. The buddys will set SMART targets with students each week to ensure that they are always learning something new and are being prepared for life in the working world.
Throughout a student’s placement with us the student supervisor will liaise with their training provider and make arrangements for their tutor to visit them and carry out observations. They will share information about the students progress and ensure they are on track with their studies.
Following a successful student placement and providing that the student has completed at least their level 2 qualification they may be invited back to join the team as a permanent staff member. During their placement they will form bonds with the staff and with the children and supervisors will be able to gain an insight into how they may fit into the team in the future. If they are keen to join us they will take part in an interview and our regular recruitment processes and then we can enrol them onto a level 3 apprenticeship course if they have not already completed it.
At Little Hands we already have a number of incredible Early Years Educators who have attended our settings as students and have gone on to be much valued members of our team. We take pride in the role we play in supporting students and even if they do not end up working with us in the future we feel as though we are sending them out into the childcare profession with a sound knowledge and an excellent experience of working in the private daycare sector.