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Fd Would You Employ?


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Hello - we have a vacancy for a pre-school practitioner at the moment and I have several applications. However 2 are from people completing their FD - working with children - fantastic, I was very impressed.


However having read their applications - neither work with children regularly. I must admit I'm shocked that they can complete the course, I know my expereinces make up my assignments everytime and I have lots of Ob's etc to do.


They do not have any other childcare qualification either.


They are both in year 3 of their FD (same Uni, funny enough- fortuantley not mine), 1 has worked for 6 mnths in a pre-school several years a go and now is a bank TA in a school and the other is a carer for her own son.


I really wanted someone with experence of working with childern, am I right to be concerned. I just have these nagging doubts that although they may IV ok because they will have theory knowledge in practice it may be very different. But then again they could be fantastic and I could miss an amazing chance.


I hate employing it's horrible ! -

I applaud both these people for completing their FD with no background and experience and I am very impressed.


But would you employ????

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mm! would I employ?? well I think I would short list for interview and take it from there. I would have them doing an activity with a group of children as part of the interview or just let them 'mingle' with the children and see how they interact.


They obviously have the interest or they wouldn't have chosen to study for the FD but I undestand your concern about lack of experience. Maybe they are keen to get into early years and have been unable to do so due to lack of qualifications so they have gone down the route of achieving qualifications hoping it will lead to employment!


It is a tricky one but I think I would inteview them and trust my judgement and take it from there, as you say you could be missing someone amazing!


Let us know what you decide and how it goes- good luck

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i always understood the Foundation Degree to be aimed at people already working in and with substantial experience of early years?

I was very cross recently when my Deputy who completed level three 2 years ago was recently turned down by our local college for a place on a FD course with a suggestion that she ' needed to consolidate her knowledge of Early Years' !!


I agree with Geraldine regarding interviewing as you never know but in my view experience counts for a great deal.

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What does your person specification say about the job, tess? If it says that a set amount of experience is essential to do the job then they won't meet that criteria, so the decision will be made for you.


Another question I'd ask is about the qualification needed to do the job - are you looking to recruit a level 3 practitioner? If so then neither candidate meets that criteria either.


I'd also put their Foundation Degree into the qualifications database - you may find that it will come out as saying they need to do a level 3 qualification to be counted as having a full and relevant qualification.


Just goes to show that the criteria for doing the FDEd are not standard - we had to have a level 3 childcare qualification to do the course. Another idea might be to check the course syllabus to see what's covered. Ask yourself when/how these candidates will have acquired the necessary practical underpinning knowledge and skills that the higher theoretical perspectives are built onto in order to make a level 5 practitioner.


Good luck - let us know what you decide!



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Agree with prevous comments, especially Maz' sound advice (as always).


Just another thought (if they do meet your job spec), I have had experience of employing people with many years of practical experience under their belts, but for some unfortunately they can come with 'lots of baggage, dare I say 'dinosaur' attitudes, and little understanding of why they do what they do. :o


Also if 'experience' is the only stumbling block in employing one of these candidates, consider also how you can 'assess' their initiative, transferable skills from previous employment/professions, there ability to learn quickly etc.


It is difficult I know, in my view people either 'have it or haven't' and any training or qualifications builds on this pre-requisite 'disposition'. And there is of course the trial period. xD:(


Good luck, I'd be really interested to know how this pans out.



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Hi Tess


I've just employed a level 3 nursery nurse and i had a couple of people interested who were doing foundation degrees. They hadn't actually worked in an early years setting and also a newly qualified teacher - she also had never done early years either, so none of them met the person spec. Was a shame they hadn't had relevant experience, but to us, it was more important for the person we employed to be able to get on with the job.

Can't understand myself how they can qualify without the relevant experience???


Sounds like some good advice on a practical activity. We usually get them arriving 15 mins earlier to do a short written task and then we send them into the nursery to see what they're like with the children/staff. Usually gives us a good indication.


Good luck with your decision :o




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As a person with limited childcare experience myself, I'd have to say I hope you give them a chance, unless you have better options lined up. :o


Perhaps you could ask them if they'd mind having a few days (or longer if you prefer) of trial days at work, to get a feel for how they transfer their theory into practice and get along with kids.





Edited by Guest
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always a tricky one but you need to think about your needs right now sometimes employing some one with good qualifiactions but little experience is ok as the remaining staff can carry until that person is upto the mark and at other times you need to employ someone who is on the ball from the start


good luck and let us know what you did

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Thanks for your thoughts, they really helped.


In this instance I have decided not to short list the FD candidates - this was for serveral reasons my job spec asked for NVQ 2 min + essential experience of working with EYFS. (sadly they have neither)


Also I do not feel that my setting could offer them the support and extra time they may need to become fully functioning memebers of my team, at present I am in final year of FD - so my life is manic + 3 of my staff are completing DPP (due to CWDC revamp). My loyalty has to be to my existing staff and it would not be fair to put yet another person studying in there at the moment - it's fun trying to juggle all the assignments as it is.


In a years time when all level 3's would be finished - I could offer them support, but wrong time for us.


I really hope they find somewhere, as they are very brave doing FD with minimal experience and do feel slightly guilty as I can't help. But the needs of my setting come first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

:o I officially hate recruitment.


After my previous posts - we shortlisted, interviewed etc - The successful candidate was due to start yesterday - but did not turn up.


She finally had the nerve to text me, to say she changed her mind- it's too far to travel.We discussed this in I/v and she was moving to southampton next month xD


What a complete waste of time - so it's that famous smile again as we are now very short staffed.

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I know it's a bit different but any NQT has generally only got their teaching practice experience to go on so if experience is required they would never get a start!!! However as long as you are clear about your selection criteria e.g experience essential then you can not shortlist safely.



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Sympathies Tess, we are interviewing 3 candidates next week for a Leader role.

None of them have any leadership experience, but in my short time of dealing with recruitment (4 years) we have never had anybody who does have the desirable criteria apply for any of our posts - but then that's probably why 2 years on we are still looking for a leader!

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