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I've been trying to recruit a full time Senior Practitioner for two months now with no success! I've advertised through the FIS but they don't always upload the forms and I was staggered to find out that an agency would charge 10% of annual salary! This is completely beyond the budget of a small nursery and pre-school that is already struggling with the loss of top up fees! How do other nurseries recruit new staff members?

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Hi Ali3506


Welcome to the forum and congratulations on making your first post :D


I am going to move this to the wider forum areas so you can discuss this with other managers.


Also, you can advertise vacancies right here on the forum free of charge, just make your post here



Anyway, good luck


Admin team

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I know! the cost of advertising is horrendous. I paid a lot of money to NW a couple of years ago and got nothing, plus the fact that agencies saw the ad and then contacted me to try and sell their services.

I also posted on the forum and there was some interest.

The other service that is free is the local job centre, I think they call it job matching service or something like that, if you ask you EYCS advisor they may be able to tell you more.

You could contact local colleges that run Childcare courses, local churches will often put an ad in free and local schools.

Local Mum & Toddler groups if you have the opportunity to go and visit.

Finally don't forget your parents. It is amazing which parents are happy to start work and start training to qualification when they know there is an opportunity. But I suppose it depends on your policy and relationship with parents.


Good Luck

Keep us posted on how you get on.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Welcome Ali3506, I tried advertising through the job centre a couple of months ago and it was a nightmare as it needs to be done through the Government gateway and as always there is a problem with passwords (which is why I am putting off my SEF). My local paper charged £600 and I got very little response. I think our council EY team (East Riding of Yorkshire) is looking to develop a recruitment page for settings in the area and that will help a great deal. I am going to advertise for an EYP/EYT/Level 6 practioner after the Easter break as we have suddenly become very busy with our new baby room opening and a growth in 2 year funded children and need someone urgently.I will have to cover until then and that means no admin time. I am going to try locally this time starting with a card in the newsagents in our town. (Plenty of people look there on market day). I have just joined NDNA and thought about trying them, are you a member? Has anyone else tried this avenue? Yes, I am going to try the forum too.

Just remembered - I have used Gumtree a few times. It's hit and miss and I have been successful for newly qualified staff via them but not so senior staff. Cheap and easy though.

Only two places left in the baby room now - hooray. It was worth the investment.

Edited by sn0wdr0p
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If you approach your local job centre advisor they will (or at least mine is) happy to let you know about applicants they feel would be suited (could be the job match thingy mentioned above) - they have a mutual interest in that they need to hit targets and we need staff

I asked why our LA/college didn't have a central website for the practitioners who qualify each year - there must be hundreds who qualify but we often ponder where they go as we and friends with nurseries around us never seem to see sight nor sound of them again! Makes sense to join the two sides together

is there a childcare.com website where people look for jobs or families look for nannies etc

Friend uses facebook to 'advertise' - word of mouth seems to get round and people know people looking for jobs etc

do you have a website? Could you put something on there throughout the year (bit like supermarkets do) so you can build up a contact list

Contact colleges about apprenticeships - again they are crying out to place people


edited for a link to childcare.co.uk (not com)

Edited by gingerbreadman
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We have advertised in numerous ways getting hardly any if any applicants! Last year I thought I'd give it a go on Facebook! Put it on a few local selling groups and got 19 enquiries within hours!!! I found people told family members who told others and word spread rapidly. We did also put a sign on the nursery door to ensure inclusion (our employment agency said this way we were fine with equal opportunities!) if you're not on Facebook maybe someone you know could post? Worth a go!x

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Never even thought about Facebook. I have never used it myself but I got a staff member to create facebook and twitter accounts for the business a couple of weeks ago. Time to call in my 21 year old to give his old mum a couple of lessons.

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We used the Job Centre in the past but many applicants sadly were applying because they had a quota of applications to fill in and weren't even suitable for the post. In my new life I am working in an FE college and currently putting together a job vacancy board for our final year students to browse (as part of a unit on employability) so they might be worth contacting. I notice you mentioned you wanted a senior member of staff so level 3 qualifiers might not suit but our college also offers foundation degree courses so we also have a supply of more experienced and qualified students. It would be worth checking if your local college does something similar.

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We used job centre once- and had umpteen people turn up for interview totally unsuitable, looked ok on paper but obviously needing to be 'seen' actively applying for jobs. Most of them told us the hours they could work, what they would or wouldn't do!!!!


In the end we went for word of mouth, stuck it in our newsletter we were looking, and put an advert in local shop window- from that we got two great staff members.

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Guest youngrisers

seems safe recruiting is always a problem. We have found that word of mouth and personal recommendation works plus advertising through the local childcare network.

Amazing the type of practitioner that has asked for interview and the wages they expect too! been an eye opener over the years who has turned up, appropriately dressed and in the right frame of mind for an interview and has brought a reasonable CV and even a portfolio of previous work they have undertaken.

Our induction period is also lengthy so we take on the staff who are keen to improve and work well within the team structure in place. seems advertising can be challenging in all spheres of employment today.... with or without qualifications.

:P :P :rolleyes:

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