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hi all,


my leader is concerned over a prospective new staff candidate. she is fairly new to the area, and has a NVQ2 in playwork. She wants to know if she could be employed in preschool as an assistant, if so, will she be counted as in the 50% unqualified or qualified? and if yes, can she keywork with an mentor? My leader is under the assumption that you cannot key work without a level 2 qualification at least, and i would like to clarify this information for her.


Please lend me your expert advice, Peggy :o




kizzy xD:D

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While we wait for Peggy (I agree she always has words of wisdom) I'd say if she's there as she trains in early years she can be counted in the ratios but not as a qualified member of staff. We had a new staff member start in the same circumstances (NVQ2 in care) she was allowed to be in the ratios but not counted as qualified. As such she didnt have to do obs and such like alhough as part of her experiences and for her daily diary we included her in obs, planning etc. She also shadowed me when I had to talk with parents about development issues etc but obviously only non confidential, and we had checked with the parent first. :D

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Hi Kizzy,

Try this link with regards to which qualifications are classified within the 50%. If you go back one page it gives the job title. I selected early years assistant.


link to qualification requirments - framework



from what I see ( and I've only looked briefly, the qualification is on the list) but it depends where she got her qualification from. If I was your leader, I would also ask to see the prospective employees portfolio, to judge her knowledge and abilities linked to your own groups ethos. I recently didn't employ someone who had all the qualifications I needed because her belief was that children should have 70% adult led time and 30% child initiated play within a session, she also deemed CLL & Maths as more important than PSE - this is not necessarily wrong but was in contrast to our particular ethos.


With regard to the keyworker position, I have never seen that a keyworker must be qualified, that doesn't mean you can quote me as fact though. :o

I employ a person with learning disabilities and although she has recently passed basic skills in english and maths, she is not ready (and may never be academically able) to achieve a level 2 qualification. She does however have some keyworker responsibilities. Every person has their strengths and areas to develop, my employee is excellent at settling in the new 2 year olds and can liase well with their parents, she is less able to write observation records to the level of "Ofsted" requirements, linking progress to the FSC for the older children. She is able to recognise progress and ways in which children need support, her methods of relaying this information is verbal rather than formal written reports / notes. I would challenge (and have) any suggestion that she is unable to do the keyworker role because of a lack of academic ability, however I do recognise that her limits are supported by a strong team who suppliment her work with regard to ensuring all the childrens developmental achievements are recorded and needs identified.


It was suggested to me that I shouldn't even recognise her on the staff ratio, even as an unqualified, because of her disability. I contacted ofsted with regard to this particular member of staff because of this comment and was told that if I could justify and prove that she is able to work to the required national standards then she can be counted on ratio.


This example, I think is the extreme, in your case just because a person doesn't have a level 2 should not necessarily mean that person is unable to carry out the role of keyworker, and I think the above comment from Ofsted would apply when deciding whether to employ her, and decide whether she can have a keyworker role.


I previously employed a person with the Foundation degree who was unskilled in doing basic observations- so Qualifications are not the only form of proof of ability. You leader will need to judge this persons ability by various other means as well as her playwork NVQ 2.


I am not sure whether the playwork course covers the FSC or BTTM, it is more focused on after school and holiday playschemes, age range to 8 years ( recently, I think raised to 14 yrs).


So just to sum up my marathon reply,


Check the web link.

if decided the qualification is not ok but want to have her as unqualified staff, the leader / employer needs to judge and justify whether she is capable of the keyworker role.

She could also contact Ofsted and ask whether keyworkers have to be qualified, I would guess that they would require it as good practice but I don't believe their is any legislation / registration requirement for it.




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thanx for your reply, Rea, nice to talk to others with previous experience.


Well Peggy, what can i say..... infinite wisdom as ever :D


Have located on link, will call ofsted on monday re kw qualified to do so or not, and discuss with leader plan of action!!!


PEGGY - simply the best (is that enough? Have I earned praise points???) :(:(:o




kizzy xx xD

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You don't need to earn praise points from me, in fact all that praise just makes me blush.


You deserve the praise for being a dedicated employee, helping your leader with research that will inform your good practice :D

Glad I could help.



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hi all,


i have never heard of a keyworker having to be qualified.


but my understanding of a playworker qualifcation is the are able to care for children aged 5-11 years, where as preschool practitioners/assistants must be qualified for children aged 0-8 years.


from a personal point of view, i would take this person on as they will have skills and knowledge, but would get then straight onto some early years training to update.

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