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I am soon to be taking on a Childcare Apprentice. Some of the applicants have had some work experience in childcare, and some are completely new to it.

 

With this in mind, what would you consider to be an appropriate way of watching them with the children, as part of the selection process? E.G: just watch them generally in with the children; ask them to get involved in a small group activity with another member of staff; see if they can bring in a resource to use??????????? I am a bit stumped - after all, it is down to us as a nursery (as well as the college) to train them up to the standards we expect.

 

Tricky?!

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personally i think you have to keep a close eye on any students but at the same time treat them as any of your other staff members involving them in the day to day activities where they will learn loads from doing and watching other staff members :D

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Have you had any advice from the training organization, what information have they given the applicants?

 

It is difficult, as you say they are untrained so how much do you expect of them at this stage of their career?

Do you have a snack bar, open for free access? I would use this activity to gauge their initiative, interaction with children and to see if they can follow basic rules ( such as ensure all children wash hands before using snack bar). I say snack bar because it is to me a safe zone, somewhere where you can feel relaxed, get to know the children and not feel like you have to 'perform' or 'teach' a specific concept such as a maths game for example, which would be quite daunting for a novice, so to speak. Or if not the book area is a comfortable, safe place as well. ( I mean 'safe' in the context of not too threatening).

 

I agree with Hali in the respect that students should be inducted, follow policies and procedures and have a trial period.

 

Think about what knowledge, skills and attitude you would expect from a new to childcare person, let them know what you are looking for so that feedback can be specific to your observation aims. I personally think that attitude is very important, along with initiative. My last employee on trial failed because she used to ask silly questions like "should I put this away?" when we had finished using the parachute :o DOH xD . When I asked her "What do you think?" she just looked at me blankly and went and asked someone else :( This was after half a term working with me. :(

 

I think a person has either got it or hasn't, some people are very good at showing they have got it only to lose it after a few weeks - thus I always have new staff on a terms trial period. :(

 

If I knew how to define the 'it' my life would be easier, children though are the best judges, they will flock to the person who has 'it' and leave the person who hasn't got 'it' alone. :wacko:

 

Helped or confused ?

 

Good Luck.

 

Peggy

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Hi Shelley

 

I have taken apprentices for 5 years and as Peggy says they either have it or they don't!

Personally, the main thing i look for during a 'practical interview' is the language used towards the children, i need to know they can speak clearly and don't call the children 'mate' etc!

You can't really learn a lot more until they are actually working for you.

Ensure that your induction procedures are sound and that any absences or lateness are recorded.

Also, i personally would take someone on who has no experience as i find them easier to teach/guide.

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Thanks guys - that's useful.

 

Have inherited staff so far, and haven't had the chance to recruit and 'get it right' from day one with a new team member yet. I'm looking forward to it.

 

It'll also be a good chance for others too, as staff who started before me said that they did not feel welcomed.

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