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using University students to 'fill in staff gaps'??? CRB checks??

(8 Posts)
beagle101 Sat 27-Jun-09 17:05:39

I work in a University and our on campus nursery has just informed us that they are going to be using students to maintain their staff child ratios when staff are absent. Apparently the students (not childcare students by the way!) all have experience of child care (presumably not just babysitting - I am seeking clarification on Monday!) and they are 'applying for CRB checks'.

I am having a quiet hissyfit about this after reading the news this morning- I can't believe this is possible!

I thought that all staff had to have CRB check prior to beginning work - and I cannot believe that it is possible to have just university students taking care of the children - I am guessing they will be supervised but good grief!

What do others think about this? AIBU? - I am a bit wary going in on Monday all guns blazing as I have had to do that a couple of times this year already and while I think the management of the nursery has been making some very bad decisions recently I love the way my dc are cared for by the actual staff so would rather not have to move them - perhaps I am worrying about nothing?

littleducks Sat 27-Jun-09 17:23:52

I think they dont need a crb if they are supervised at all times, and allowed to work this way while waiting for crb to come back

The students may be better than agency staff

nurseryvoice Sat 27-Jun-09 17:31:43

Its fine as long as they are not left alone with children or allowed to do any toileting!!!
having said that it would be better to use the regular staff as bank staff as they know childrens routines.

purepurple Sun 28-Jun-09 07:32:37

I don't see the problem.
This is common practice in a lot of nurseries.
Untrained, unqualified people are taken on all the time. Some don't even have CRB checks, these are done when they start. Until then, they are not left unsupervised or allowed to do nappies etc.
'just university students' I don't understand this phrase.

beagle101 Sun 28-Jun-09 09:40:21

Thanks everyone - I have actually thought about it now and agree that this may in fact be a good thing - so long as they are not left alone with the kids which I am fairly sure they won't be!

Purepurple - when I said 'just University students' I meant students who are studying for a degree totally unrelated to childcare - nothing more than that!

Thanks for your thoughts - I thought I might be over-reacting and I guess form the responses I was! grin

gingernutlover Sun 28-Jun-09 20:34:46

yes it is common practice in nurseries and schools so they are not doing anything legally wrong.

therefore there is no point in going in all guns blazing

however, we had an employee at a place that i worked who was in contact with children (not unsupervised) for about 3 months before the CRB came back and the employee was "let go" due to whatever had come back on the CRB. To this day we don't know what the employee had done in the past. But I know this member of staff had direct contact with children and I think it is very very wrong that people are allowed to start work without the check being in place.

cookielove Sun 28-Jun-09 21:53:53

They way you have written it implies that that the students will be there as replacement to staff who are off for some reason or another.

I work in a university day nursery, and although we do have students come in to the nursery, none are used in staff ratio, only qualified nursery nurses, officers, and mangaement are used in ratio.

Most students are crb checked, and most are from the nursing courses.

I personally would question this, and go with your gut instinct, this does not seem to me an ideal situation.

Also students are not allowed to be left alone with thc children, or allowed to nappy changes, or toliet trips. I wouldn't be comfortable with a student applying sun cream, and don't allow this to happen in my room

nannynick Sun 28-Jun-09 22:25:33

Assuming the nursery is in England.
The room leader must be Level 3 trained. Of the other staff (which could include the students) half must be Level 2 trained.
See Appendix 2 of EYFS statutory framework (May 2008 edition).

EYFS framework says "Providers must not allow people whose suitability has not been checked to have unsupervised contact with children who are being cared for." thus the students must be supervised at all times.

Having extra people around can be a good thing. If they are replacing qualified staff, that would be more of a concern - and I feel you should raise the issue with the nursery management. The nursery manager needs to be able to show you that ratios will still be met at all times (staff on a break don't count as being in ratio).
Lunch breaks could be an issue - if the room leader goes on a lunch break... who takes over from them?

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