by: littlemonsters - 26-04-12 11:58
My girlfriend has recently left university in order to become a nursery nurse as she wasn't enjoying her degree.
Can anyone offer any advice on how she get a job as an unqualified nursery assistant in nottingham and either work towards her level 2 at college independently or within the setting. I know she could do an apprenticeship but obviously the wages are minimal and she no longer lives at home so needs to afford to live. There just don't seem to be many jobs advertised out there for unqualified assistants or offering training unless it's as part of an apprenticeship programme.
Any advice would be really appreciated.
RE: Employment advice - 26-04-12 22:58
Hi, The reason your girlfriend is having problems is that all assistants have to be qualified to work in a nursery. She could do voluntary work, but would have to be CRB checked first. I hope this is useful and sorry but i don't live in Nottingham, but down here in london it would be just the same.
RE: Employment advice - 27-04-12 13:10
I doubt that unqualified would be well paid. I think the best option would be an apprenticeship. I know its not well paid but its something and at the end your girlfriend will be qualified and in a better position to apply for jobs. Try contacting you LA as they will probably be able to point you in right direction.
RE: Employment advice - 30-04-12 10:02
by: Carol Cooper
You do not have to be qualified to be a nursery assistant, 50% of all staff have to be qualified. We employ 5 unqualified staff and they are an asset to our nurseries, they are between the ages of 40 and 61 and bring many strengths to our settings. As an unqualified nursery assistant I would assume you would be on minimum wage.
Also you can be employed BEFORE your CRB check arrives as long as you are never left unsupervised, unless you live in Ireland where you can not start work until the CRB check has been completed.
Your girlfriend could try for voluntary work and hopefully also get some paid work at the nursery if she was counted in ratio. We have taken an apprentice on for 2 years, at present she is doing her Level 2 on the apprentice wage but that only lasts for a year in her second year she will be on minimum wage.
Hope that helps?!
RE: Employment advice - 30-04-12 14:58
Thanks for the reponses.
What do you think are the chances of her negotiating a higher wage for doing an apprenticeship than the £2.60 per hour minimum?
RE: Employment advice - 30-04-12 19:54
I don't think there's much chance of that, as anyhalf decent nursery will not allocate a ratio to an apprentice. This means that the wage paid to the apprentice is an 'outgoing' with no 'income' attached to it. They are therefore highly unlikely to pay any more than the minimum required.
RE: Employment advice - 01-05-12 10:46
Can you explain what you mean by 'allocating a ratio' and what you mean by it with regards to any half decent nursery?
Does this mean the ratio of unqualified to qualified members of staff or ratio of income?
RE: Employment advice - 01-05-12 16:59
This would mean (correct me if im wrong) including the apprentice in the numbers
eg. 16 children aged 3 requires 2 staff
or 1 staff and 1 apprentice would save a lot of money!
a half decent nursery understands that childrens needs comes first and would not allocate an inexperienced person to be in those numbers, it would put an awful lot of pressure on the other staff member too.
RE: Employment advice - 03-05-12 14:49
by: Carol Cooper
I disagree with your comment scarlett, it all depends on the caliber of the person in question.
We employed an apprentice and she was very good and we did count her in ratios. She has just completed her NVQ Level 3 and luckily we have enough children to now employ her as a qualified nursery nurse 4 days a week.
Also you could take on an unqualified person, full time, counted in staff ratios, and get them to complete the Level 3, which we have also done , so what is the difference to employing an apprentice and not having her counted in ratio?
As previously stated it depends on the caliber of the person and of course any 'half decent' nursery would not put the children at risk, the children's needs are paramount.
RE: Employment advice - 03-05-12 14:56
but scarlett i thought you had to be qualified to be counted on the numbers, so where you say 1 staff and 1 unqualified would save a lot of money i didn't think that was allowed.
RE: Employment advice - 03-05-12 16:15
by: Carol Cooper
Only 50% of staff have to be qualified according to Ofsted, but it is better to have as many qualified staff as possible.
And you would never leave an unqualifed member of staff with the children, so that would have to be considered if you counted the apprentice in the numbers.
RE: Employment advice - 03-05-12 16:50
Carol and HRH I was answering/clarifying the question that nottsj raised, it is not a situation I experience at my nursery!
the other issue I clarified and I did say correct me if I was wrong, is that an apprentice is about £70 a week (well it was before) so if a nursery only pays the apprentice £70 a week to do a full time job then that may be considered by some to be a tad unfair. I understand now that if you havent had an apprentice before it is now free so that would be a massive saving.
In response to you, I tend to agree it does depend on the calibre of the person, however you wouldnt know this until a person had been with you for a few weeks anyway. I personally wouldnt take a new apprentice on and include them in the numbers if I didnt know what they were like, however I would have to do this with a qualified staff member if I was recruiting and needed a new member of staff to replace a leaver. If that makes sense.
All my staff are qualified, some are weak some are strong.
RE: Employment advice - 03-05-12 21:49
Yes, absolutely! The calibre of the person would determine their suitability to be placed in a ratio with children, so an apprentice could actually be in this situation. However, as Scarlett has said you could not know of an apprentice's suitability until they had actually worked in the setting for some time which means they would have to be employed in the first place as somebody 'over' the ratios.
For this reason, I don't take on apprentices. In fact, I don't take on anybody with less than a level 3. I feel it is not necessary to do otherwise. I actually interviewed today, one of the applicants was a level 6 and lived 50 miles away from my setting! (obviously, I didn't call her in for the interview, but I did ring her to explain why not.)
RE: Employment advice - 04-05-12 08:15
but surely if you can't leave the unqualified with the children then how silly (to me) does only needing 50% qualified staff sound. i spent time in the past with just a student (in ratio) during tea time as my colleagues had to do school runs and i found it so hard not being able to do anything to help out as i couldn't leave the children.
RE: Employment advice - 04-05-12 09:33
well we dont make the rules! but we have to stick to them.
I also find that having a higher qualification demonstrates a committment to learning, a wanting to know more, a keeness.
and as I and whom have said we only employ level 3 staff anyway.
RE: Employment advice - 07-05-12 13:55
IMO I think it should be illegal to count apprentices in the ratios what ever there caliber.....they are there to learn and the employers are doing them an injustice as 'students' expecting them to just pick up the job.......maybe thats why there are so many 'inept' staff in the private sector giving all the OUTSTANDING staff a bad name!!
When you go to college, university, etc. and go on placements you are treated as a student you don't see medical students left to treat the patient, or preform surgery without support guidance and most importantly supervision. They are students for a reason they are their to learn not to 'work' and it is nurseries who take on apprentices as staff rather than TRAINING STUDENTS who are failing not only the student but the sector.
Apprentices should come into a nursery with a system of training in place and an assigned and COMPETENT mentor who can support and teach them to do the job to the outstanding expectations that should be here for our children!!!
Nottsj sorry for the rant on your post....your girlfriend could go to college and do placements with a part time job on the side if she could manage that....apprenticeships are generally £410 per month dependant on age there's no room for negotiation as settings aren't legally obliged to give you more.
I would advise your girlfriend to send a CV and covering letter to local nurseries to say that she is looking to do her level 2 and are there any job vacancies available while she completes it! Make sure her covering letter sells her commitment and enthusiasm to work with children....you never know. Good Luck
RE: Employment advice - 01-07-12 11:45
by: Joy Collins
I'm 35 years old and I am on a apprenticeship program working as a nursery assistant in my local nursery. I am only getting 2.60 per hour/£338.00 per month money is not very good specially I got a family to support, but I am trying to finish my childcare qualification trying to balance work and college is very difficult. As you were saying about working in ratio, my nursery treated me as a proper employee I am counted on staff ratio, it's only depends on the person.
RE: Employment advice - 01-07-12 21:10
by: kaz (the first one!)
Our apprentices are aged between 16 and 19 and are not counted in our ratios. However, I have staff working towards NVQ level 2 that are. The difference is that the NVQ staff have over 2 years experience already in our setting as students.
RE: Employment advice - 02-07-12 17:15
Seems you have a great system Kaz......i like the fact they have 2 years post NVQ experience I think they will gain the more from the training when they can reflect on their own practice from previous experiences.
RE: Employment advice - 02-07-12 22:49
by: kaz (the first one!)
Well the NVQ was originally designed for those of us that had been doing the job for a few years but didn't have a relevant qualification, it was never for the newbies to the industry.
RE: Employment advice - 03-07-12 19:40
Seems that lots of 'newbies' are getting on the NVQ's these days.
RE: Employment advice - 03-07-12 22:03
I work as an NVQ assessor and at 35 legally you have to be paid minimum wage the trainee wage is for 16-19 year olds and only allowed for one year.
what else can 'newbies' do other then NVQ's I have any amazing trainee who at 19 has completed her level 2 started her level 3 and does an amazing job the kids love her.
RE: Employment advice - 04-07-12 21:34
Ok sorry lets re word my comment some of the NVQ assessors who assess Newbies help them pass when clearly they are incompetent and completely unskilled FACT!! I have witnessed this with my own eyes for NVQ 2 and 3 students. In my opinion an NVQ should be solely developing the knowledge behind the skills and experience you already have some NOT ALL settings treat NVQ students as real employees seriously would an apprentice electrician be sent off to do the work himself without the correct guidance and supervision. I'm not saying all students are like this but in my opinion a 16 year old does not have enough experience or knowledge of child development to do an NVQ they should be in full time college doing placements to gain a breadth of experience. I have seen some of THE most shocking staff who have NVQ's IMO its not worth the paper its written on bring back the NNEB!! Child care is an immensely important job regardless of the glorified babysitter status it receives....it should have the best staff and with some of the courses out the itr just puts shame on the proffession and the . Can I ask you a question Mel how many students have scraped through an NVQ?? Are you confident that every student is worthy of the qualification they get and the responsibilty that comes with it?? I've never seen one person fail but have seen several people fail an NNEB!!
RE: Employment advice - 06-07-12 21:01
I have to disagree with this I work as a deputy manager and nvq assessor. i worked my way through college uni and at 22 got my first job in a nursery, after doing lots of different placements of washing out paint pots cleaning cupboards when ofsted had informed nursery they were coming. was never introduced to the records the nurseries kept on children (for confidentiality) never explained the ins and outs of nursery life really so at 22 it was a bit of a shock and i had to start all over again learning what a member of staff does at nursery.
however my apprentice at nursery has been introduced to life as an employee she knows about what goes on she has the support of 2 qualified staff i have gradually introduced her to learning journeys and given her a key child this has supported her knowledge of child development and as she has grown she has taken on more responsibility so that when she has completed her level 3 i would hope that she will be a confident and competent member of staff. the only thing i do agree with is that some NVQ assessors do just pass everyone in my experience it seems to be the college tutors that are doing this a number of times i have expressed concerns over college students not having the right knowledge skills or attitudes and within a matter of weeks they are ringing me wanting a job as a fully qualified nursery nurse.
in answer to your question she is my first student to pass as i am training as well but i have a few students still going many who have been on my team for years and they have the knowledge and skills which they are just putting on to paper at the moment.
RE: Employment advice - 07-07-12 09:58
I think you have an excellent outlook on what an apprentice's life in work, while they are training, should be like.....i'm sure you'll have a great workforce at your setting by mentoring your apprentices like this!
Not all settings have this outlook, which is where my comment comes from, some see apprentices as cheap labour and thats why some shocking students are churned out as shocking practitioners.
Absolutely agree about the clollege tutors met some real questionable 'tutors' in time.
Your first comment i did the same pathway as you bar uni i'm part way through that now and I agree for some people this is correct but oni went to three fantastic placements where they involved me in everything.....one placement i went to was horrible and i was called the student(as if it was my name) for four weeks before i went somewhere else. I learnt nothing there but that was because the setting was poor. It depends on the setting your placed.
I still think college gives you a better overall understanding of child care and child development......they don't look at theorists etc. on NVQ's. I just think its a bit like tunnel vision and focuses solely on parctice i'm yet to come across an NVQ student who knows what a schema is......sorry i can't agree so i'll have to agree to disagree.
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