Maintaining Staff Quality

At Tigers Day Nurseries we pride ourselves on the exceptional quality of our staff. All are knowledgeable, well-trained childcare professionals who approach their job with passion and dedication.

Staff retention and development

Many of our staff have been with us for years – some joined in the early days of Tigers, recognised for their knowledge, skills and desire to do things better than the rest; some have come to us through the Tigers Training Centre early in their careers and have worked their way up to senior positions within our settings as they gained experience and qualifications. Newer members of staff benefit from the experience and mentoring of senior members, ensuring our high standards of quality care are maintained.

Staff training

At Tigers Day Nurseries we believe in investing in training for all our staff, giving each member of our team the chance to reach their true potential and to follow their particular interests into specialisations if they wish. Nobody stagnates at Tigers - instead all members of staff are encouraged to continually develop their knowledge and skills and to keep abreast of new ideas, legislation and best practice.

All our staff are first aid trained and undergo refresher training at least every three years. If children have special needs or disabilities that require medication during nursery hours, key staff are trained to administer this and to validate and record dosage.

The Tigers Training Centre is co-located with Tigers Day Nursery in Thatcham and provides a wide range of accredited course leading to a variety of childcare qualifications from apprenticeships to specialisations within the industry. Students come to our centre of excellence from other nurseries all around the area as well as from our own settings.

Key workers

Senior staff are assigned as key workers to specific children and are then exclusively responsible for certain aspects of their care, including the planning, assessment, observation, evaluation and recording of children’s developmental needs and learning. Key workers are also responsible for liaising with parents, keeping the child’s learning journal up-to-date, and meeting biannually with each child’s parents to discuss their progress.

Key workers are encouraged to get to know their children well so they can pick up on any changes in behaviour or developmental issues. Any concerns are raised with the setting manager and the parents and additional support provided if needed.

Staff Recruitment

Rigorous checks are made on all employees before they start work in our settings to verify their identity and suitability to work with children. Potential candidates are invited to apply for advertised roles in writing, then spend some time in our nursery during which time they are supervised by our staff at all times. Supervising staff are asked to complete a feedback form on a candidate’s performance after the trial session which is used to shortlist candidates for interview. An assessment form is completed at the interview and if an offer is made, the candidate’s references are taken up diligently.

All new staff go through our induction process which includes a health and safety briefing and introduction to the setting’s policies and procedures. DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) paperwork is completed and submitted and the new employee is not permitted to assist with children’s personal care routines until the disclosure has been returned. All staff have a probationary period of at least three months during which their conduct is closely monitored by senior staff and any concerns quickly acted upon.

Standards and rules

Our staff are important role models for the children in their care and we insist upon the highest standards of behaviour and personal hygiene.

Staff are not permitted to have their mobile phones with them at work nor to store or upload images taken of the children during their day-to-day activities. We have strict rules on their use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

All information relating to children and their parents must be kept completely confidential and stored securely. Staff are not permitted to remove any such information from the premises, including children’s development records.

Staff management and performance

Members of the Senior Management Team carry out regular moderation through observations within the separate rooms of the nursery to look at good practice in areas including environment, curriculum, staff and health and safety. They give feedback to the senior member of staff in the room and work on an action plan for any areas which need improvement.

General staff meetings are held regularly to disseminate information and share best practice. Good performance by staff is rewarded and celebrated at these meetings and compliments received from parents passed on. Staff appraisals take place annually when each individual’s performance is assessed and any training put in place that is needed or sought.

In the unlikely event of a complaint being made against a member of staff, they would be suspended immediately until a full investigation has been completed.

Our ‘family of staff’

Our staff work as a team, mentoring and nurturing less experienced members, celebrating achievement and supporting one another in the care they provide. Parents often comment on the ‘family feel’ of our nursery settings and we believe our team player mentality is a major contributor to this atmosphere.