Note To Mentors
It may take some time to build up a trusting relationship where the new recruit is able to share thoughts, feelings and progression. Take time at the start of this process to plan how this induction process will work for them. Remember each is an individual and will progress at different rates. You should develop your own timetable for this process, particularly for part time workers, or for those with limited previous experience.
The first month should encourage the new recruit to observe practice within the setting, develop confidence in practical skills and get to know procedures within the setting. It is of particular importance that the new recruit understands the importance of managing the environment children are in, including how to spot potential risks and how to minimise risks to children. Take the opportunity to point out safety measures in each area and why these are important. Explain why specific measures are needed as babies grow and develop into toddlers and explore their environments with new found confidence. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has some easily accessible information to support understanding of the kinds of accidents children have, which can help the new recruit begin to identify potential hazards.
An important area to highlight is the need to have an awareness of where children are at all times, steps taken to ensure children cannot exit the premises, and do not become lost when outdoors or away from the setting. We know this won't be the sole responsibility of new recruits for some time, but it is important that they recognise that it is everyone's responsibility to keep children safe and habits formed now will stand them in good stead as they develop in their career. The Care Inspectorate resource 'Keeping Children Safe' highlights some trigger areas where children are more likely to wander off if unobserved.
A key aspect of supporting children's emotional attachment within the setting is to ensure that parents and children are welcomed into the setting together. Having the opportunity to share directly in children's experiences and building relationships with staff, positively supports respectful and trusting relationships. During the pandemic it was important to limit the number of adults accessing settings to protect everyone's health. Now that restrictions have been lifted you will be working to actively encourage families into your setting, in addition to any virtual approaches which may have been adopted during the pandemic. The new recruit will need support and guidance to gain confidence in engaging professionally with families to support these relationships. Take time to explore the importance of family involvement in their children's care, learning and development with your new recruit.
Encourage them to provide examples from their practice and share your observations of them in practice. This induction should be used in conjunction with the on job guidance and support you will be giving. For each question, encourage the new recruit to reflect on how it affects outcomes for children. We have included some suggestions of what may be discussed in order to help you prepare. It is helpful for the new recruit to have a copy or link to the following documents to refer to for more information or for reference: Realising the Ambition; the Health and Social Care Standards; the Common Core Skills; the Continuous Learning Framework; How Good is Our ELC?; and the SSSC Codes of Practice or the GTCS professional standards for teachers.
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