Recruitment, Retention and Employment

Recruitment in the early years is currently a challenge nationally. Ensuring you have the right staff is vital to a successful business and in providing the highest quality provision.

Promoting and providing a wide range of opportunities in the early years sector can help with both encouraging new people to join the sector and existing early years practitioners to remain.

You may find the following links helpful in providing detailed information about different early years job roles, entry points and progression routes within the sector:


The resources within the recruitment and retention roadmap will help you to review, reflect and follow an effective process to recruit suitable new staff and to help retain current employees.

All people responsible for recruitment must understand the importance of robust safer recruitment practices. The resources are guidance only and must be read in conjunction with:

Recruitment and retention roadmap

Please see below a selection of factsheets relating to the journey through the recruitment process and where to find further information and support.

  1. What is an exit interview and how to do them?
  2. Do you need to recruit? What to consider
  3. Importance of equality through recruitment
  4. Job description and person specification
  5. Advertising
  6. Shortlisting
  7. Preparing and conducting interviews
  8. Job offers and contracts
  9. Suitability checks you must complete
  10. Induction
  11. Supervision
  12. Professional development
  13. Effective staff retention

Volunteering and work experience opportunities

It is vital for people who may be interesting in joining the early years workforce to see if early years work is for them before they embark on their early years career. Many colleges now require potential students to have had some experience in a setting before starting a Level 2 or 3 qualification. Can you can offer a work experience placement or volunteer opportunity to help grow the early years workforce?

  • New! Factsheet on volunteering in the early years with guidance including on DBS and ratios: Volunteering Factsheet
  • Looking for volunteers or offering work experience placements? There is a new section on Suffolk InfoLink: Volunteer in Suffolk. When you update your childcare setting, you can now choose to say whether you offer Work experience, Student placements, Apprenticeships or Volunteering opportunities

Coming soon – early years case studies on volunteering opportunities and work experience.