STEP 7 - Marketing the Service & Employing Staff

By now you should have not only a clear idea of the service you are going to provide, but a plan detailing this. Funding should be in place and a date fixed for the Care Inspectorate to visit and register your premises- with all this done you should now have a target date for the opening of the premises. Now all you need are children and staff.

7.1 Marketing

During the entire setting-up process you should have created interest through the initial meeting, questionnaires and any other events you may have hosted or attended. You now need to provide potential users with detailed information about the service- you should create posters and leaflets (including booking forms) to be distributed to schools, libraries, health centres, community centres, leisure centres and local shops. Basically, wherever parents, children and young people go, you need to place information about the service.

Ideally you will have about two months to start publicising and taking pre-opening bookings. You will probably also want to open at the beginning of a school term.

You should also plan to have an official opening party- see if you can use the premises on a Saturday and create a fun day for family. Invite your local councillor, MSP and MP- ask them to make a speech and of course, don't forget to invite the local press! To start with you will need to generate a lot of interest and publicity.

Marketing materials should be bright and attractive but easy to read and understand. The main aspects to highlight are:

  • Who- who is providing the service & also who the service is for
  • What- the kind of service being provided
  • Where- location of the service
  • When- opening hours
  • How much- fees
  • Contact details- contact details to obtain further information

7.2 Employing Staff

With two months to opening you need to recruit and appoint staff: the staff appointed by you are your most important resource, so take time and choose well. Ideally you will want staff, or at least senior staff, to have input in the setting up of the day-to-day systems of the club as well as the purchasing of equipment and resources, and planning the programme of activities. Your senior worker(s), after all, are the ones with the necessary skills and qualifications for providing the childcare. It is the senior staff who will be responsible for running the service on a daily basis. Remember, once the club is up and running you should not be involved in day-to-day decisions but be there to provide management support to the team.

You may also want senior staff to be part of the recruitment and interview process, this of course means that you will have to recruit senior staff first and be employing them a month prior to the opening of the service. Time and financial resources may not allow for this but you should be aiming for this goal nevertheless.

To attract and maintain good staff, employers have to offer good conditions of service and a salary that reflects the skills and level of responsibility of each member of staff. Whilst it may be more financially attractive to employ a team of part-time workers it is beneficial that at least one staff member is employed on a full-time basis as this ensures stability within the team and allows time for administration and development work.

All staff should have access to the following:

  • A full detailed written contract of employment stating hours of work, salary, holiday and leave entitlement, disciplinary and grievance procedures and generally define the respective rights and duties of the employee and employer
  • A job description
  • The right to join a trade union of their choice
  • Adequate health and training as well as a safe and healthy workplace
  • Induction training
  • Ongoing training and support
  • Annual review of staffing issues
  • Time for team meetings

Staff should be recruited and employed on an equal opportunities basis to ensure no one is subjected to any form of discrimination- direct or indirect. It is a good idea to recruit the Project Leader first and employ him/her to assist with further staff selection.

Once you have selected suitable staff and received references you still cannot employ the individual until you make sure they are a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

Social Services Council (SSSC)

The SSSC is responsible for registering people who work within social services, including out of school care, and regulating their education and training. The SSSC ensures that social service workers have the appropriate knowledge and skills for working in their sector.

All employees within out of school care services are recognised as social care workers and as such they must register with the SSSC. There are 3 categories or worker that apply to OSC: Lead Practitioner, often the service manager; Practitioner Level; and Support Worker.

Workers are required to have a designated qualification appropriate to the job level, if they do not have this, then registration will be granted on the condition that the qualification is achieved within 5 years.

New workers have 6 months from their start date to register with the SSSC.

Registration Requirements

All staff working within OSC will be expected to have the appropriate qualifications for their SSSC registration category. Any lead practitioner registering or re-registering with the SSSC will be required to have or be working towards, a Childhood Practice Level 9 award; this might be a BA Childhood Practice or a PDA Level 9 Childhood Practice. Registration requirements for Practitioner or Support Worker level can be found on the SSSC website.

Once registered workers are expected to undertake annual Post Registration Training and Learning (PRTL).

Codes or Practice

The SSSC has codes of practice which should be adhered to by employers and employees- for information on these codes, please follow the link below:

SSSC codes of practice

At least 50% of the workforce must be qualified to the appropriate level with the other 50% working towards qualification.

Protecting Vulnerable Group (PVG) scheme

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps makes sure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and/or protected adults, can't do 'regulated work' with these vulnerable groups.

How the scheme works

When someone applies to join the PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland carries out criminal record checks and shares the results with individuals and organisations.

The application process involves gathering criminal record and other relevant information. This is always shared with the employer who is providing regulated work. If the information shows the applicant might be unsuitable for regulated work, they'll be referred for further investigation as part of the 'consideration process'.

Once someone is a PVG scheme member

Disclosure Scotland keeps checking their suitability to continue working with children or protected adults. If they find new information which means someone might have become unsuitable to work with children or protected adults, they'll tell their employer.

PVG scheme

When appointing staff the committee must adhere to the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003.

Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003

“The Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 aims to improve the safeguards for children by preventing unsuitable people from working with them. The Act allows Scottish Ministers to set up the Disqualified from Working with Children List which came into operation on 10 January 2005.” Scottish Executive

The Protection of Children Scotland Act (POCSA) aims to protect children against physical, sexual and emotional harm whilst in a care setting. Unsuitable care workers will now be included on the Disqualified from Working with Children List (DWCL) and cannot be employed by any service if included on the DWCL. It is the legal responsibility of all care services to ensure they do not employ a disqualified worker as well as referring any worker (paid or voluntary) who harms, or puts at risk of harm, a child. For further information please contact SOSCN.

last updated: 29/11/2023