Recruitment Process

Guidance Notes on How to Apply for a Vacancy


We are delighted that you wish to apply for a position with our nurseries and would like to take this opportunity to explain our recruitment procedures to you and explain how to apply.

We are a professionally run private childcare nursery business where the children’s care and development come first. We want to attract and retain members of staff that are looking for a career rather than a job. Our current nursery staff are either qualified or committed to training for qualifications to NVQ Level 3. Our administrators, cooks and housekeepers provide vital support to the nursery and we will train them to meet our legal and safeguarding obligations in areas such as food hygiene and safer recruitment.


Some Checks

1. Please read/download the Job Description/Person Specification for the vacancy you are interested in, which will give you details about the duties that the job holder will have to perform and the qualifications, experience and qualities we are looking for in any application. If you meet our criteria, please read (2) below which will help you decide if you want to apply.

2. If you are applying for a vacancy please check:- (a) the location of the nursery. If you do not have a car, check how you would travel to work and the time it would take you to see if it is suitable for you If you can commit to the above then read (3) below before starting the process of application.

3. By law all applicants must be able to provide evidence of their Right to Work in the UK and if you are interviewed you will be asked to provide original documentary evidence, which will be photocopied and kept on your file. Please read/download the Home Office document on “Right to Work in the UK “so that you know what is required.

4. If you meet our criteria in the job description and can comply with (2) and (3) above then please download and complete the Application Form, preferably by hand in full, and return to the address given at the foot of the last page of this document. However, in situations where it is difficult for the applicant to complete the application form by hand, we will accept electronic submissions. Applications forms can be scanned and emailed to us but we will still need the hard copy in the post. Please ensure that you include contact details for at least two but preferably three referees, one of whom should be your most recent employer. We make every effort to contact referees from past employment before the interview stage.

5. As part of our screening process you will be contacted by phone to confirm details on your application form, such as your Right to Work in the UK. Would you please ensure that you put a telephone number on the application form where we can contact you during the day. If you are not available in the day, please let us know when you would be available for a telephone interview. 


The Interview

6. After the telephone call we will then invite successful applicants for a face to face interview at one of our nursery locations. This interview will review your application and go through a standard set of interview questions that all applicants for that post will be asked. Candidates applying for a childcare position will also take part in a workplace assessment if they have a current DBS certificate. Those who have a successful interview but do not hold a current DBS certificate, will be asked to undergo a DBS check and then invited for a workplace assessment at a later date. Non childcare applicants will have just an interview.

7. You should bring to the interview your original qualification certificates and evidence of your Right to Work in the UK; evidence of your address either by a photo driving license or a utility bill; and NI number. We need to see the originals and we will then take a photocopy for our files. Candidates who have had a change of name at some time during their life are asked to supply evidence of a change of name. If you are unsuccessful at interview this documentation will be confidentiality destroyed. When a DBS check is carried out, you will need to provide identity documents again as original documents are required for verification.

8. When a DBS check is carried out, you will need to provide identity documents again as original documents are required for verification.


The Job Offer

9. Finally, if you are offered a job with us you will receive a conditional job offer, employee manual and job description. The offer is conditional on Willow Cottage receiving satisfactory references and a clear DBS check. You then will be asked to complete a medical declaration and an Equal Opportunities Monitoring form to ensure that we are complying with our equal opportunities responsibilities (see below). Once you have received the DBS certificate, you will be asked to attend the Head Office to have the certificate copied and a record made of the date that it was issued and seen by an authorized person. At this point, you will be asked to complete a Staff Suitability Declaration. If the Declaration is satisfactory, your job offer will be confirmed and a start date agreed. If you wish to accept the job offer you will need to sign that you are accepting the terms offered.

10. Within two months of your commencement of employment you will receive a statement of the main terms of your employment. Two copies are provided and these should both be signed by the employee and their manager and one copy returned to the Head Office. Please download this document and use it as a checklist to help you through the process.


And Finally

11. We would like you to know that we are an equal opportunities employer and will select applicants for interview based on their ability to do the job and ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

12. Willow Cottage Nurseries is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.


Thank you for taking the time to read through this Guidance. We hope you found it helpful and we welcome any feedback that you may have to improve this for the future. Completed Application Forms should be sent to us at: 

Recruitment Department
Willow Cottage Nurseries Limited
11 Hid’s Copse Road

Or contact Angela Willson:
01865 864604