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How do I DBS check my childcare staff?

5 min of reading
03 June 2024
A woman's arm holding up a magnifying glass over a woman with children, shoeing a green circle and white tick

DBS checks are an essential part of working in many other industries, where the employer needs confirmation the member of staff is safe to be there. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks individuals in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, on four different levels.  

For childcare, it’s Enhanced DBS checks your staff need to be sure they’re suitable to be there. 

But, how do you obtain an Enhanced DBS check for your prospective staff? Read on to find out where to go, how much it might cost and how Blossom customers can get a handy discount! 

What is an Enhanced DBS check?

To work with children, staff (and apprentices over 16) must have an Enhanced DBS certificate, obtained from an Enhanced DBS check. This check can only be requested by an employer, which is what separates it from a Standard DBS check. 

The certificate that’s issued contains details on spent and unspent convictions (meaning an individual’s entire criminal history will be disclosed to the employer), cautions, reprimands and warnings.  

Everything that is known to the police is contained in an Enhanced DBS check, and it can also include (at the employer’s request) a check against DBS Barred Lists. You must request this check because you cant employ someone to work with children who’s barred from doing so (present on DBS’s List 99). 

So, an Enhanced DBS checks both criminal history and DBS Barred Lists. 

How do I request an Enhanced DBS check?

There are a few different ways to request an Enhanced DBS check, but any request must be made through a Registered Body. That’s an organisation registered with the DBS to submit DBS checks, entitled by law to ask an individual their full criminal history.  

If you do more than 100 checks a year you can choose to become a registered body, but most of the time you’ll have to use a DBS umbrella body like uCheck. More on them in a bit. 

The basic process is as follows: 

  1. Let the staff member know you’re going to do so, and then start the request. 
  2. This will prompt some forms to be sent to the employee, and they must provide consent to be checked. 
    • If they don’t consent, don’t hire them. DBS checks are mandatory in our sector – substitutes and old certificates aren’t valid. 
  3. The prospective employee must fill in their details including 
    • Addresses for the past five years; 
    • Full name, DOB, current address; 
    • National Insurance number if available; 
    • Documents to verify identity – provided online or at the Post Office. 
  4. Once this is submitted, a certificate will be sent to the employee, for them to forward to you. If they refuse, this is grounds for dismissal. 

Note that an Enhanced DBS check doesn’t pass or fail an applicant on convictions – it simply highlights offences (if any exist) for you to then assess for relevance. However, if you’ve checked the Children’s Barring List and they’re on it, you cannot hire them. So, make sure you’ve requested the Children’s Barring List is checked. 

How much does an Enhanced DBS check cost?

Surprisingly, the cost of an Enhanced DBS check can vary, but the base price is £38 including VAT. This will usually have a processing fee attached, often around the £15 mark, so you can expect each Enhanced DBS check to cost in the region of £53. This doesn’t include any umbrella body registration fees. 

Enhanced DBS checks are free for volunteers like charity workers. This doesn’t apply to trainees who are currently unpaid but expect to be placed into a paid role at the end of training. 

Enhanced DBS discounts for Blossom customers with uCheck

Ucheck logo

As Enhanced DBS checks are an essential part of hiring childcare staff, we’ve hunted around to find a great deal for our customers. As we can’t yet provide them ourselves, the next best thing we could do was partner with one of the biggest and best DBS Registered Bodies out thereuCheck. 

uCheck have over 30,000 happy customers covering all kinds of employee verification checks, particularly Enhanced and Basic DBS checks along with Right To Work, Digital Identity Verification and soon, Employment References too. 

Their platform’s simple to use and rated for their rapid turnaround of identity checks, with no loss in accuracy. And through Blossom, customers can access the revolutionary uCheck system for free as well as receive a 10% discount on Enhanced DBS checks. Nice! 

If you’re a Blossom customer, raise a ticket through your Blossom platform to get all of the details on uCheck and our other great discounts (an indication of which you can find on our partner program page) with the Ticket NamePartner discounts. 

If you’re not a Blossom customer, book a Blossom demo to find out all about our great all-in-one nursery management software along with all the discounts! 

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