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As you know I'm new to Nursery from a Reception class and ratio's and staffing "issues" are a new thing for me!


I know the ratio's and I can cope with that bit, but for some reason I cannot for the life of me work out ratio's etc when staff are on lunch and the juggling of staff. Can babies/toddlers have lower staff ratio when sleeping? What about mixing toddlers and babies staff when sleeping?


I'm a visual person and I need to see it! I've spent time this weekend trying to work out a visual picture, making charts etc but I keep coming up with a blank!


Thankfully the staff are being brill and helping me out but I need to get to grips with this! Does anyone have any methods they use? Is there a computer prog I can buy???


I really need to get this sorted this week or I'm going to get furious with myself!

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Hi Tuffspot


We employ 2 lunchtime assistants from 11am - 2pm (minimum wage).


These are then able to cover 6 hours of lunches alongside the senior staff.


We do mix the age groups if we need to (this usually happens at 4.30pm when the first batch of staff go home), normally we just put all the children in the garden together.


Our children aged 3mths - 15 mths sleep in cots in a sleep room which is covered by a baby listener, we always ensure that there are enough staff as they could wake up at any time.

Our toddlers all have a nap after lunch so are a bit more predictable, so for example if we had 15 children sleeping who are in a 1:3 ratio i would allow 2 staff to have their lunch breaks retaining 3 to cover any children who may wake up.


Our staff are very good at taking their lunch at the most convenient time for us and this works pretty well.

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You also need to consider the occasional times when you may need staff to remain in the building 'in case'

Sorry, not wishing to confuse!! And yes, ninafox, that would be my feeling!!


Louby lou, I'm interested, where did you get that info??



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yes you get to choose when they go- but they should have it 'rota'd so they know what they're doing in advance. got to be honest most people are happy to change about but if there not paid for lunch and they say no you can't force them!! for example if they've arranged to met a friend for lunch you can't expect them to change at short notice just to suit your needs.



sue r - it came up once when we were trying to work out own ratios, we got the information from our 'osfted advisory team' it came up in converstion when we were doing our ECM training. think it's to do with the fact if there not paid for the period - then tecnically they're not there~ even if they are there!!!!

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Tuffspot- Personally i would say no to staff being counted in just for being in the building and i feel ofsted would probably feel the same (we were caught out many years ago with this situation!!) :o


Louby loo - My staff only receive a rota for the shifts that they will be working, lunch and tea breaks are not decided until 9am of that morning.

If staff have to do something, like meet a friend for lunch they will equest that their lunch break is for a certain time and if that is convienient then i will meet their request. Other than that, as their employer, i state when their lunch breaks will be.

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I was out of my ratios during lunch time at a council nursery. I told the manager I was very unhappy with it, but she said Ofsted understand staff have to take breaks and its ok. I told this to another council manager who agreed that Ofsted are aware that ratios may not be the same at lunch times. They tend to lump all the children who dont sleep together in the playground with wakers joining us. The managers are usually not counted anyway so can cover in emergencies.

I think in the event of an unexpected visit the staff would rearrange themselves, not an ideal situation but I can see how anything else can be difficult.

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Sue, if I refused to work if the ratios are out at lunch times, I'd never work.

It still never fails to amaze me how often it happens and in how many different places. The worst one was a private DN where I was left almost alone (NN popped in and out) with 18 sleepers ranging from 2-4. Two of which didnt sleep. And then they had the cheek to complain that I didnt put the blankets away properly, after which I was told where they go.


Unfortunatly my arthritis stops me from going back!!!! :o

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