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I Need To Limit The ....


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.....number of children we admit to preschool due to a committee decision, they want me to decide on a good figure which I have ,18 children, but can someone tell me ...do I need to say no to number 18 thus leaving an emergency place for a child or can I say yes to number 18 and use 19 as a emergency child needing a place.


Sorry if this sounds confusing, but I recollect someone telling me or maybe I read it that I needed to keep a spare place for emergency admittance?? We are registered for 24 children so in effect I would be ok to admit an emergency child, but I need to stipulate to the committee what constitutes an emergency?

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Do you take under 3's, ie: 1 - 4 ratio?


The reason I ask is that when deciding intake numbers ratio need to be considered against staffing costs and income.


ie 4 x under 3's = 1 staff , if you then had 14 over 3's ( to total 18 children) you would still need 2 more staff ( 1-8 ratio)


4 under 3's and then 16 over 3's = 20 children and 3 staff

over 3's only then 16 = 2 staff

8 x under 2's and 10 X over 3's = 3 staff


Do you get what I mean?? :o:(

However, some settings use an average of 1-5 or 1-6 ratio. Depends how Ofsted 'translate' the ratio requirements as to which is correct. xD:(



Emergency place could be:

A looked after child

A refugee

A Traveller



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we limit numbers to staffing ratios, so our emergency place comes into that ratio... this is wholly due to financial reasons.


Our emergency place is for children who are looked after, travellers, for children who are in a refuge and may only need a place for a couple of weeks before moving on , or can stay for months, depending on circumstances. refugees, Social service requests, Children with special needs (we get referrals/ recommendations as a place for children with speech problems from other agencies) and sometimes for children moving into the area who need a place particularly in term before school. we state that we look at each applicants needs and will accommodate them if possible.


I do not believe it is a requirement to have an emergency place but good practice if you can afford to have one... Once it is filled you will no longer have the place, but as you are registered for 24 you could always take a child in real need.



We have 1 place but because of location and working other agencies we aim to have 2 which this year have been filled regularly, for varying amounts of time.



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Thank you all very much, :o


18 seems to be a magical number financially as well and we take children from 2.5, on a 1:4 and a 1:6 basis that with the staff available I should be fine to cut off at 18 children - as usual you have given me the information I need and once again I learn from you knowledgeable people, your great all of you!! xD

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This is the first year we have been told we MUST keep a place and we are over subscribed so some of our nursery children haven't got a reception class place and are having to travel to neighbouring villages. In the past we have taken all children who applied and had mixed classes or employed another teacher.

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Our sessional pre-school struggles to break even, even when full I do not hold a place open. We have various odd sessions available but these would be subject to meeting staff ratios. I'm aware that keeping an emergency place is not compulsory for us but should the need arise I would ring our Ofsted Inspector and seek special approval.

Edited by Guest
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