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a few questions for all you knowledgeable people. just letting you know we are a 53 place day nursery in case this affects the answers.


the nursery owners believe that a level three person can have stand in key holder responsability and therefore be left in the nursery with no senior or deputy or manager. is this ok, and if so in taking on key holder responsability do they automatically take on whole nursery responsability and therefore become accountable for anything that happened, or potentially have to deal with ofsted walking through the door? if this is the case what training would you give them, and would you have written agreement that they take key holder responsability and they understand all that this involves.... plus would you pay them more..... i feel they should be paid more, owners disagree. do we also need to let ofsted know that sometimes there would be a stand in keyholder and who that would be?


second question... my deputy has recently taken a change in position and will now become the cook at nursery, and general admin (as in photocopying, dealing with the party side of the business) she will work 7:30 - 3:30 four days a week BUT will have nothing to do with the nursery, she won't work in rooms and won't be acocuntable to me (the cook never has been!, always been accountabel to owners only).now the owners have said that she can still open the nursery as long as she opens with two other staff (one level three), (we normally only have two staff from 7:30-8) at 7:30 current deputy will go in kitchen or office leaving two staff with the few children we get at this time... one staff level three, one not..... again, who has responsability?, because deputy won't be deputy any longer and has no say over things such as booking in children, dealing with parents etc... she really is moving away from the nursery side of things. i feel that there should be a senior opening up and closing so that parents know who to go to and so that someone can be responsable....but i feel i am going to really have to argue the case for this.... can anyone point me in the direction of clear written guidance on this one?


hope this makes some sense, its an odd situation



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Hi Dawn, when I was at a council run nursery I've been one of the 2 people opening and closing. We were both level 3 but I was supply. I never had to receive training or any special instructions, we just unlocked everywhere and prepared the rooms while we waited for the first arrivals for breakfast. The cook also arrived at 7.30 with us.

The person opening wasnt necessarily the deputy, it was just part of the rota. The staff would answer the phone, deal with parents, anything that arose until manager or deputy arrived. If Ofsted ghad arrived I'm sure we were all professional enough to know how to carry on while they did their stuff.

Within these nurseries I dont believe there is a heirarcy outside of the manager and deputy, but I could be wrong, it always seemed to me that everyone was pretty much equal.

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At the moment it is me (manager) or the room leader who open up, the room leader is level three. SHe opens up and sets up and then 3 more staff arrive at 8.30 when the first few children come in as well. I think our deputy status needs looking into, as I am the childcare manager but don't have a deputy but I have a director above me and I am not her deputy either. When I leave on an early shift the room leader is 'in charge' but she does not recieve anything extra for this (which I don't agree with). WHy has your deputy suddelnly decided to become the cook and have nothing to do with the children? I would say if she is in the building and needed to be called on she would drop everything and run to help as surely she was level 3 or more.

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