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I'd like to hear from others who work in a nursery unit with the ratio of 1:13.


How do you manage to fit all the activities that are expected to be offered in a nursery setting into a three

hour session, with just two members of staff?


* free flow indoor/outdoor play

* snack time routine

* play with the children

* observe the children

* lead an activity

* clean up the paint pots at tidy-up time

* oversee tidy-up time

* deal with toileting when needed

* deal with accidents when needed

* update learning journeys (and that's another issue - this should be done within the nursery

session; I take mine home, but I don't 'expect' my TAs/keyworkers to do this)

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It's a an art form!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have been in nursery for 14 years now!!!!!


Some days you cant get to everything because sometimes days dont go how you expect them to!!!


Its about being positive about all you can do, and do get to do, and not beating yourself up when you cant get to do other things!!


Organisation wise just try things out and you will find a pattern to suit you, the children and the setting. Honest!!


For instance have a cafe and free flow tuck.


One staff member does the focused activity the other is the "float" indoors and outdoors

If the children are encouraged to lead their own learning it does work out.


Let children help clean brushes.

Use pots that can be thrown away to save time cleaning them ie soup containers, yoghurt pots......


Toileting I would have thought shouldnt be a huge issue with children of 3 and 4.

As for accidents, well they happen and we just deal with them swiftly and calmly.


Tidy up time is always a nightmare but concentrate on reminding the children it is their nursery, their mess and that they need to help tidy it. We give a 5 minute warning to say tidy time is approaching. Then we ring some bells to indicate tidy time has arrived.


As for learning journeys I try to do them with the children but sometimes do take them home or I do them in the morning before my session or even after the session sometimes too.


I dont know if you are new to nursery or exactly what the problem is but it does work out honestly!!!!



Edited by Scarlettangel
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I seem to remember reading that you are in a maintained setting so are you getting your statutory 10% non-contact time? I know it doesn't give you anything like enough time to do the 101 things but should be a help with the plate spinning that is EY's.

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I don't think there is an easy answer to this one!


I don't (and wouldn't)! work 1:13 so a bit different, but I have two days with only two members of staff, on these days I'm forever called out the office to cover because a child has hurt themselves, needs help in the loo, staff member needs a wee,,the list is quite endless!!!


As for learning journeys, staff get paid extra for these (not enough I know) and only have them out in session if sharing with a child, they love this and often ask for their 'special book' then add pictures or just spend ages looking at them with friends! Be careful about taking them home as could constitute a safeguarding issue.


All I can say is expect it to feel like chaos at times! How could it not!!! Focus on the important things first, basic care needs and the childrens wellbeing and the rest will sort of follow. There will be days when you don't achieve what you set out to, most of mine are like this, despite running round like a headless chicken all day! I always say if you don't go home knackered and with a spinning head your not doing your job properly!!!

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I am glad this has been raised - I am in a similar situation myself, with two TAs in the morning plus myslef, then just one TA in the afternoon and myself.


I really struggle with my workload, as I have all the learning journals to do myself, and this takes so long that my observations aren't that useful in feeding into planning etc.


If anyone has any tips on workload/planning etc I would love to hear them. I don't mind working hard, I just want to make sure what I am doing best benefits the children.


The day to day running is ok, although I would appreciate any ideas on focussed activities - I try to do a couple a week so that all children get to do them all, but as you all know this can be hard when some children only attend a few sessions but some attend all day everyday - I feel that those there all day everydey could do with more, but not sure how that would work?

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Surely not all children have to do a focused activity, so i wouldnt worry


as for the rest we are slightly different because we are a pvi and have more staff for me its fitting all my paperwork,planning, policy reviews, fees ,funding, staff trainign not to mention next years waiting list as well as being a part of the ratios, phew worn out just typing it!

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