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Sorry this may be long but have a few issues/questions that I would like some advice on please.


Firstly as a few of you's may remember I had issues with my deputy. They have managed to make her step down but haven't yet given me a new deputy and won't until I return from my maternity leave. Do I need a named deputy or is it enough just for me to have a designated staff member that can step up in my absence?


Secondly our policy when I started stated that either myself or deputy had to be onsite. If neither of us was available then the setting needed to close. Is this good practice or is it legislation? I have never been able to find an answer as to why the policy was written this way. Yesterday I needed to close the setting because my deputy was off nanying the girls she looks after on an afternoon and my assistant broke her thumb and so had an appointment to see a plastic surgeon. I do have relief staff but all are unqualified. I had 11 children due to attend and 7 were under 3. Now my interpretation is that at least 50% of my staff have to be qualified. That woulod mean 2 out of 3 of us would need to be but I just had myself who was qualified. This is the first time in 3 years I have needed to close yet the committee are adement that I should have remained open. The committee insist I could open with just 2 staff and a parent helper but one of those staff members does not qualify until April. Was I right to close or should I have remained open? I have stressed ratios to them many times before. So stressed out over this as feel that they take no notice of me and my judgements.


Thirdly an I ask would you give adequate time for a leader to be able to complete a hand over to another memeber of staff who is covering my maternity leave? She has been with us 4 months and is fab and I have complete faith in her but she doesn't know the things we have done since our last Ofsted inspection etc. I have been given no time, she feels stressed and so do I.


Fourthly Do I need a new contract for the staff memeber covering my maternity too or is hers ok?


If anyone can help me with any of these points it would be greatly appreciated please

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The Statutory Framework for the EYFS set out the ratios as you have stated and also states that you must have a named Deputy to take charge in your absence. Your Committee should be aware of this, our Chair has her own copy of the EYFS.

We are Committee run and I would have closed in your circumstances unless I had permission from Ofsted to do so otherwise,




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I would have closed too - I had an afternoon earlier this term where I didn't have enough staff in with 28 children booked in including 8 two year olds, and I made the decision with the backing of the committee to phone the parents of the two year olds to ask if I could ask them a big favour of not coming in that day :-(

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Hi we would of closed too! :1b

Having also had issues with a deputy - yes you do need to have a named deputy although they do not need to be level 3.

I think that the person covering you would need a new temporary contract and job description, but it would depend on what their current one states.

Finally while time for a handover is desirable and good practise it depends on the preschools current financial situation. As chair of a preschool we would have minimal/if any funds to do this as budgets are sooo tight at the mo.



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