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What do you think- only 2 of us


klc106
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I was just doing a forum search and came across an old thread from 2009 which was about having only 2 members of staff at the setting.

 

At my setting there is only me and one other member of staff due to the fact we only have a maximum of 12 children at any time. At present the most we have is 8. We simply cannot afford another member of staff.

 

Does anyone think this is not good practice and shouldn't happen?

We have been running the past 2yrs fine and Ofsted never mentioned it, our improvement advisor has never picked up on it and the parents are happy but after reading that old thread I just got a bit concerned!

 

We are quite happy with how things work and our routines work fine- we have a sit down snack and lunch and all go outside together. One of us goes into the adjoined kitchen to prepare snack and drinks but the door is open so 2 we can be shouted if needed, We don't have an issue with toileting as we can see the children's toilets from the main room and most children are independent.

 

Our only issue is that we have to close the setting if one of us is ill as we only have unqualified CRB checked staff on hand if needed. We have advertised for bank staff but never had any joy. I don't think it helps that we are in a village in the middle of nowhere really!

 

Does anyone know of any agencies that offer supply cover in the Leicestershire area?

I know they are pricey but I have been told by our area senco that I must attend the senco training and so I need qualified cover for me to be out the setting.

 

Thanks and sorry for the long post and if it doesn't make sense!

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It is legal and there is nothing wrong with doing it..providing you are in correct ratios..

 

I often used to run an afternoon session with 2 staff.. and up to 10 children.. we tended to add staff at 11 children.. depending on their needs... but could have 16 with the two staff quite legally..all over 3... we did not take under 3yr olds.

 

The main issue would be if one of the staff became ill and had to leave.. or if one of the children had a serious accident and staff had to leave setting with them before a parent could arrive to go with them.. In this case we had a telephone number of someone who could come in to help until help out until end of session.or we could contact the parents to collect . never had to use it though

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So if you want , you could for your own peace of mind draw up an emergency action plan including who to contact in case.. and have it in the register or somewhere to hand... shows you have thought about it , and lets all know what to do if it happened to be you the one who had to go..

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I do wonder how settings with only 2 people (regardless of numbers) cope at times, it must become quite stressful when a child needs individual care, or just taking a phone call, and I take my hat off to you all, I'd love my staff to give it a go, maybe they'd realise how lucky they are, we usually run with 1 staff member more than necessary and there are still times I step in to make group times easier, help with free flow ratios or to just mop up a spillage, but you obviously manage well, but what happens if a child has an accident that requires one staff to look after the child and worse case scenario one to be contacting emergency services/parent, who then looks after the other children, could you use a parent rota to help, or offer your setting for student rotations, we always seem to have someone asking if they could do placement whilst doing college courses and they don't cost anything, and there are also working regulations regarding breaks. Hope you find a solution

 

 

Posts crossed, sorry for repeated bits.

Edited by mouse63
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We have tried finding students but due to our location it is difficult- no bus routes near to us etc.

 

I have an answerphone service on my phone and will only answer calls from children's parents during sessions other than that I will call people back later.

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i used to run with 2 many years ago ...often with a parent helper in addition. The issue i now have with it is that if one of you needs to go you would not be covered even with a parent helper because they are not qualified (unless they are?...childminders/teachers etc??). It is a really difficult one because on that amount of children you would be running at a huge loss if you had 3

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So if you want , you could for your own peace of mind draw up an emergency action plan including who to contact in case.. and have it in the register or somewhere to hand... shows you have thought about it , and lets all know what to do if it happened to be you the one who had to go..

 

This is great advice :1b

 

Wondered klc do have any childminders in your area who might step in when you need to attend your training? Or have you asked your SIP or EYAT if they have any suggestions?

 

Just a quick edit to say - that would have to be 'just until parents can collect', you couldn't 'finish' the session - in my humble......sorry I'm referring to the scenario in which one of you have had to leave in an 'emergency' situation........

Edited by sunnyday
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  • 1 year later...

Hi.was wondering klc how things are with your setting as we are operating the same as you with 2 staff but we can take 16 children. Issue for me is that after Easter I am supposed to have two send children everyday (we are mornings only) and although one will get 1.5 hrs funding everyday for staff 1:1 the other loses his funding with us as will be doing school in the afternoons ( going to talk to area senco). Both have physical needs and I keep thinking how as a staff team we are going to manage just the two of us. I have risk assessments in place for when one staff has to sort accident, toileting etc but like you we are relatively open plan with two staff within shouting distance is open doors hatch in kitchen. We only take children 3 y and above. I am concerned about fire safety as supposed to be a staff member for each send child, we are in hall with limited storage for two pushchairs, storage for extra equipment. What else should I be concerned about. One child is going through a hitting stage and with toileting, free flow outside it seems more about care and supervision for us. I'm just worrying for all my children. Plus we are rural location and also have supply staff issues. No money for extra staff especially as come sept at the moment I lose all my children to school! I am able to accept 20 children its just we haven't gone over 16 to mean getting in a third and who would only want to do the odd day for a term? Nightmare!

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What would happen if you say that you may be unable to ensure the children's welfare if not getting financial support for one extra member of staff during the time the children with SEND attend? We must welcome all, but also meet the needs of all. Small settings can't be as flexible with staff deployment as larger ones, which is why they may not be suitable for children with needs that require continuous extra attention. Possibly some parents choose smaller settings because they think their child will get more individual attention, but the ratios may be the same.

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We did have a child a couple of years ago who was on the autistic spectrum. This proved very difficult for us with it being just the 2 of us. I didn't feel we was able to give her the support she needed or the other children. We applied for 1:1 funding for this child and although it left us at a big loss profit wise I don't think we would have managed otherwise.

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We have tried finding students but due to our location it is difficult- no bus routes near to us etc.

 

I have an answerphone service on my phone and will only answer calls from children's parents during sessions other than that I will call people back later.[/quot

I too am going to have to do this. I also find it diffîcult when others come in to visit eg other professionals, area senco, potential new parents as I am unable to give my full attention to them or the children

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