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Staff ratios and qualifications

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Hi, just wondering what you all think with regard to a staffing issue that I've been mulling over for a while.

we are a nursery with 2 rooms that are adjacent with interconnecting door. the door is open during session times with a stair gate across. One room has 2 year olds the other 3/4 year olds.

I look at each room separately in terms of ratios, so for example if I only had 6 children in 2 year olds I'd have 2 staff and if I had 10 in 3/4 year olds I'd have 2 staff in there as well. If we were all together in one room with those numbers I could have 1 less member of staff but we like the 2 rooms and so do our parents. However, it costs to do this and I'm wondering if there are times when we are over staffed. I don't want to scrimp on safety or the quality of care we offer and I'm very aware of safeguarding issue, toileting etc but would appreciate your thought/comments on the following

1. do you think it is ok when the numbers dictate that a staff member is 'on their own' in a room with a small group ? e.g. say I had 2 staff in with eight 2 year olds and only 1 staff in adjacent room with five or six 3/4 year olds. or would you always have 2 staff in each room? i'm just about to face a situation like this on a couple of afternoons and not sure what to do.

2 when it comes to looking at staff qualifications the Statutory Framework says 1 staff at level 3 and at least half of remaining staff with at least level 2. Would you look at this across the nursery as a whole or within each room? e.g. if I had 2 level 3 staff in the 2 year old room could I have 1 level 3 staff in 3/4 year old room along with an unqualified (but very reliable, trusted and in training) staff member? if I was looking across the nursery as a whole I'd be fine in this scenario but not if I look at each room individually.

what do you think?

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I would always prefer to have two staff in a room- maybe one could be completing learning journeys or planning if the group is so small? She would then be on call for anything such as toileting, etc.

In terms of staff qualifications, this is across your whole setting, not within each room. :1b

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We have 1 room and take children from 2yrs so have a mix of ages. the older ones enjoy looking after the younger ones who in turn learn from the older ones.

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Guest youngrisers

agree with Sue R we have one classroom and our age range is 2 -4.5 years so a real mix bag of children all sizes all ages. We ensure that there are 4 plus staff per session to work with 24 children. Qualifications range from degree level to level 3 among the staff so we are covered under the welfare requirements.

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