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Hi,

I have searched the internet and cannot find any recent answers to this and the framework isn't clear and myself as the owner and the manager both have a different view (don't worry not an issue just that we need to know who is right so we can plan)!

Can you mix age ratios within one member of staff? For example one member to 2 x 2yr olds and 2 x 3 yr olds?

Or

One member of staff per age group using the current ratios

or

Look at the setting as a whole and count the two year olds twice (in effect mixing the ratios per staff member).

Hair pulling!!!

 

Many thanks if you can find anything recent and written down in laymans terms!

xx

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You can have one adult to one 2 year old and three 3 year olds / two 2 year olds and two 3 year olds / three 2 year olds and one 3 year old / four 2 year olds and no more. When we check ratios we start with the 2 year olds and add on from there.

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Guest Nuby

We will be having mixed ratios in our new setting and because our building is open plan and purpose built, it allows for mixed ratios as all the staff will be in the same space most of the time...so one member of staff can have a 0-2, 2-3 and a 3-5....Following post as interested in other opinions too.....

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Well my thinking was you could have one 2 year old and 6 3 year olds to one staff member as a 2 year old is effectively '2' three year olds. Then people on here said no! It was only a technicality for us but that's how I had always thought of it. I have tried to find out exactly what the rules are as it's open to interpretation and no one including ofsted will give me a definitive answer so good luck trying to get one! I personally think it's crazy that you can't have a one year old and three 4 year olds to one person yet you can have four 2 year olds!

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Well my thinking was you could have one 2 year old and 6 3 year olds to one staff member as a 2 year old is effectively '2' three year olds.

That's what we do and always have done, so I hope it's correct.

It's crazy that the powers that be won't give you a straight answer!

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Somebody on here generated a really useful grid a few years back and I have it on the computer. I'll see if I can upload it when I'm on next ( just switched it off after doing reports)

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All 2 year olds must be in a ratio of 1-4, you are not allowed to double them to add them into the 1-8 ratio... sorry! Wish we could though :(

So if I have 7 2 year olds and 20 3 year olds I need two members of staff for my 2 year olds; I've got one space left so I put a 3 year old in that group; which leaves me with 19 3 year olds - so i'd need 3 staff to cover them - 5 altogether :)

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I cant find anything written down but maybe stick to the ratios 1 to4 on 2 year olds 1 to 8 on 3 and 4 year olds.

think its a bit silly when I have only got 2 two year oldss so thats 1 member of staff. We are in an open plan room and staff see to all children.

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I cant find anything written down but maybe stick to the ratios 1 to4 on 2 year olds 1 to 8 on 3 and 4 year olds.

think its a bit silly when I have only got 2 two year oldss so thats 1 member of staff. We are in an open plan room and staff see to all children.

It's important to know though, as we wouldn't want to refuse a child age three to join the group because we're unsure, if having 3 two-year olds and 7 three-year-olds.

Edited by Wildflowers
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3.30. The ratio and qualification requirements below apply to the total number of staff

available to work directly with children

Early years providers (other than childminders)

3.31. For children aged under two:

 there must be at least one member of staff for every three children;



3.32. For children aged two:

 there must be at least one member of staff for every four children;




(19

Ofsted may determine that providers must observe a higher staff:child ratio than outlined here to ensure

the safety and welfare of children. )

For 3 year olds.....

when Early Years Teacher Status or another suitable level 6 qualification is not working

directly with the children:

 there must be at least one member of staff for every eight children;




This is what the statutory framework says (edited by me!)

It is clear to me that the ratios are set. There is little room for misunderstanding because if you have a 2+ year old they MUST be in at least a 1-4 ratio ...even if the other children are older it will not matter , they still HAVE to be in at least a 1-4 etc. You must of course ensure the childrens safety so you may need a better ratio if your premises are complex or when on outings



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Did have this conversation with an inspector when she was with us a while ago now using the previous EYFS, but wording has changed little since then.

She did say that if you have a mixed ratio you have to have a 1 to 4 for the 2 year olds.. you cannot cut children or staff into halves or add them together.. if there is a 2yr old a ratio of 1 to 4 can be of mixed ages so the adult has just 4 children allocated to her.. even if only 1 is 2yrs and the others are 3... if you do not do this you will be in the wrong ratio . She was very clear about it. I asked as we didn't have 2yr olds at the time and were considering it.. but staffing was a big issue .

I did have a friend who worked as many of you seem to be doing in splitting an adult between the 2 ratios.. so 6 over 3 and 2 under.. this came about because she was using a points system allocated to children and staff... she had a really bad Ofsted inspection and result as they were not at all happy with it and said she was operating illegally and was out of ratio without clearing it with them... they did say (at that time ) that it is sometimes possible if a child is due to turn 3 in that term...

So those of you who are operating this way be aware that it could cause issues if Ofsted turn up.

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We never operate this way, as always have at least one staff member over what's needed for ratios so when it's worked out as you say Inge it's still fine. How I thought of it would never allow 6 over 3 and 2 under anyway as you've mentioned, that would clearly not be ok!? But I always used to think of it as stated above with a two year old being two 3 year olds and got the impression that aslong as ratios over whole nursery were ok then this was fine - although ofsted would not definitively say yes or no!!! It's annoying as having one 2 year old makes a big difference, especially if you are just waiting for them to turn 3!!!!

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I agree that the ratio when considering a two year old needs to be within that of a 1-4. But I don't believe that you need just one member of staff for that 2 year old and another for the 3 x 3yr olds that you may have. I interpret the framework that as long as that two year old is within a total ratio of four children then I that's fine. Surely otherwise the framework would say

For children over two there must be one member for four two year olds. Not four children?

 

Maybe we need a vote?

x

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I agree that the ratio when considering a two year old needs to be within that of a 1-4. But I don't believe that you need just one member of staff for that 2 year old and another for the 3 x 3yr olds that you may have. I interpret the framework that as long as that two year old is within a total ratio of four children then I that's fine. Surely otherwise the framework would say

For children over two there must be one member for four two year olds. Not four children?

 

Maybe we need a vote?

x

urmmm is that not what i said????? you are absolutely correct it is ONE member of staff for 4 children even if 1,2,3,or 4 of them that are two

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Yes you did finsleymaid, I was replying to another post, but it seems to have been deleted, she said that they never mix ratios hence why I said maybe we need a vote. However its now gone so maybe we don't!x

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