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We introduced breaks last year (staff work 8.45 - 3.15) and we have 20 minutes. They start at 10.45/11 and if we are fortunate enough to have an extra member of staff or parent in,we overlap the last/first 5 minutes so we get them done in an hour.

We have our lunch with the children, so it's not a lunch break, it's a required rest break as we work over 6 hours.

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Working over the 6 hours is when you are entitled to a break - 20 mins minimum is what I think the current one is.. and I know many settings do not work more than 6 hours in a day.. sitting with the children for lunch does not count as a break.. it needs to be away from the children. It can also be unpaid.. so able employ someone and pay for the cover needed..

That said it is just a break sometime during the day, need not all be lunch time and can be any time , we used to sit with the children for lunch but have a chance at a 20 min break during the day.. because of our staffing levels one leaving kept the ratio above the legal requirement.. particularly when we had a EYP/T working and never used the 1:13 ratio except when we could not find the satff to cover . We also had some staff change over at midday, so we could have an overlap there if needed..

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My staff have 30 minutes. Personally when I work all day I prefer to have a shorter time away from children for a coffee and to eat my lunch with the children. I do think that we deserve a break after working with the children and would not dream of expecting anyone to work without a break even if they do less than the six hours.

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