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Ratios help please


muddy
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I am a childminder but am looking to expand and open a small nursery. I will be offering care from birth-school age and then before and after school club.

I will have the children all in the same room so how will a mixture of ages work with regards to ratios?

 

As a childminder it is clear that I can have a maximum of 6 children under the age of 8, a maximum of 3 children from birth to school age and of those 3 only 1 child can be under the age of 1.

 

I am struggling to find information on a maximum amount of children for nursery staff when the ages are mixed. I know what the individual age group ratios are, so this would be simple if I was having separate rooms, but how many of each age can 1 person have in their ratio at one time?

 

please someone help me before my head explodes :huh:

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At the moment as a childminder on a typical day I currently have (with an assistant) 1x under 1 1x 1 year old, 1x 2 year olds and 3x 3year olds. So 6 between us in total.

It's so clear for a childminder what ages and how many we can have at any one time but doesn't seem to be for mixed ages in a nursery (unless I'm completely missing something haha).

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You can mix e.g I have 6 other staff members on a Monday. I have 8 two year olds= 2 staff. I also have 32 three/four year olds=4 staff. I do not count myself in the ratios. If I had one more child of any age I would be counted in ratios. Good luck with your new venture.

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There was a brilliant grid on here a few months ago that helped work out how many 2, 3 and 4 year olds you could have with so many adults. Don't think it included younger children. Maybe someone could add link????

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My understanding of it is 1:3 under twos, 1:4 twos and 1:8 (1:13 QTS / EYT) threes and over.

 

So for each member of staff could have either three under twos, four twos, or eight threes, however if you had mixed ages within that you have to go to highest ratio as Mouseketeer says eg two under twos with one three, two twos with two threes etc. So under your current numbers with two of you one of you could have two under twos and one three year old and the other could have the three threes plus another five threes or the three threes plus one two.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

Good luck!

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  • 1 year later...

query - do / should you always have two staff in each room however many children (or would staff in another room nearby / adjoining be able to count...so say four 2 yr olds in one room with one staff an eight 3/4 year olds in another with their staff....if that's the case and would you then have the two as minimum 'working directly with children' with a floater for when those staff need to leave the room for any reason?

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Just a quick thought, i noticed that you said you will be having children from birth upwards and they would all be in one room. Is it possible to rearrange this? In the EYFS it says that you should have a separate room for the under 2's (3.59) just wanted to make sure you were aware of this as it is different for childminders and wouldn't want you to get all set up and ready to go and then find out later. Good luck with your new venture!

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query - do / should you always have two staff in each room however many children (or would staff in another room nearby / adjoining be able to count...so say four 2 yr olds in one room with one staff an eight 3/4 year olds in another with their staff....if that's the case and would you then have the two as minimum 'working directly with children' with a floater for when those staff need to leave the room for any reason?

Personally, and I agree that the Statutory Framework is open to some interpretation, I wouldn't be happy to have staff on their own in a room - from a safeguarding point of view I think it is far from best practice. Additionally, what if that member of staff suddenly became unwell and was incapacitated in some way? I think it would be slightly different if the rooms were open plan and the staff could see each other and talk to each other. Your member of staff will need to change nappies at some point and will have to take focus away from the other children in the room whilst they are busy. Even if another 'float' member of staff comes in to do the nappy or play with the other children that doesn't foster good KP relationships or continuity of play. It's a 'no no' from me.

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I think it is far from best practice. .. that doesn't foster good KP relationships or continuity of play.

 

yes I totally agree...it might be a simpler / cheaper option but working like this on absolute minimum ratios staff can really only be supervising...I asked because I've seen it done this way..adjoining rooms (not always though), and wondered if it was a common approach ...but never liked it.

I always go back to the statement about ratios being for those 'working directly with children'...so there has to be someone to account for all the other things like nappies, tidying, cleaning, talking to parents on collection etc....without that I think there is an awful strain on the staff and not enough responsiveness for the children

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