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Hi

We currently take up to 24 children and these include 2 year olds. We ensure we are in ratio by having 4 members of staff. The problems occur when we are offering free-flow to outside as we can not predict where the children will be and if we have for example 6 children outside, including a 2 year old, we need 2 members of staff, this however could leave 18 children inside so they are out of ratio. How do other settings handle this situation?

 

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the ratio is set over the whole setting and the staff available to work. It is fine (as long as you deem safe) for you to be over ratio inside or out as long as the amount is correct over the setting.

 

One thing I have seen done in mixed ratio settings is providing hi viz 'vests' for the under threes which just highlights them if you are nervous (...I don't have an issue with my 2's but they are at least 2.5 when they start

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Yep this can be a problem for many settings. We unfortunately have to have set times for outdoor times :( - but Ofsted didn't have a problem with it. (recently inspected and gained a Good grade)

 

The main reason we have set times, is partly due to ratios as mentioned, but also we have concrete steps from our back door into the play area, so it really isn't safe for younger children to "come and go" .. but as long as children have access to outdoor play once a day all is good.

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We used to have set times but have been fortunate to have a lovely new garden area create which lends itself to free flow and we generally find this a lot easier especially when the weather is bad and we have to put on coats and wellingtons, they children are not waiting around.

When you have set times do all the children go out together or can they stay inside? We only do one afternoon a week with less children and three members of staff and tend to go out as a group during this time.

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Hi. As Finleysmaid said - you staff for the numbers of children/ages that you have and then it is about those staff being deployed best...We have 2-5 year olds (around 30 a session) and on different days we may have 5, 6 or 7 staff depending upon the ages in. We free flow to an 'indoor' garden and the only stipulation I have is that there are 2 members of staff in there in case of emergencies - someone to go for help if needed.

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Thanks, That was my thinking. We also look at what children are where and staff appropriately. Just wanted double check.others did the same.

we have a set of walkie talkies which helps if we are out there on our own...or if we have to send a message. We have a mobile first aid bum bag for outside so that we can sort out small issues

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