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Ratio Adults To Children What Do Others Do


Guest alisonjayne
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Guest alisonjayne

I would like to take the children from our Nursery across a very small back road to a wooded area and want some advice on ratios. We are going to go straight out of the school gates and across this road to the woods, our outings policy states we would have a ratio of 2:1 would we need to follow this just to go over this road? Please could others tell me what their policies are, as it will be so difficult to get so many adults in to help.

thanks in advance

Alison :)

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This has been discussed before, maybe a search will help.

 

There are guidelines but I don't think ratio's are written "in law" so to speak. Our preschool is based in a housing estate and we have daily local walks to the nearby shops, postbox, play park, around the houses and beach. Each walk has different risks, so we do a quick risk assessment prior to the walk with consideration of the children we have going with us; their known behaviour, their disposition, the number of children in the group, the age range (2-5 yrs), consideration of child with disability requiring adult 1-1 outside etc. Some walks include crossing a "residential" road ( which has risks but is also a very good learning opportunity).

 

With consideration to these factors, we decide whether the risk outways the "benefit" of the activity, and helps us to decide what ratio of adults to children is required to maintain childrens safety. Our highest ratio has been 1-5.

 

Sorry, I don't think there is a black and white answer to your query. Professional judgement, childrens safety as paramount and covering your backs :o Whatever ratio you decide be sure that you can justify your decision is relevant and meets the National standards requirement and health & safety and child protection laws.

 

Peggy

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p.s. The risk assessment should take into account if there is enough adults to deal with emergencies- lost child, injured child etc.

 

Peggy

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We maintain a ratio of 2:1 at all times. This decision is purely down to me as owner. We are situated on a naval base and never leave the establishment. But considering such things as terrorist alerts and the live firing range i think this is for the best!!

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Also 2-1, probably as said back to SServices days-- (thing is I was on an army base then and we were able to do 1-6 safely, no roads, enclosed area, foot patrols....how things change)

 

Inge

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On the whole we maintain a 2:1 ratio for outings. We are taking the children for a walk to the local railway station and a supermarket in a couple of weeks and will have 2:1.

Having said that the older children went for a short walk a couple of weeks ago and we had a 4:1 then. But they only went out in a group of 8 with 2 adults and it wasn't very far-just to the local shops. I wouldn't have done this with our younger children and certainly not with a large group.

Linda

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we always worked on the "one adult: two hands" ratio as well,

 

though I remember social service suggesting that 1:3 would be acceptable if group was mainly older nursery children, they also suggested that we ask for parent voluteers to help increase staff ratios for outings.

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Hi

 

I've always worked on 1:2 ratio as well, exept when nursery had tripple buggies for the babies, so 1:3 was safe. I think especcially if you are crossing roads then one adult, two hands is important, as it's safer to hold the childrens hands whilst crossing, just incase they see something interesting and make a break for it! :o

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Our is 1:3 but sometimes I try to get a 1:2 volunteers permitting. Walking in the woods can be fun but can also be highly stressful - issues to consider are - roaming dogs - dog pooh - strangers - tree roots continually tripping the children, nettle stings, toadstools, prickles at head height, ponds and streams to mention but a few - the children love it - I have to say I would if it weren't so stressful - and everytime we go out I remember the Dee Heyday article on counting children!! I too have to ask someone to double check my numbers all the time. I think you really need to be aware of all sorts of things out there - so good luck and recruit as many helpers as you can. Children will explore the environment and I think its important that they do - there is however a certain amount of risk with everything but perhaps more so in an outdoor environment where you cannot control everything.

Nikki

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