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Can anyone direct me to where in the EYFS it states a preschool/nursery has to have a minimum of 2 people on site at all times - I have read and re-read but cannot see it - in ratios it repeats a minimum of one person for 4 children etc. I agree good practice would be to have 2 people but just wanted to find it in black and white. Childminders can be on their own, what is the difference?

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I wouldn't work alone in a preschool/nursery setting - things like taking children to toilet / changing nappies etc., would be impossible as these areas are usually in a different part of the building and also ensuring no other persons can access the building. I would also worry about being unwell / children being unwell.having accident etc., and being stuck somewhere on my own .

I think a minimum of two staff is necessary but must be hard sometimes with money/funding etc.,

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I agree blondie - my scenario is I have one child who needs care between 3 and 4 and I am really struggling to balance the books at the moment - with two members of staff I am making a loss of £14 an hour on wages alone to facilitate the need but if I say no I lose a potential of 40 hours payment. A member of staff asked the question why do you need 2 members of staff when childminders don't - so I looked at the EYFS and can't see where it says we have to have 2 members of staff on premises. All of the potential problems you mention are the same for a childminder so I am just trying to clarify if being in a setting is different.

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It must be very hard but could you use this time better?

Is it you and another member of staff or two other staff members?

If it is two other staff members then you could cut this down to one by being available (in the room etc) if needed.

Can you use it for planning, book time, updating policies etc., - it might then mean that time is freed up during the day for others to do their planning, book time etc., - it won't solve the problem but might make you feel that the time is being used more productively?

alternatively can you promote these hours to other parents - make them think about the benefits - small group etc., and perhaps invite them to try out this extra hour?

It must also be hard on the child in question as no matter how well they get on with the staff member children do like to be with other children.

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I am interested to see that a lot of people have read this post but nobody has been able to confirm this is the case? - Is it a myth that we all abide by? As I have said before I agree it is good practice to have two members of staff and having just one is not really an option I would want to take but with budgets being cut it may be something to consider.

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Hi hopeytg I thought I had responded but must have imagined it...oops I seem to do that a lot these days.

anyway the requirement for two people at all times was in the original 2008 EYFS but was then taken out when the framework was revised..I think most people just remember that it was there.


The statutory framework talks of keeping children safe etc but does not specify that two people must be on premises at all times. You would I think need to risk assess for something that is likely to be a regular event. So, what would you do if yourself or the child fell ill, had an accident etc. Childminders do of course do this all the time but then if they work from home they probably have a neighbour or a nearby friend they could call on in an emergency. Who would you have?

As blonde said, also think what this is like for the child. How do they feel being on their own?

There a couple of options worth trying, as blondie suggested

get a few more children to take the extra hours

use the time for administration yourself or others tasks eg ones you would otherwise take home!

ask other local settings if you can join forces if they are in a similar position

give up the hour, perhaps making an alternative arrangement for the family eg a local childminder?


Ultimately the decision is yours, lots for you to think about!

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group provision is regulated differently to childminders. The statutory framework does indeed talk about keeping children safe (and that ofsted can change the ratios in order to do this.) also it constantly talks about staff ratios as being 'x' needs y and HALF of the other staff etc. This would suggest that there would always be more than one I think

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