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How to manage nursery with just two staff


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Help please!

opening a new school based nursery in September and have been told that we will only have two staff for two of the days to manage 26 children per session.

I know this just fits the ratios as one will be a teacher and the other an EYP but what to do?

One adult inside / one outside. What happens when a child needs changing? Gets in a mess? Need to do a group but no one to supervise the rest? etc.

How do the rest of you get buy with just two adults.

Also not happy about lone changing of children.

Which procedures are you following.

Thanks all.




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As you won't have two-year-olds, I assume that there aren't many to change.

We change children standing whilst having other children within sight and hearing, looking up whilst getting another wipe etc.

There are organisations that seek opportunities for volunteers in settings, or perhaps there are some parents who are happy to be engaged. It might work, if you give these helper clear jobs, particularly with regards to practicalities so you can focus on the children.

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Good luck. No disrespect to you or any other provision that works this way but, how do the rules allow one setting to have 26 children with two adults and another (like ours) to need four adults for the same children? I know it's all about qualifications but it should also be about the practicalities of supporting these young children. We regularly have 3 and 4 year olds in nappies. As Wildflowers suggested try to get more 'bodies' in the classroom - parent helpers, student placements - especially in those first few weeks whilst you get to know the children and their needs.

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I would suggest maybe visiting some other nursery classes in your area who are similarly staffed to pick their brains a bit. Could you go in your PPA time?


It's not easy but it in a time when school budgets are stretched having the minimum ratio/qualification staffing will become the norm. Already primary classes are operating with 1:30 because of cuts.

Also under Teachers pay and conditions the teacher as a QT is ultimately responsible for all the required work that comes with being a teacher above and beyond legislation linked to what year group they are currently teaching in.

It's not easy but you will find that there is a happy medium - maybe you all have to be outside at reasonably fixed times and you can't be all free flow. There is nothing in the EYFS documentation that requires free flow so you may have to be a bit more practical with access to outdoors for example.

Changing children - there is nothing that requires there to be two adults - you are all DBS checked and as long as your routines are clear and you have sensible checks such as recording the change etc then you are OK.


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