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Ratios For Mixed Age Groups In Pre-school Settings


Clare
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My new setting currently has 20 children on register. Of these 20 children, 5 are under 3. I understand how to work out ratios when the age groups are split, but when they are mixed together, I totally lose the plot! I really want to get this right, as I'm in my new job, so if anyone can shed some light as to how ratios are calculated for mixed age ranges, I would be really grateful!

 

Also, my boss seems to think that because we are a pre-school, we do not need to work within the BTTM framework, even though we have 2-3 year olds. Am I right in thinking that we SHOULD be working within both the FS and BTTMF?

 

Clare

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Your ratios should be 1:4 for under threes and 1:8 for over no matter if they are separate or together.

As for birth to three you should have regard to it for your very youngest children. We take children from 2 years 9 months and use it. Some children will still need to be on this when they turn three because of maturity levels etc. This is why when the new curriculum comes into being it should make life easier because, hopefully, it will be seamless.

Linda

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Thanks Linda. I wasn't sure as I've never had to deal with that kind of thing before. I knew the ratios for particular age groups in different rooms and I didn't want to look silly in my new job, so thanks for your help!

 

As for the BTTM thing, I was pretty sure I was right. I'll have to push the point home over the next couple of weeks!!

 

Clare

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We are a preschool/playgroup and take children from 2 upwards and recently had an Ofsted Inspection. Our numbers of two year olds is increasing and the Ofsted Inspector said we will be inpsected on it at our next inspection and it will be an action for us to develop.

It took me a while to work out ratios when I first started at my current setting not being used to two year olds.

 

Sue

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The ratio for the number you have would be 5 x under 3's = 2 staff, 15 x over 3's = 2 staff ( if you had 16 it would be 3) total for 20 children = 4 staff.

 

Some people work it out by putting older into younger groups ie:

20 children - 3 under 3's & 17 over 3. One over 3 counted with the under 3's = 4 children=1 staff and 16 over 3's left = 2 staff total -3 staff altogether. I don't know how Ofsted would view this, maybe others use these calculations and it is ok. I personally would have 4 staff (3 staff for 17 x 3+yr olds and 1 staff for the 3 x 2+ yr olds)

 

Hope that didn't confuse too much at this late hour :oxD

 

Peggy

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That's pretty much how we did it, Peggy. We book the under 3s in in blocks of 4. The difficulty comes when they turn 3, trying to make sure there's space for them as over 3s yet sometimes still having to try & ensure a flow of under 3s if the business is to be viable.

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Peggy, why does it become 3 members of staff for 16 over 3's? I thought the ratio was 1:8 so that would mean 2 staff.

Linda

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We have 20 children per session,

we always have at least 4 staff (increasing to 5 if and when needed) which normally covers the child ratio what ever combination of 2,3,4 year olds are present during the session,

 

when calculating the ratio we dont group the children by age, or blocks of 4, we count the children in the session (counting the 2 year olds twice) and then divide the total by 8.

 

we are limited to no more than 12 under three's per session. is that the same for every one?

 

have fun with the combination of B23 and FS my head hurts from trying to demonstrate both are in place in the sessions. I will be sooooooo glad when a combined curriculum is introduced!

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Alison, that is a very straightforward way of working out mixed aged ratios. One which I had not thought of before.

 

We have 26 children per session and 4 members of staff. We can have no more than 6 under 3's.

 

Thanks for that. Very helpful

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Peggy, why does it become 3 members of staff for 16 over 3's? I thought the ratio was 1:8 so that would mean 2 staff.

Linda

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AHA, you spotted my deliberate mistake..just checking you are paying attention. :o ( tongue in cheek) it would be 3 staff if there were 17 over 3's.

 

Peggy

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We have no limit as to how many under 3's we can have. It all depends on how many staff we have of course but we could, technically, have 20 under 3's as we have 5 members of staff each day. I wonder why there are these differences in areas? Is it OFSTED that have made this stipulation?

Linda

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We have 20 children per session, 

we always have at least 4 staff (increasing to 5 if and when needed) which normally covers the child ratio what ever combination of 2,3,4 year olds are present during the session,

 

when calculating the ratio we dont group the children by age, or blocks of 4, we count the children in the session (counting the 2 year olds twice) and then divide the total by 8.

 

we are limited to no more than 12 under three's per session. is that the same for every one?

 

have fun with the combination of B23 and FS my head hurts from trying to demonstrate both are in place in the sessions. I will be sooooooo glad when a combined curriculum is introduced!

50951[/snapback]

 

 

What I good simple way to calculate ratio's. Thanks.

 

Peggy

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