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Head-counting children


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Hi All,

Just looking for some advice.

My setting has started offering free flow play between inside and outside. We are reviewing our practices right now and I am wondering if there are any tried and tested ways in which you can keep track of how many children are in an area at any one time? (Bar getting them to stay still and counting them!)

How often do you do head counts of children and are they mainly done when children are moving from one area of the building to another plus at arrival and departure times?

Does anyone have any fun ways to head count the children that involves them more?

If the children are using two separate areas how do you keep track that all the children in the whole setting are present if you cant leave the room to check?

Any advise or thoughts appreciated.


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we have registers going at the beginnning and end of each session. As the children take off their shoes and line them up we know how many are in/out, however i do not continually check. My garden is secure i know which children i need to keep a close eye on and they free flow without difficulty. We have staff inside and out so i don't feel we need to keep checking...our Lea advisor at one time suggested the children could go in the garden on their ownO.o ...i hasten to add that they don't!!!  we have walkie talkies to use if needed and we try to stick to a reasonable amount of children in each persons care but i don't overly supervise this. However this works for our setting, the children we have and the layout. You would need to ensure your systems are safe and secure for your setting.

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Our children self register when they arrive, taking their name card off the office door and put it on a board in the main room.  If they go outside they then put the same name card on the back door so we can see how many are outside. It's not perfect as they sometimes forget but generally it works well.

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