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Staffing Ratio's In The Morning And Evening


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HI

 

i work in a day nursery that opens at 7:30 and closes at 6.

 

we have two members of staff open up at 7:30.

another comes in at 8, another at 8:15, another (one or two) at 8:30 and the rest at 9.

finishing shifts work at 2 going at 4:30 That would be the two that opened up!, then one (or two) going at 5, another at 5:15, another at 5:30 and the rest on till six..

 

graduated arrival and departure times!....

 

but children don't always arrive in that way. some days we may have no children at 7:30 - 8 other days we can have 8 + aged from babies to pre-school, and this number obviously grows as more children arrive.....

 

children also leave at varying times

 

but what we are noticing is that we are under staffed in the morning (for a short period till all staff arrive) and under staffed in the evening, again as staff start to leave but children don't!

 

so how do you organise your shifts to stay in ratio at all times?

 

the only two suggestions we have had so far is to ask staff to work longer days (four days a week ~ still to total 40 hours) and to have a day off a week.

or for us to have a long and short day pattern... ie one day work 7:30 - 5:30 or 8 - 6 and then another day to work a shorter pattern still to total 40 hours a week...

 

or to continue as we are but be under staffed at certain times, which is not ideal really.

 

any ideas?

 

Dawn

 

(oh employing someone else is out of the question, as between 9 - 4:30 we are staffed fine!)

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We have done a 2 week trial of the 4 day week with a day off, and the beginning and end of the day have been a dream - and practice has shot up.

 

I got a working group started before we trialled it, and they sorted out how they'd like it to be, and how it would improve practrice (and safety) - so it all came from them.

 

The only problems I see are when there are holidays or sickness, and someone has their day off. Also, it has made staff lunches a bit more difficult - but practice wise it's great.

 

Why don't you trial it too? We couldn't see any other way.

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Shelley, how do you manage to give your staff a day off, i mean how do you cover it?, and how many staff do you have of on any one day?. For it to work for us we would have to have two staff of a day.....

do you give yourself a day off too (or is that a daft question!!!!)

 

Dawn

 

 

 

We have done a 2 week trial of the 4 day week with a day off, and the beginning and end of the day have been a dream - and practice has shot up.

 

I got a working group started before we trialled it, and they sorted out how they'd like it to be, and how it would improve practrice (and safety) - so it all came from them.

 

The only problems I see are when there are holidays or sickness, and someone has their day off. Also, it has made staff lunches a bit more difficult - but practice wise it's great.

 

Why don't you trial it too? We couldn't see any other way.

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It's still in the early stages. I have stuck to the 5 day week (unfair!), and we have either 1 or 2 staff off a day, and I cover if necessary. It has meant that I am finding it hard to get my managerial duties done, but practice has certainly improved.

 

I don't know if it will work in the long run, but I know that I don't want us to go back to how it was before, with a few staff on at either end of the day, and a 'crowd control' type environment.

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Hi Dawn

When you say understaffed do you mean not keeping to the ratios? You can't afford to not be within the ratios for your registration or your insurance.

What do your staff prefer? Not being in full time nursery I don't have this problem but I do discuss with staff if we need to make any adjustments and explain why they need to be made. We then, hopefully, come to an agreement that suits us all.

Hope you manage to sort this out.

Linda

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HI Linda

 

 

some staff are all for the four day week, others don't care as long as they get paid hee hee.... :o

 

my deputy informs me that i can not make staff do a long day, then a short day to balance out the hours across the week (not too sure if she is right or not).. or if its a case of she does not want to do a long then a short day.....

 

yes when i say understaffed i do mean not keeping to the ratio's. I imagine this is probably a problem for most day nurseries either side of the day!

 

 

Hi Dawn

When you say understaffed do you mean not keeping to the ratios? You can't afford to not be within the ratios for your registration or your insurance.

What do your staff prefer? Not being in full time nursery I don't have this problem but I do discuss with staff if we need to make any adjustments and explain why they need to be made. We then, hopefully, come to an agreement that suits us all.

Hope you manage to sort this out.

Linda

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Not sure what your deputy is saying, as long as your staff do their contracted hours - it doesn't matter how they work them. You also need to think about when lunch breaks are taken if they do longer days.

 

There are other implications too, e.g. if there is a bank holiday, they should in theory be entitled to their day off also!!

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poor you on a five day week still when everyone else gets four....

 

i must say that although i can definetly see how practice will have improved and it is no longer 'crowd control' at the start/end of the day (as it currently is at my nursery!) i can't afford to have to cover in rooms ona regular basis, obvioulsy i cover when needed but still there doesn't seem enough time to get the office stuff sorted (maybe that is my poor time management!). but you probably know yourself you get a phone call that takes ages to deal with, you have nursery viewings, you have to do the nursery shopping, attend meetings etc etc,... those things i couldn't do if i had to be in a room, and in order to give each member of staff a day of a week i would have to be in a room each day,... so office work would be coming home with me.... and i know im commited, but gee im not that commited LOL.

 

hmmmmm, kind of stuffed on this one i think, but i do need to do something.

 

 

It's still in the early stages. I have stuck to the 5 day week (unfair!), and we have either 1 or 2 staff off a day, and I cover if necessary. It has meant that I am finding it hard to get my managerial duties done, but practice has certainly improved.

 

I don't know if it will work in the long run, but I know that I don't want us to go back to how it was before, with a few staff on at either end of the day, and a 'crowd control' type environment.

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My friend has just qualified at level 2 CCE. She worked in a day nursery for her placement and at the end of it, she was offered a few hours every day for purely this reason. The nursery was under ratio at the start and end of the day. All through the holidays she either went in the morning for a few hours or at the end of the day to keep numbers up and to gain valuable experience.

 

She is now doing her DCE but on the days when she can, she will go in and work for them.

 

Maybe this is something you could consider? Or the other alternative is to use students (obviously over 17) who are looking for work placements. That way they don't have to be paid :o

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Students can't be counted in the ratio though, so althougha good idea it wouldn't work.... but i think i may ask some of our students to do an early so that they get to experience the start of the day.

 

 

 

My friend has just qualified at level 2 CCE. She worked in a day nursery for her placement and at the end of it, she was offered a few hours every day for purely this reason. The nursery was under ratio at the start and end of the day. All through the holidays she either went in the morning for a few hours or at the end of the day to keep numbers up and to gain valuable experience.

 

She is now doing her DCE but on the days when she can, she will go in and work for them.

 

Maybe this is something you could consider? Or the other alternative is to use students (obviously over 17) who are looking for work placements. That way they don't have to be paid :o

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I know you said employing someone else was out of the question as you were fully staffed during the day but have you thought about early/late staff? We are open from 7-7 and obviously the times which children come in always varies. For the last 12 months we have had only one or two children in by 8.30 and the rest before 9am. We have just had a lot of new babies start and now have 4-6 in at 7am on the dot and almost 18/20 by 8.30am. One of the solutions we found was to employ extra staff to work 7am-10am and then from 4pm-7pm. This has helped out the full time staff and ensures our ratios are covered.

 

Gill

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Dawn - have been talking to a friend who works a 9 day fortnight. Basically she works 9 days and gets the 10th off (or does 9 days in a fortnight and takes one of the days off). The hours that she would have worked on the 10th day get added onto the other 9 days, meaning she works longer hours on the 9 days.

I fiddled around with the figures but it hardly made any difference to my nursery rotas, as spreading 1 day's hours out over 9 days doesn't really make those days that much longer.

 

I did instead have a fiddle around with having staff take 1 day off in 6, and that seemed much better, as it meant only having to spread out the hours that they would have worked on their day off, over 6 days. It looked like it may work.

 

I hope this makes some sense?!?! I can jot you down some figures if you like?

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When I was in nursery, we did a similar start and end to the day as Dawn. We had one member of staff in the baby room, two staff in the toddler room and the manager at 8am. The toddler room was the 'holding room' until 8.30 when another baby room, toddler room and preschool room member of staff arrived. Preschool then toddled off upstairs and left manager plus 2 baby room and 2 toddler room staff. The rest of the staff arrived at 9am. In some ways we were lucky as the manager lived in the house next door (the nursery was built in her garden!) so she opened up and did the first hour or two, went home to do paperwork, washing etc then came back for the end of the day - a good system if you live nearby!

 

If there were more than 3 babies before 8.30, one of the staff in toddlers went in and the manager stepped into numbers (in theory) - I think that Ofsted will apply the same rules to lunch and breaks in that as long as staff are on site they are counted in ratios. We did monthly rotas of earlies, middles and lates so that if children went early the manager and deputy stayed and we all had a fair shot at finishing shift earlier than usual.

 

It is frustrating when there are no children at the start of the day, and when children all leave early, but unfortunately that is the way it goes.

 

I wish I had the chance to do the 4 day/40 hour working pattern!

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Sorry, no help on your problem.

 

But as a manager it is my job to ensure ratios are adhered to.

 

I know there may always be the emergency situation where ratios may be down, but this should only be in an emrgency and we would always notify Ofsted.

 

Am I being overly cautious in that I would never knowingly conduct my business under ratio?

 

p.s. Hope you sort out your problem soon

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Dawn - have been talking to a friend who works a 9 day fortnight. Basically she works 9 days and gets the 10th off (or does 9 days in a fortnight and takes one of the days off). The hours that she would have worked on the 10th day get added onto the other 9 days, meaning she works longer hours on the 9 days.

I fiddled around with the figures but it hardly made any difference to my nursery rotas, as spreading 1 day's hours out over 9 days doesn't really make those days that much longer.

 

I did instead have a fiddle around with having staff take 1 day off in 6, and that seemed much better, as it meant only having to spread out the hours that they would have worked on their day off, over 6 days. It looked like it may work.

 

I hope this makes some sense?!?! I can jot you down some figures if you like?

 

kind of makes some sense, i think

 

can you jot me down some figures? PM me if you can... how many staff do you have, and did you include part time in that or did you leave their hours as they already are?, also did you include yourself in it?

 

Thanks in advance

Dawn

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