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Nursery Ratio's


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HI

 

we are moving some of our toddlers through to our tweenie room, our toddlers are two in November (birthday's scattered throughout november) (tweenie room takes from two - three years approx) so when they are two they will be on a 1-4 ratio which is the ratio tweenie room operates too. some days we will have four children who will be two in november and 4 children who are two already so 8 in all, normally we would have two members of staff, but my deputy tells me i can't have 8 with two staff as four of the 8 are still under two(thus 1:3 ratio) for the duration of novemeber (well till they reach there second birthday.)

so although they are in a tweenie room, i still have to miantain the ratio they would have had in todds (1:3) is that correct or will i gte away with it effectivly because they are all two in that month?

 

also i have the same issue in pre-school , normally a 1:8 ratio, some days we have 8 children so it appears that i only need one member of staff but two days i have 8 pre-school children but 6 of them are over three (so on 1:8 ratio) but 2 of them are nearly three (in Jan) so 1:4 ratio.....

 

guess what i am wondering is can you kind of split the ratio, ie in pre-school when she has 6 over threes and two under threes but 8 in all, does she still need a second staff member?

 

I know in my heart i should stick to ratios according to ages buut the directors beg to differ because i have moved children through and they can't see past the 1:4 and 1:8 even if the children aren't quite the age they should be in the room (but all children are ready to move through.)

 

hope that made sense?

 

dammm numbers and staffing, i get it all sorted then more new children come and throw my numbers out of synch, guess i shouldn't complain, it pays the wages hey!

 

Dawn

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Well, I personally think it is the children's age that dictates the ratio, not the room they're in, so, yes you do need that extra member of staff in pre-school while there are under 3s, also in your tweenie room you need the extra staff while there are under 2s.

 

Shoot me if you like, but I'd rather err on the side of caution

 

Sue

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I would suggest that if you want to 'share' ratio's that you 'put your umbrella up' ie: cover yourself, check with Ofsted and insurers, detailing reasons why you think the childrens well being and safe care are still manageable under your system and will they conform in writing that this is acceptable.

If you do not cover yourself in this way then you are opening yourself to be charged with contravening registration requirements, or bad invalidating your insurance. Hopefully Ofsted will use their 'sensible' heads and acknowledge that there is only a month before a childs 2nd birthday. If they don't then you need to re look at your admissions, starting a child after their birthday and not before.

The problem with 'bending the rules' is how far is it acceptable?, a birthday within 1 month, 2 months, within the same term of starting or moving.

 

I have had short term situations due to staff shortages when ratio's were compromised on a few days a week, for a period of a month and Ofsted okeyed this, but always cover your back and keep them informed.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. I also would have a minimum of 2 staff per room, not sure if I misunderstood and in your 1-8's you only have one member of staff. :o

 

peggy

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I would suggest that if you want to 'share' ratio's that you 'put your umbrella up' ie: cover yourself, check with Ofsted and insurers, detailing reasons why you think the childrens well being and safe care are still manageable under your system and will they conform in writing that this is acceptable.

If you do not cover yourself in this way then you are opening yourself to be charged with contravening registration requirements, or bad invalidating your insurance. Hopefully Ofsted will use their 'sensible' heads and acknowledge that there is only a month before a childs 2nd birthday. If they don't then you need to re look at your admissions, starting a child after their birthday and not before.

The problem with 'bending the rules' is how far is it acceptable?, a birthday within 1 month, 2 months, within the same term of starting or moving.

 

I have had short term situations due to staff shortages when ratio's were compromised on a few days a week, for a period of a month and Ofsted okeyed this, but always cover your back and keep them informed.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. I also would have a minimum of 2 staff per room, not sure if I misunderstood and in your 1-8's you only have one member of staff. :o

 

peggy

 

 

yes only one member of staff in pre-school currently., also one day a week only one member in baby room too... if i controlled the purse strings i would have at least two staff members in each room, but unfortunatly i don't have that say so over it.

thanks for advice though!

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Yes, Peggy, that is a very important consideration, one staff alone is never good news, and to be honest, Clare, I'm shocked it ever happens in a baby room, particularly (unless you have quick and ready access to assistance - say a room with a connecting door to another unit).

 

I've worked in a pre-school situation where I was the only staff for an extended period of time. It is not good or easy. How do you go on if you need the loo? Or there's a serious accident? I was in a position in the building where the unit was quite isolated and it was extremely difficult to get anyones attention - we sometimes used to troop about for assistance, the whole unit!

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I agree with Sue that the ratios are what they are for the age not the room. I would also add that I think OFSTED would ok it if it was a one off as with Peggy's situation but not for a permanent arrangement. If that was the case surely it would mean that all settings could "bend the rules" and then why have them in the first place?

Linda

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It's a nightmare isn't it??!!

 

Ofsted have just agreed to change our registration, as before we could only have 6 under 2's. Now that I have asked for some children to move up early (according to the individual), Ofsted have said that I can have 18 children under 3 - and decide how many of these are under 2's. However, they did specify that no matter which room they are in, the ratios need to be maintained for their age.

 

I also agree that staff shouldn't be left alone with children. It sometimes happens on lunch breaks, etc, but I want to (somehow) enforce that this never happens. It's just not safe, and can be very stressful - and can leave people very vulnerable.

 

What a headache!!

 

Dawn - I haven't forgotten about emailing you the staff rotas I was on about - am going through much the same issues myself at the moment x

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I was pretty sure there was a discussion going on earlier about ratios?? Or am I dreaming, perhaps?! I've done a quick forum search, but none of the subject ring a bell. Now where was that..... :(

 

It was Shelley's thread about Ofsted Room Changes :oxD:( . I knew I had seen something similar and I was pretty sure it was today. Have a look on there, Dawn for some similar advice.

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I was in a nursery that was full in the toddler (2-3) room, so the manager asked two new parents if they would object to their 2.5 year olds going in to preschool. THey were so desperate for childcare that they agreed to do it.

 

I was their keyworker, so had them on a 1:4 ratio, and then had 4 over 3's on the 1:8 ratio (effectively a 1:6 ratio) Ofsted were happy about this as long as the care of the under 3's or over 3's wasn't compromised by doing this.

 

Would this work?

 

In a different nursery I was also on my own with 8 rising 5's but across the landing (it was an old house) was the rising 4's with my colleague and 8 children. We had intercom phones and the children were able to run messages/errands for us. You could stand on the landing and see into both rooms, so for a toilet break we were pushing the limit!

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