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Challenging Situation -please Help And Advise.


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We are shortly to open our daycare unit and I would like some experience or advice on how do we planand provide for young 3 year olds who will be joining throughout the year ( as they attend daycare) to share the provision with children in a Foundation Stage unit. This is a Children's Centre, so it is a new situation. The young 3's will have a key worker, but with ongoing outdoor provision, how does one worker cope considering the ratio's of 1-8 a the daycare ratios?


My concerns are for the development and provision of the young 3's and the issues of the older 5's in the same unit.


Perhaps their is someone in this situation? I would appreciaste your words of wisdom or if you could direct me to some advice.

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This sounds quite similar to my situation - we are a LA nursery which used to have one yearly intake - but we now have daycare attached and our three year olds also join us throughout the year.

It has its advantages and disadvantages - staggering entry of new children is easier than all in at once as many children are already settled and know routines well enough to model and support younger ones.

However balancing routines to cater for children who are now in their third term and those who have just entered can be tricky. I usually have three staff - one will work outside, and two inside - 1 at a focus activity which is available for all but older children will be guided towards it, the other supports child-initiated activities and is responsible for supporting new children who are settling in.

As we will be a foundation stage unit in September I would also be interested in anyone else's experience of the situation and how they manage to meet needs of all.

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We are a FSU with children starting on their third birthday so have new children on an almost weekly basis throughout the year and really dont find it to be a problem. Once they are 3 does the ratio increases to 1-13? We are shortly to have a Children's Centre attached so would be interested to know.

In our experience the older children are good role models and it is great for their PSE skills to have the younger children around.

We plan differentiated activities for literacy and numeracy daily and seperate for short periods during the day but mostly work together ........other areas of the curriculum are usually differentiated by outcome or adult support.


Hi nsunshine and welcome to the forum :D

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As a pre-school this is how we have always worked, except our children start at the beginning of the half term in which they are 2 years 9 months. Some leave us to go to nursery but many stay with us until they start school. So our age range is quite big. We have never found it a problem though and differentiate all the activities according to age and ability.

Because we have under 3's we have a slightly different ratio, 1:4 for this group and 1:8 for over 3. So we in actual fact work out more like 1:6. But even with 1:8 we don't find it difficult to manage. Our older children have a small group session, or keyworker group, every day and the younger ones twice a week.

The older children benefit because they have some responsibility for the younger children and, as Marion has said, they act as role models. I actually like the mix of ages-it's lovely to see a quiet new child being taken under the wing of one of the older ones.


PS Welcome to nsunshine!

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