Staff ratio in baby room

(26 Posts)
fairyceeds Wed 06-Aug-14 20:58:27

Please help! It's day two and I don't want to turn into an awkward parent but...
My son is a VERY active and mobile just-one-year old and has started nursery this week. One of the days he will go there are only three babies in and so only one staff member. But this concerns me. 1:3 is very different than 2:6. I'm concerned that when staff member is changing one child, the other two are not being watched. With a climbing frame in the room (which I love) and tables and chairs (it's babies to 2) tgere is all sorts to happen and no one would know how/why a child fell or was hurt. Am I over reacting? I know the legal ration is 1:3 but surely lone working with babies in an isolated room is concerning???
Fairy feeds.

TheWiseOldElf Wed 06-Aug-14 21:00:22

I don't think you're overreacting. I wouldn't like it very much.

jellyandsoup Wed 06-Aug-14 21:01:17

The ratio is 1:3 but no one should be working on their own in a room, they may combine with older children or there will be an extra member of staff.

SweetPeaPods Wed 06-Aug-14 21:02:15

Our nursery have same ratio, but they also have a rule of minimum of 2.
So even of there is just 1 baby in there will be 2 members of staff.
I would question them on it. If your not happy then do change.

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 21:03:25

Why can't they work on their own in a room?

Is it an isolated room, or is there a connecting door to another room for example?

Even with two adults in a room, not all babies are going to be watched at all times. Nurseries just don't work like that.

fairyceeds Wed 06-Aug-14 21:06:30

The nearest other room is through two doors and up a stair. I don't expect staff to be actively with my son all the time but I expect an adult to be in the room especially with that age group when for example they learn to climb the steps to a slide before they master coming down safely.
Appreciating your comments :-)

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 21:07:32

Is the adult going to leave the room then? That isn't acceptable.

Buttercup27 Wed 06-Aug-14 21:09:39

Not working alone with children is more for the sake of the adult rather than a child. If a child has a bump which causes a bruise it is always best to have a second opinion of how it happened.

fairyceeds Wed 06-Aug-14 21:18:59

Hollie, the changing table etc is in it's own wee room. I'm sure they would leave the door open but would not have a full view of the room.
I'm frustrated because I love the nursery in every other sense but it's playing on my mind and feel like I need to deal with it now. No point complaining in three months when something happens and saying "I always thought..."

thatwhichwecallarose Wed 06-Aug-14 21:36:54

Do you know if they actually stick rigidly to 1:3? They probably have a unqualified as well, who doesn't count towards the ratios.

I would be v unhappy with the arrangement otherwise (although presumably it's equivalent to being at a childminders?!)

Our nursery is in a university so is very quiet outside term time, even with only a couple of babies in the baby room I've never known there to be only 1 member of staff in there. When I've asked a question that requires a trip to the office they ask for cover from the toddler room. Have you asked what their policy is?

Mumof3xox Wed 06-Aug-14 21:42:36

I was going up mention the similarities between this situation and a child minder

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 21:47:07

Unqualified staff do count in ratios if they are over 17.

If a member of staff is leaving the room to change a nappy, leaving no staff in the room at all, then yes, mention it. Tell them it is unacceptable. My DS' nursery is a bit shit in this respect - now he is in the over 2s room I am not as worried, but it really bothered me in the previous room. I pulled them up on it. I don't think they've actually changed anything other than mark me down as a "difficult parent" but quite frankly I've got my eye on them, and the first sniff of something wrong, I'm calling ofsted.

Mumof3xox Wed 06-Aug-14 22:01:07

Although I do think eyfs statutory guidance states staff must always be able to see or hear children

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 22:07:16

I think the EYFS states children should be within sight and hearing but must be within sight OR hearing of staff at all times.

Mumof3xox Wed 06-Aug-14 22:08:51

I knew there was something in there

What happens when one of the babies is sleeping? There is always someone in the sleeping room if there's a baby in there which is probably why dd2 refuses to nap at nursery or are the cots in the same room - in which case how do they get the babies to sleep? confused

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 22:16:30

If the babies are in cots then there doesn't need to be an adult in the sleep room, they just need to check on them regularly.

It must just be an internal policy then. A few weeks ago dd2 refused to nap and her key worker was sitting by the cot and dd2 was poking her through the bars grin, I've always they must get bored sitting in there watching babies sleeping grin

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 22:35:20

They probably use the time to do paperwork.

insancerre Thu 07-Aug-14 07:06:18

Is it a very small nurzery?
Our safeguarding policy states that there must always be 2 members of staff with the children
Its to protect the staff as well as the children
The nursery sounds a bit pants if they allow one person to work on their own
How does she gave breaks, go to the loo, set out activities or talk to parents etc.
Who is watching the children while she does all those things?

fairyceeds Thu 07-Aug-14 11:17:00

Thanks all. Lots for me to think about/investigate and specific questions to ask the manager.
Cots are in a corner so no problem there and I know a floating staff member covers breaks. It seems to be a problem only on one day of the week. Here's hoping another child starts!
Good to hear that I'm not being daft in my concerns, gives me confidence to raise it.
F.

chelsbells Tue 19-Aug-14 20:47:24

Staff should never be working alone, it's a safeguarding issue in itself. Lone working is not accepted by Ofsted (I work in a nursery so saying from experience/knowledge)

Yes the ratio is 1:3 but if they only have one child in the baby room that day, there should be two staff at all times, one of them may get on with paperwork etc but there should always be two of them in the room. I would query this quickly with the nursery, especially if the nappy room etc is off the main room. I.e children are being left alone.

As a PP has said, they may join with some old children, maybe the two year olds, but again, make sure if this happens that your child's 1:3 ratio is maintained, and isn't upped onto the 1:4 ratio for 2-3 year olds!

adsy Wed 20-Aug-14 14:26:19

Of course lone working is accepted by ofsted. Otherwise the vast majority of childminders would be working illegally!

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