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Concern about ratios

(7 Posts)
BeeePeee Thu 19-Nov-15 11:05:29

Is 4:1 ratio in an under 2s room acceptable for a fixed period?

My 17 month old DS is at nursery full time. My mum usually takes him in the mornings so I don't see what's going on there in the morning. However yesterday I took him and I noticed it seemed very busy, he was the 8th child to arrive and there were two staff. I thought that the legal ratios were 3:1? The room is for children under 2 years. I asked one of the staff if she was expecting another staff member soon and she said someone else arrives at 10 (this was at 8.30).

I am confused as I thought there had to be a 3:1 ratio at that age? Is it acceptable if it is only for a short time? I remember someone saying to me that staff in another part of the building can count towards ratios, so perhaps the manager was around and counted as one of the staff?

I really don't want to kick up any kind of fuss unnecessarily. He is really happy, settled and well cared for there. When I pick him up after work I never have any concerns.

TiggyD Fri 20-Nov-15 22:22:36

They are being naughty. If you could count people in different rooms then all the staff could go to the staff room and still count.

From the EYFS statutory framework:
"The ratio and qualification requirements below apply to the total number of staff available to work directly with children"

BeeePeee Fri 20-Nov-15 22:59:47

Thanks for the info tiggy. I was assuming 'people available to work directly with children' could include the manager even those she's not actually in the room but in her office. Am I right?

Snossidge Fri 20-Nov-15 23:04:11

It has to be staff actually with the children. Unless the manager had just nipped into her office to make a quick phonecall, she wouldn't be in the ratio. Having a 1:4 ratio for an hour or two in the morning isn't ok.

dontcallus Sun 22-Nov-15 12:36:48

Over ratio for 5 mins, whilst waiting for someone to arrive, someone in the loo, etc - not great but day to day life for lots of nurseries.

An hour or two, nope not good enough.

Ask them, see manager and ask about it. Her/his response will tell you all you need to know.

BackforGood Mon 23-Nov-15 19:02:26

What dontcallus said.
Someone nipping out to fetch something from another room is normal. Being out of ratio for at least an hour and a half - and seemingly planned, no massive apology about an emergency reason for it - definitely not alright.
I would speak to the manager.
If that doesn't have an effect then you have to report them to OFSTED.

BeeePeee Mon 07-Dec-15 13:03:47

Thanks for all your help.

I spoke to the manager. She said that for the first part of the morning, before all the children have arrived, they do not have all the staff there, some start later. Some children have a regular pattern of starting later. However when children arrive earlier than planned, meaning they are over ratio, the room is supposed to call the office and either the manager or deputy manager will come in to the room so they meet the ratio. Either the manager or deputy are on sight when the nursery opens.

The manager did not know why the room did not call the office to ask her to join the room, and said that it was not acceptable for the room to be over ratio. She will address this with her staff.

I feel reassured by what the manager said. My mum is going to keep an eye on the ratios when she drops DS off and let me know if this isn't kept to.

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