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Nursery ratio

(19 Posts)
NaomiJasmin Thu 03-Oct-19 15:05:45

Hi there - my son is still settling in (badly) sad at his nursery and I just went to pick him up early as he had been crying for over an hour and they were too busy to give him that attention he needed.
When I arrived they said it was a hectic day as one staff was off sick and they had 2 extra babies that day. There were 8 babies and 2 staff so over the 1:3 ratio. They said there was an extra person helping so it was within ratio but they were at lunch. Is that ok? Can’t work out if ratios need to be maintained at all times with cover when people take breaks or not?

OP’s posts: |
Geneva1995 Thu 03-Oct-19 18:45:56

Only 8 babies? Sounds like a tiny nursery. It depends with ratio. there is such thing as a floor ratio in my nursery... so if someone pops out the room they are still classed in the ratio as they are only an ear shot away but lunch break would need to be covered.

ChildminderMum Thu 03-Oct-19 20:05:53

Ratios do need to be covered, but they can be taken over the whole nursery eg if they have 2 adults working with 8 babies in the babyroom, and 4 adults working with 13 toddlers in the 2 year old room, then actually they're still in ratio over the setting as a whole.

insancerre Fri 04-Oct-19 06:17:27

If the person was being paid for their lunch break and was available for work if they were needed then yes they can be included in ratio
If they were not being paid then they can’t be included in the ratio but the nursery may be applying ratio holistically across the whole nursery so may have had enough staff the cover the ratio that way
You won’t know the finer details of the staffs contract do you will just have to trust the nursery to deploy their staff in the way that meets their legal requirements

Fandabydosey Fri 04-Oct-19 21:34:17

I agree with what others have said. It isn't great practice to take ratios on a building and my setting has a max of 9 babies in the baby room. We have staff who work at lunch times to cover lunches so we are in ratio. It's more concerning that they didn't have time for you baby

Mummy0ftwo12 Fri 04-Oct-19 23:33:22

Crying for an hour isn't on - i would look for a new nursery.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 04-Oct-19 23:36:02

I wouldn't focus on the ratio because they will have a technicality to avoid needing the right ratio in the baby room alone.

To leave you your son crying for an hour though because they're busy... I wouldn't be happy with that at all.

HerRoyalFattyness Fri 04-Oct-19 23:43:14

I work in a baby room.
They will find a way around the ratio. That isn't the issue.
The issue you have is that they claimed to be too busy to settle your child.
We would never dream of doing that! Yes, babies get upset, yes it can be hectic when staff are off and we have cover that aren't used to our room, but we never ever leave a baby to cry for an hour. Sometimes they get left to cry for a minute or two while we make a bottle etc, and the other staff are occupied with the other children (say one changing a happy, another feeding a child) but we are talking to them and trying to soothe them as we do, and of course on a 1:3 ratio it's not always possible to stop them all crying straight away, but they never ever cry for long!
An hour is disgraceful.

Can I ask, did they phone you to collect early or did you phone to check on your DS?

emmy1997 Fri 04-Oct-19 23:48:06

Sorry but f•ck the ratio. It's the staff/ H/r problem not yours. I would be asking why has my son been crying for an hour without comfort that's worrying and seems like they can't cope, how old is he?
Definitely look for new nursery or childcare provider as being too busy to comfort a crying child is not on

Leftielefterson Fri 04-Oct-19 23:50:32

Gosh OP that sounds traumatising for you and the baby. I agree with other posters and would look for alternative childcare arrangements. If that isn’t possible would you consider perhaps speaking to the nursery?

NaomiJasmin Sat 05-Oct-19 13:10:28

They called me to say he was having a bad day, and it was up to me if I wanted to come get him or not. They said they were trying to comfort him but he needed 1:1 attention as still settling in, and they just couldn’t provide that that day due to other babies and staff sickness. I asked is he was just being left to cry and they said no, but then said that obviously they also had to deal with other babies as well and so couldn’t give him all the attention he needed.
They did say it was an unusual day due to staff sick and they had 2 extra babies that day to normal, both settling in too, so was particularly hectic. It didn’t appear a manageable situation when I arrived. They seem to think it will be better next week...he was doing ok earlier in the week but that was when they had fewer babies and more staff in... not really sure what to do!!

OP’s posts: |
NaomiJasmin Sat 05-Oct-19 13:13:42

It is a workplace nursery so I will speak to the nursery manager in HR next week about the ratios. I have been really keen to make it work as it means I get more time with my son due to drop off/pick up times and I like being right there in case of issues. I’m concerned that it was loss making for a long time and they seem to have managed to turn the performance around in the last year, but I’m now thinking that may be by just cutting back too much on staffing which isn’t the right way to do it.

OP’s posts: |
HerRoyalFattyness Sat 05-Oct-19 13:13:52

If the nursery is phoning you they are clearly unable to cope. Having a couple of extra babies shouldn't be that much if an issue that they're phoning parents to say they can't provide enough attention to their child.
Hectic yes, but it should not have been that difficult for them.

HerRoyalFattyness Sat 05-Oct-19 13:16:08

Especially a workplace nursery. Surely the point of them is to ensure parents are able to work and not have to worry about rushing off to collect children etc as they're so close by?
I'd be seriously concerned about the ability of the staff they have rather than how many staff they have.

NaomiJasmin Sat 05-Oct-19 13:24:26

to add - they do seem like lovely genuinely caring people there and very competent. But it just seemed like they had too much to do that day. My little boy is very sensitive and hates being separated from me or his daddy so does need 1:1 attention until he’s settled to the new situation I think

OP’s posts: |
NaomiJasmin Sat 05-Oct-19 13:27:53

Thank you - it’s good to hear I’m not overreacting then. I was starting to think nursery may just not agree with my boy and maybe a childminder would be better but will investigate some other nurseries. I’m just worried they will all be just as hard for him!

OP’s posts: |
ClemDanFango Sat 05-Oct-19 13:28:11

Staffing issues aside, cortisol levels in a screaming baby will be very high which is not good for brain development they should have called you much sooner in my opinion if they really couldn’t get him to stop. An hour is much too long for a baby to be crying.

ChildminderMum Sat 05-Oct-19 17:15:26

I'd be seriously concerned about the ability of the staff they have rather than how many staff they have.
8 babies and 2 adults, three of those babies settling in and needing 1:1 attention - doesn't matter how skilled and competent you are, it's just not possible.

HerRoyalFattyness Sat 05-Oct-19 19:10:44

She said there were two staff and an extra helping out. So 3 staff, so within the 1:3 ratio.
And I beg to differ about skill and competency. In my setting we accept 9 babies a day with 3 staff. We currently have 4 babies settling in. All 4 are in on a Wednesday, plus 5 of our other babies, one of which is under social services, and we have never and would never leave a child to cry for that long.
It is hectic, and it can seem like a constant train of nappies, bottles and cuddles, but that's what we do. That's our job.

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