16.5 month old DD goes to a nursery 3 days a week. We have been happy with the care she is receiving and she really seems to have bonded well with the carers. All the babies seem generally happy and well treated. They have an open door policy so I have often arrived at the room without warning. Quite frequently there are more babies than the 3:1 ratio requires, but I always get the impression this is for a short time e.g. I'll meet the other carer on her way back to the room as I leave.
So is it OK that one of the carers steps out for a couple of minutes, maybe to fetch the lunch trolley from the kitchen, or go to the milk preparation room. I think this is also happening during nappy-changing too, which means that with up to 12 babies means the ratios coud be short for a considerable period, though with the carers popping in and out. The worst case I came across once was when picking DD up early and there was one carer in the room and I counted 9 babies! 2 more carers arrived before I left, but given that the first one had to give me the day report for DD, that left a lot of ignored babies, even if for a short time.
Should they be calling in extra support staff to cover these breaks?
I think this is fine as the 1 in 3 ratio is supposed to be enough to cover for breaks of this kind. The 1 in 13 ratio for 3+ is much stricter at no time can more than 13 children be in a room with only one member of staff
That's interesting. It happens at my DD's nursery too. I've also walked in and found same scenario. Think that all babies can be seen by whoesver is left in the room so I haven't got a problem with temporary absences. Also in the baby room they aren't really mobile so can't really get up to too much trouble!