Please also see policy on staff numbers ratios.
We aim to exceed minimum staff:child ratios as a matter of practice, to enable staff to work flexibly within the building with children, and to allow ease of staff cover in the event of a member of staff being absent on holiday or through sickness.
The legal staffing requirements for our different nursery rooms are as follows:
- Baby room & Toddler Room – 1 member of staff to every 3 babies under the age of two
- 2-3’s rooms – 1 member of staff to every 4 children between the ages of two and three
- 3-4 year olds’ room – 1 member of staff to every 8 children
Under certain circumstances, OFSTED will permit a ratio of 1:13 children in the oldest age group depending on the qualification of the member of staff. (We have two members of staff qualified at this level) However at this nursery we believe that this is far too high a ratio, regardless of the staff member’s qualification, and so we do not make use of this ratio. Should the government guidance change to allow staff to care for more children, we are very unlikely to move to such a ratio.
Ofsted requires that at least 50% of nursery staff should hold a child care qualification. At this nursery, every member of staff engaged in childcare duties is required to hold a minimum of NVQ Level III qualification in childcare, or be working towards this. A number of staff are qualified to NVQ level 4 or to Foundation Degree level. The nursery manager and the nursery owner both hold a BA (HONS) degree and both have Early Years Professional Status. All members of staff receive external first aid training, child safeguarding training and food hygiene training. Staff are encouraged to improve their qualifications, and paid time off is given for this.
We operate a key person system, where each child is the special responsibility of one member of staff, who is their special friend in the nursery. However, all members of staff are expected and encouraged to get to know all the children in the nursery well. We also operate a ‘buddy’ system which means if the key person is absent, there is a second designated person who covers this.
All new members of staff are required to hold a clear, enhanced DBS check, and references are always sought as a condition of employment.
It would be a matter of gross misconduct for any staff member working directly with children to be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance. Staff taking medication which may impair their ability to care for children should seek medical advice. In this circumstance alternative tasks may be found for the staff member, for example administrative work.
We welcome students and volunteers into the nursery. However any long term student, volunteer or apprentice on the premises must be DBS checked or be prepared to submit to DBS checking. Students and volunteers are not left on their own with children and are supervised at all times. They must fill in staff contact and information forms in the same way as permanent members of staff.
Long term students, aged over 17 years, can count towards legally required staff:child ratios depending on their experience and aptitude. Short term placements and volunteers will not count towards ratios.
Revised May 2022
By: Jacquelin Curtis
Adopted as the policy of the nursery
By: Jacquelin Curtis Director,
Activeplay Nurseries Ltd