Childcare ratios: what you need to know about current and proposed ratios
Since the government’s policy document More Great Childcare was released the proposed changes have caused a great deal of debate in the Early Years sector. One of the biggest areas of debate is over adult to child childcare ratios.
This guide offers an outline of what the proposed changes are and the key points to remember when calculating ratios under the current legislation.
Under the proposed changes settings that can demonstrate they are of high quality will be able to offer more places. The table below outlines the current legal requirements for ratios of adults to children against the proposed ratios.
Current and proposed ratios in group settings:
|Three and over in provision where person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status or another suitable Level 6 qualification is working directly with the children
|Three and over in a provision where person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status or another suitable Level 6 qualification is not working directly with the children
Please note that children aged four and over in reception classes in maintained schools are subject to infant class size legislation.
Current legal requirements: key points to remember
- Ratios set out minimum numbers of staff (so it may be necessary to sometimes exceed these numbers and provision made for suitable staff to be available e.g to cover sick leave or prepare snacks).
- Ratios set out maximum numbers of children (so a setting can be given lower number by Ofsted set out in conditions of registration).
- The actual date of birth of children should be used when determining ages as ratios are calculated on actual age.
- Children of staff or volunteers must be included in the ratio and the care of older children cannot interfere with early years care.
- If a class is made up of mixed age groups providers must determine ratios within mixed groups, guided by all relevant ratio requirements and by the needs of individual children.
PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT YOUR CHILDREN’S SAFETY IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY AND WE WOULD NEVER PUT YOUR CHILD AT RISK BY ALTERING OUR RATIOS IN AN UNSAFE MANNER.