View Full Version : Does this sound right?

24-04-2013, 08:36 PM
I pick up one of my mindees from pre school and today a staff member told me they had been for a walk to the shop. When noticing another parent was listening she added your daughter will be going another time as I could only have 4 with me. Now the children at the group are aged from 2-4yrs, basically until they are in FT school. I know the ratio inside will be just that 1:4 (with 2-3 yr olds) but I always thought on outings it would be higher? The mindee is extremely prone to running off and I have only just managed to teach him to walk nicely holding hands which has taken several weeks. I'm sure he would be influenced by other well behaved children but I couldnt help but think 4 children walking for at least 20 mins there and back and having to cross a busy road with no crossing was too much and not something I would have been allowed to do when I worked in nurseries. It sounds daft now I suppose as CM's do it all the time I guess but I would have always had at least 2 in a buggy if I've had 4 with me. Am I being stupid lol?

25-04-2013, 07:21 AM
I have just checked the EYFS 2012 and it only states the 1:4 ratio and doesn't stipulate any changes for if they are out and about with the children.

25-04-2013, 07:25 AM
just because the ratios say something is ok doesnt mean it is safe - hopefully they have also RAd the walk with the individual children in mind. I have taken 4 walking at this age - it depends on the route / children / mix of children / weather / my patience level that day.........

25-04-2013, 08:15 AM
As A parent of one of those children would I be happy with 1:4? No I wouldn't especially if it involved crossing a busy road without a crossing. I would have expected 1:2. Unless she used reins on them?

25-04-2013, 08:31 AM
As A parent of one of those children would I be happy with 1:4? No I wouldn't especially if it involved crossing a busy road without a crossing. I would have expected 1:2. Unless she used reins on them?

Really? Assuming that the trips are fully risk assessed I can't see a problem. As childminders we have.more than 1:2, and there are plenty who have 1:4 on a daily basis and don't necessarily use a pushchair...

Edited to add, she must surely have used reins.

25-04-2013, 08:38 AM
Do you know for definite she went by herself with 4 children? She could have had a volunteer helper with her.

25-04-2013, 09:44 AM
The other day I had a 20mth old with me and had to pick up 3 from nursery, 2 x 3yrs and 1 x 4yrs. I walked them all home to mine including the 20mth old. It was fine, I know all the children well and I was confident they can all behave sensibly. I held the 20mths child hand and the other 3 older ones all held hands.
I guess it depends on the children and how well you know them.


25-04-2013, 10:21 AM
From a regulatory point of view, the settings' usual ratios would apply but might need to be modified according to the following provisions:

EYFS Statutory Framework
3.64 Children must be kept safe while on outings, and providers must obtain written parental permission for children to take part in outings. Providers must assess the risks or hazards which may arise for the children, and must identify the steps to be taken to remove, minimise and manage those risks and hazards. The assessment must include consideration of adult to child ratios. The risk assessment does not necessarily need to be in writing; this is for providers to judge.

This is a mindee we're talking about, rather than your own lo - right? IIWY, I'd make the parents aware of their rights under this provision, so they know they can ask for details of the RA, and make an informed judgement on whether to give permission for the outing having considered if it is adequate. They would have grounds for a complaint if they felt the RA put children at risk, or if preschool refused to work with them on this (though that's not the same thing as letting every parent dictate how preschool does everything.)

I feel this is a tricky one and a bit of a grey area for the CM. You don't have the right to give/refuse consent over preschool outings; only parents have that prerogative. But, if you're receiving a fee whilst the lo attends preschool, you're accepting responsibility for the child. So I think it pays to be aware of any potential risks; make sure parents know their rights; and ask appropriate questions of the preschool, so they know you are making sure they safeguard the child. :thumbsup:

25-04-2013, 12:16 PM
Would the pre-school not have had to notify advance they were taking the children off site? Then you could have asked for more info about RA's etc.