View Full Version : Ratios

01-08-2018, 08:26 AM
Can anyone help with my ratio query? I look after 4 children under 5years old on 1 day a week as 1 of the children is a baby sibling. I now have another baby sibling wanting a space on that day. Can I have 5 children under 5, 3 under 5’s + 2 siblings?Obviously I will not exceed 6 children under 6 and only 1 of the siblings is under 1 year old

02-08-2018, 12:46 PM
Have a search as this has been discussed before, maybe try searching the forum.
I think you need to proceed with extreme caution.
If Ofsted thought the care of others was effected by taking on even the 4th sibling child you could have problems. If it is a 5th sibling child, you are pushing things to the limit. I do not see how I could safely care for, transport, educate, supervise, evacuate in an emergency etc with 5 little ones single-handed.
Safer to look for an assistant to tide you over until another child leaves you or moves out of your EY numbers. Or look to change days around to avoid the situation.

03-08-2018, 06:26 AM
Moggy is right to be cautious , but it’s allowable if you can show that your care and education isn’t compromised. Only you can decide if that’s something you can both be sure of , and convince an inspector of. A lot depends on the children of course , 3 very settled and able 3 year olds plus 2 babies is doable , a mix of needs and abilities is less so!

03-08-2018, 07:24 AM
For a term a couple of years ago I had a similar issue. 1x4y 2x3y 1x18 (walking well) and a newborn on one day a week.
The older three girls were an established team here. I didn’t have an assistant, but DH was my resident, cook, cleaner, secretary and the children adored him and preferred to hang out with him often than me!
I wasn’t inspected but I did get an LA visit on that day.
Firstly though I measured to check I had ample space in theory, I did have a fairly large house and all 4 children had a nap / rest in separate rooms upstairs ( we had an after lunch routine established) . The baby in pram on the landing whilst they did this.
The LA advisor was initially very cautious of my arrangement, but was very happy at the end of visit. Because the older three were established here and with each other, it made it easier. I did focus time when baby had morning nap, DH pushed the baby when we went out for our daily activity, he slept throughout leaving me time and space to play with older ones. During afternoon rest time, after her very short nap I was able to give the 18 month some one to one, stories, games etc.. she adored the 3 older ones and was usually always where they were doing something similar at her level the rest of the day. Because there were 3, one of them always had time for her....they got on so well. When we played games / had activities I made sure that all levels were differentiated.
Baby got tummy time etc....the girls loved him and constantly chatted and dangled and sang etc to him throughout the day.
I was a bit grumpy about of all days she could have come, the LA visit happened on this day, but it was good because I had been a little worried about an Ofsted look on it all , I wasn’t due an inspection, but that didn’t mean one wouldn’t happen. Her summary reinforced my outstanding practise. I had a written statement in my paperwork that showed the steps I had taken to make sure I was within the guidelines, asafeguarding review of the situation and a H&S plan. I reviewed the day monthly and wrote down adjustments made to make my practise better, after the first month I asked parents and had their written assessments with children’s quotes of their feelings ( slightly biased by two families who wanted it to work, but the third only child 3 year old loved having lots of children here, it was her favourite day) .

But...I did not do anything towards food, except sit with them to cut up fruit together at morning snack and I jointly planned with DH at the beginning of the week. DH cooked, set table and cleared. When I did craft he cleared up after. He tidied / set up the garden activities whilst we played inside. He was like an assistant in all ways except he didn’t look after children ( they did chatter to him and take him books to read to them but I was always in the same room.) when I did diaries at end of day he cleared away anything we hadn’t done together, washed towels, mended toys, noted arrival and departure time on register.....prepared our evening meal.
Even with him I found it hard work and was glad I just did it for a term, then 4 year old went to school and others naturally swapped days. I only worked three days.
In order to ensure that care and education was not compromised I really think you need an assistant of some sort. DH situation worked but someone to leave children with would have been better. I had my retired nursery nurse neighbour on hand to help if DH couldn’t be there...( she still volunteered at a school nursery and church group so did have a dbs ) she often popped in or joined us in the nature reserve next door and we visited her with our home made biscuits or a song or a picture so they knew her....but she was never officially needed....LA advisor thought this was good practise and showed I had planned for all events.
I am not sure I could have done it for more than one day and for a long time.

03-08-2018, 10:46 AM
I had 5 children once for a morning and hated it! I usually had 4 children anyway and the 5th was an established child from a different day, so I didn't think it would be too much different. They children were all 3 & 4 year olds, had all been here since they were babies and were all pretty independent. I just found I was on edge the whole time. I'm not sure why. It wasn't really any harder work and we didn't go out anywhere (other than the garden), but I couldn't relax into it. It's daft really as I've got 5 children of my own, so I am used to being in charge of that many.

I've very confident and comfortable with 4, even when they're mixed ages including a baby, but I wouldn't feel I was providing the best care if I had 5, especially if they were mixed ages. For a few hours as a one off I might consider it, but I wouldn't do it regularly unless I had reliable help.

You do have to consider floor space as well. I could only fit 5 in because they were older so needed less space per child. If any had been under 2 I couldn't have done it.

05-08-2018, 10:34 PM
A few times over these holidays I’ve had 4 children. 1x 28 months, 2x 16 months (not related but they share a birthday) and 1 x8 months old. I found it really hard work. Physical and mental. I was shattered. However I’ve had 4 children numerous times over the years but at least 2 but mostly 3 were in their last year with me before they started school so it worked. I’ve never had 5 early years together. So my advice would be think carefully. Imagine how you will cope with all situations.