The Right Ratios – Ensuring a Safe Nurturing Environment

The Right Ratios

As childcare providers, we must pay attention to ratio requirements in order to ensure each child receives adequate attention and care. 

Ratio guidance is based on developmental research, considering the age of children and their specific needs. Appropriate staff:child ratios guarantee that children get personalised interaction, fostering emotional, social, and cognitive development.

It is important to refer to relevant national guidance to ensure you are meeting requirements:

🔴In England, the new 2023 Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage introduced a change to the minimum staff:child ratios for 2-year-olds from 1:4 to 1:5 and clarified that childminders may care for more than the specified maximum of three young children if they are caring for siblings of children they already care for, or if they are caring for their own child.

🔵In Scotland providers should refer to the Care Inspectorate’s Guidance on adult to child ratios in early learning and childcare settings

🟠In Wales, the National Minimum Standards for regulated childcare details ratio requirements.

Typically childminders can care for a maximum of six children under eight years at any one time of whom no more than 3 are not yet attending school and of whom no more than one is under 1.

In some situations ratios may vary due to space requirements, special circumstances or where care is being provided for siblings or the childminder’s own children.

In all circumstances, providers must be able to demonstrate that the individual needs of all children are being met.  

Managing Ratios

If you care for a large number of children, employ assistants or accommodate part-time spaces resulting in different age groups of children attending on different days, it can be difficult to keep on track.

Our Ratio Management Chart can help you to see at a glance which children attend when, their ages, when any exceptions to ratios occur and whether or not you have space to take on any more children of a certain age group.

Should a circumstance arise that would result in an exception to ratios, our Ratio Variation Pack, will assist you in assessing the risks of a variation and informing parents of the proposed change.

Includes Ratio Management Chart (above) and:

  • Exception to Ratios Risk Assessment
  • Parent Notification Letter Templates

👉🏼Find full details of the Ratio Management Chart here

👉🏼Find full details of the Ratio Variation Pack here

👀Find more resources to support Setting Management HERE!

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