It’s the Summer holidays and many of us busy parents when researching/vetting a new nursery to care for our children may be unaware of the fundamental essentials to check including OFSTED ratings and/or the need for child to staff ratio and how it will impact on our children on a daily basis. With this in mind, how can we be sure that you have chosen the best care available for your children and that our children will be kept safe whilst you leave them in the nursery’s care?
Childcare Costs and location may be the main reasons for choosing a nursery however there are some further essential checks every parent should consider when researching childcare venues:
- Check child to staff ratios[i]:
- Children under 2 ratio of staff to children must be no less than 1:3
- Children between the ages of 2 and 3 the staff ratio must be no less than 1:4
- Children between the ages of 3 and 5 the staff ratio must be no less than 1:8
The numbers of children, individual nursery staff are required to look after, to prevent an unsafe environment and to prevent accidents and serious injury;
- OFSTED ratings;
- Staff childcare qualifications, to keep children safe and minimise risk of any potential injury claims;
- Check the Early Years Register and ensure they are correctly registered and meet their requirements.
Children are of course inquisitive and adventurous however how can we be sure that our children will not suffer personal injury, even serious injury, if nurseries are not properly checked.
In recent months, with increasing child numbers in our nurseries coupled with staff shortages, nurseries in the UK have been subject to legal proceedings due to accidents resulting in personal injuries to children whilst in their care. These accidents may have been prevented had sufficient checks been undertaken, correct staffing provided and as always with some common sense used. Some of these accidents have resulted in serious injuries which could have often been avoided!
The UK, has the second highest childcare costs in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). If we are paying such a substantial amount of money for our children’s childcare we want to ensure their personal safety in the process and prevent the risk of any injuries.