Back to news listing

Next article

NEWS: DfE confirms ratio flexibility in latest COVID wave

Today (11 January) the Department for Education (DfE) confirmed that the current wave of COVID-19 is considered an ‘exceptional circumstance’. This means that early years and childcare settings in England can have temporary flexibility in their staff-to-child ratios, as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework. 

Paragraph 3.31 of the EYFS states “Exceptionally, and where the quality of care and safety and security of children is maintained, changes to the ratios may be made. This applies to all settings but childminders cannot have more than six children under the age of eight per adult providing care." 

What does this mean for childminders?

As a childminder applying this flexibility, you might choose to increase the number of additional early years children in your setting at one time, but your total number cannot be more than six under 8 years old if you are working alone. Any changes to your ratios should be taken with caution and under robust risk assessments to ensure the safety of the children in your provision. We recognise that with the pressure of operating during the latest COVID-19 wave, many practitioners will feel they are already working at their maximum capacity and choose not to make any change to their current ratios. 

The DfE will be updating its guidance to confirm this change shortly. 

Childminding ratios | PACEY