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Applying to vary the numbers of children you can care for
Applying to vary the numbers of children you can care for

What to do if you would like to go over ratio

Lisa Holmes avatar
Written by Lisa Holmes
Updated over a week ago

As a childminder, the EYFS sets out the ratios you must adhere to.

No more than six children under the age of 8, of these no more than three should be young children (a child is considered a young child until the 1st of September following their fifth birthday) and of these young children, no more than one must be under 1.

But what happens when you get a parent enquiry that will put you over your age ratios for a portion of time? Perhaps it is a sibling enquiry or twins under 1 and you feel able to accommodate the family.

First of all, it is important to confirm that no matter what you cannot go over six children under 8 in total. If you want to increase your overall numbers you need to think about working with another childminder or assistant.

You would also need to ensure you have the appropriate space for the additional children, as per the EYFS space requirements.

But if you would like to take on two under 1's, or four young children you can apply to tiney to vary the conditions of your registration. In this application, you would need to be able to demonstrate that you can adequately meet the needs of all children in your care, whilst being over your usual numbers of children.

It is important to note that not all applications to vary registrations are successful. You should not request a contract with a parent until your variation has been agreed. Going over ratio without prior agreement even for short periods of time in a day would mean you were in breach of the terms of your registration and could result in suspension of your registration, leaving you unable to trade.

If you are confident you can cope with the increased numbers of children, you would need to fill in a ratio variation application form. You can find the link to this by opening the in-app messenger, clicking 'I have a question about ratios or would like to apply to vary my ratios' and then 'I would like to apply to vary my ratios'. The application will ask the following questions:

  • Why are you requesting a ratio change?

  • What are the dates and times you would need the ratio change?

  • What are the ages of all of the children that would be present?

  • How will you meet the needs of all of the children? (You can add in detail on how you would ensure children have access to outdoor play, and how you have sufficient equipment and resources for feeding, sleeping and transporting children.)

  • We would also need to see an updated risk assessment, which takes into consideration the risks of taking on additional children over your usual ratios, and an emergency evacuation plan, which shows you have considered the additional child(ren) in your evacuation procedure.

If the team agrees your request, then we will confirm this has been added as a new condition of your registration. We will endeavour to do this within three working days of receipt of an application.

If the team does not agree to your request, we will give feedback about our decision.

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