What are the requirements?

When I've been researching the design of the cabin I have also been researching the requirements for the nursery. There are some that are specific to it being a nursery, and others that are more generally focussed.


So, for example - the document from the government about children from birth to five is called "Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five"


This has a section in it about the space needed for children in the early years foundation stage. The younger children need more space than the older children:

3.57.The premises and equipment must be organised in a way that meets the needs of children. Providers must meet the following indoor space requirements:
• Children under two years: 3.5 m2 per child
• Two year olds: 2.5 m2 per child
• Children aged three to five years: 2.3 m2 per child
These calculations should be based on the net or useable areas of the rooms used by the children, not including storage areas, thoroughfares, dedicated staff areas, cloakrooms, utility rooms, kitchens and toilets.

It also sets out the ratio of adults to children. That is, it specifies how many children each adult can teach, and this is also linked to their age:

3.31.For children aged under two:
• there must be at least one member of staff for every three children
• at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification, and must be suitably experienced in working with children under two
• at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification
• at least half of all staff must have received training that specifically addresses the care of babies
• where there is an under two-year-olds’ room, the member of staff in charge of that room must, in the judgement of the provider, have suitable experience of working with under twos
3.32.For children aged two:
• there must be at least one member of staff for every four children
• at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification
• at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification
3.33.For children aged three and over in registered early years provision where a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status, Early Years Teacher Status or another suitable level 6 qualification is working directly with the children:
• there must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children
• at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification

That's only the requirements that apply to our plans.


However, what it means is if you want nursery age children (three and over) then then maximum number of children you have per adult is 13. For two year olds, the maximum number of children each adult can have is 4, and for babies (under 2) the maximum is 3.

Provided you also meet the qualification and training requirements.


I think that all sounds very sensible. No one wants their children in a large group! Especially at such a young age. And all parents I know want their children looked after and taught by people with suitable training and qualifications.


So, what this means for us is this - as both Jenny, Alison and I are qualified teachers - we will be able to have 13 children who are nursery age, 4 two year olds, and 3 babies (provided we also have the first aid training and any other relevent training).


Now we know this, that means we can do some maths and work out how big the cabin needs to be:


13 x 2.3 m2 = 29.9 m2

4 x 2.5 m2 = 10 m2

3 x 3.5 m2 = 10.5 m2

That's 50.4 m2 of space not including the toilets, hall ways, cloakroom etc.


It also needs:

a room for children under 2 to sleep

toilets and sinks for children (1 of each for every 10 children)

a separate toilet for the adults

an accessible toilet for adults

space to talk to parents confidentially


And the list goes on...


As we're going to make full use of the beautiful outdoor space here I'm confident there will be more than enough space, but I also think we should make sure the indoor space is well designed too and it is also really important.

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