Too Many Staff?
Too Many Staff?
by: Liz - 29-08-12 21:11
For personal reasons, I've been less "hands on" at the nursery for the last few months, while the Manager and Office Administrator have been holding the fort. I've checked staffing today and on some days we have 3 staff (4 including the manager) "spare", ie extra staff who are not required to meet ratios. We made quite a loss last month, not surprisingly! I know its great to have extra staff, to cover holidays/sickness etc, but surely it would be better to have this covered by overtime or even agency staff? We've always tried to be a good employer but isn't this going too far?
RE: Too Many Staff? - 29-08-12 22:28
is your staffing only over due to numbers being less with it being school holidays? are these staff needed during school term? maybe change some to term time only! i agree its to many, 1 over is great as things can get done out the room away from the children but 4 is a lot x
RE: Too Many Staff? - 29-08-12 23:23
by: Tiggy D
Aren't managers always supposed to be 'spare'?
I do supply in a nursery that takes great effort to ensure there is never anybody 'spare'. As a result the staff are all pissed off because the have to do all their learning journies and paperwork at home during unpaid overtime. The management complain about the boards never getting done, but there's never any 'spare' staff to do it. The place needs a good clean, but there's no 'spare' staff to do it. etc.
You have to have 'spare' staff sometimes. 3 'spare' staff is rather a lot. I hope they were given lots of jobs that would normally be tricky to get done. Gardenng, cleaning and sorting cupboards, taking ALL the staples out of boards and so on.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 30-08-12 02:58
I agree with the term time only approach as it means you have the staff there should you need them but your business is protected from should you need to cut back.
The experiences I have had is that Manager's prefer to be comfortable with staff than working at optimum levels. I personally feel that too many staff is more of an issue than not enough staff. I find staff get lazy and communicate less on a position level but that they can discuss all day what they were doing at the weekend.
I have spent the last few months out of the setting myself as I felt my manager is qualified and capable enough of running the place and although I still feel this, financially a manager will never see the same overspends as what an owner will.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 30-08-12 07:56
I agree...as an owner all I worry about is paying the wages at the end of each week,looking after resources,making sure capacity is healthy...but my staff have a running list from my manager of jobs to do this week...and they do them if they can,carried over if they cannot....easier in the hols....low numbers...so they also get the choice to have their hols with their schoolchildren...this helps....funding children with its own rules do not help...no deposit,no half fees,no attendance during the 14 weeks.....the ball is definitely in their court,I worry about the overstaffing...but my staff will always fill their time with learning journies,changing the boards.....and they always take the staples out each time LOL
RE: Too Many Staff? - 30-08-12 08:21
I agree - one member of staff spare in addition to the Manager is a great luxury / help, and is absolutely needed now and then, as an owner I would be most unhappy if my team had brought in 3 extra spare staff in my absence!! It's not needed - have you asked them why they did this??
RE: Too Many Staff? - 30-08-12 09:26
by: Tiggy D
A 'spare' member of staff isn't a luxury. When do your staff do their essential paperwork? With the children? If they do it at home I hope you include that as time worked or do you expect staff to work several hours a week for nothing?
RE: Too Many Staff? - 30-08-12 10:22
For me and my Nursery Tiggy D, having a spare member of staff means that they are not needed for any particular reason, however if they are there to cover paper work or significant tasks then I would not be classing them as 'Spare', as they are needed for a reason - My staff have ample weekly time to get there paperwork / PLPs done and we don't require extra staff in every day. My staff have never had to take paper work home - thats not how I run my nursery.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 30-08-12 11:45
by: Tiggy D
Good. Every nursery should plan for paperwork time.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 31-08-12 18:14
You can't really have spare staff. Rooms work better and children are happier with more adults, surely?
The ratios are a minimum not a maximum.
Obviously, you have to make a profit but it annoys me when people think the ratios are what they have to staff to.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 01-09-12 10:45
by: Tiggy D
True Purple. Just because you have 24 pre-schoolers in a unit, it doesn't mean you need 3 staff. I've worked in a pre-school with 3 rooms and a garden and given 4 staff and told to let the children free-flow everywhere. 2 children in each of the 3 rooms each with a member of staff inside it, and 18 children outside with 1 member of staff. If a child had an eccident we would have to shut off a room to free a member of staff to deal with it. The ratios are now irrelivent without taking into account how the rooms will actually be run.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 02-09-12 20:46
My thoughts exactly....we have nearly free flow but my staff often wonder what will happen if two are out with about 12,--2 in with the other 12....1 member of staff could be nappy changing....and I still have a spare member of staff to answer the door or the phone,deal with accidents....both types...lol.But I also know of other settings that work to the bare minimum in fact below safe ratios at the end of the day ...that is not fair to your staff or your children and they are the best investment you have to make your setting successful.....
RE: Too Many Staff? - 07-09-12 17:28
by: Fluffy Bunny
I am glad or should it be sad to read that other settings have the same problems as myself. as a Manager I have always understood that ratios are minimum not maximum, sometimes I feel like a broken record! you should always put children's well-being and education first. Every setting should have a member of staff who can take over if there is a problem such as a toileting accident, staff should not be put in a situation where they have to bring everybody inside because there is only one member of staff supervising an area.
RE: Too Many Staff? - 07-09-12 18:24
From an owner's perspective - and I realise that what I am about to say will be unpopular - many nurseries with extra staff on the floor will become insolvent somewhere along the line. Then, there will be no nursey provision for the children and no jobs for the staff. It happened to one near me recently.
While I do have a supernumerary individual on the floor I do not have this situation when it is uneccesary, only when there are 'extra' jobs to be done, and the supernumery individual is one who is valuable to the task in hand.
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