Guidance on staffing ratios for your children’s work 

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Staffing ratios for children's work is one of the regular questions we get asked by churches. We tend to use the guidance that's provided by the NSPCC as its very helpful

For organisations who are not in education or early years sectors there are no specific guidelines about supervision ratios. 

Below is a table indicating the best practice guidance in helping you to be able to work out how many adults will be needed to supervise children in your children's work safely.

The NSPCC recommend having at least two adults present when working with or supervising children and young people. They recommend the following adult to child ratios as the minimum numbers in helping to keep children safe:

  • 0 - 2 years - one adult to three children
  • 2 - 3 years - one adult to four children
  • 4 - 8 years - one adult to six children
  • 9 - 12 years - one adult to eight 
  • 13 - 18 years - one adult to ten children

Depending on the needs and the abilities of the children in your group, and also the nature of the activity you are running , you may need to have more adults than the minimum requires.

We do recommend you have at least two adults present, even when working with smaller groups. Also, some churches have young people who help to supervise younger children, only young people aged 18 and above should be included as adults when calculating adult to child ratios. 

There are also different ratios for the Early Years Foundation Stage for children's aged 1-4. These are not required for church activities, but with just one exception. If you are running an OFSTED registered childcare setting such as a preschool or nursery. Please see the guidance below
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