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Nurseries (Staffing)

Volume 958: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether there is a generally accepted staffing level in day nurseries, if so, what it is; and what is the average cost of providing a day nursery place.

In guidance to local authorities the Department has recommended a ratio of one member of staff to every four or five children as a basis for assessing the staffing needs of a day nursery, but has also stressed that the appropriate staffing level for any particular nursery depends on many factors, including numbers, age and any handicap of the children cared for, opening hours, qualifications of staff and the extent to which the nursery provides additional support services for the community generally.The estimated average net cost to local authorities in England during 1976–77 of a place in day nurseries provided by authorities themselves or by arrangement with voluntary organisations and private day nurseries was about £1,100 per year, including loan charges but excluding administrative costs. Information about the cost of day nursery places in the private and voluntary sectors is not available centrally.