How many children is your nursery registered for?

How many children is your nursery registered for?

That should be a straightforward question, with a simple answer. But nowadays, your Ofsted Registration Certificate doesn’t have a maximum number of children. It just says that:

“The registered provider must comply with the requirements for the Early Years Register set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.”

So what does that mean?

How many children are you legally registered for? What is the maximum number of children you can LEGALLY have in your nursery at any one time?

On Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, depending on the ages of the children physically present in your nursery, you will have different maximum numbers

What is your occupancy, ie how full is your nursery? Are you carrying spare spaces that you didn’t even know about… or are you actually breaking the law by being OVER your legally-defined space requirement?

What does the EYFS say about the amount of space required for the children in your care?

The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework  is available here: EYFS on

This document is the legal framework that all settings providing childcare in England have to work to.

If it’s in here, it’s a legal requirement, and you MUST do it.If not, you could be prosecuted, or Ofsted could give you a Warning, or a Notice to Improve… or you could be closed down.

Sobering thoughts.

These are the rules:

eyfs page 29 space requirements

So to work out how much space you need for your children, this is the formula:

Space required = (a x 3.5) + (b x 2.5) + (c x2.3)


a = number of children aged under 2 years on site

b = number of children aged 2 years old on site

c = number of children aged 3 and 4 years old on site

This Maths Formula is so important, it tells you how much space you MUST have for the number of children you have in your nursery at any one time. If you go over this you are breaking the law and could be prosecuted. 

You could work it out with pen, paper and calculator for every combination of children that you have in your nursery, or MIGHT have in your nursery….

Or if you are keen to same time and effort and have a smart phone/ipad/tablet computer, you could let my App work it out for you 🙂

Yes, there really is an App for that! Take a look:


I have made you a FREE guide to the Ofsted Space Requirements. Just click to download, print off and use:

space printable


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