Ratios for Centers and Family Child Care Homes

Appropriate ratios should be kept during all hours of program operation. Children with special health care needs or who require more attention due to certain disabilities may require additional staff on-site, depending on their needs and the extent of their disabilities.

In center-based care, child-provider ratios should be determined by the age of the majority of children and the needs of children present.

  Child Care Centers
Age Maximum Child: Provider Ratio
≤ 12 months 4:1
13-23 months 4:1
24-35 months 4:1-6:1
3-year-olds 9:1
4-to 5-year-olds 10:1

In family child care homes, the provider’s own children under the age of 6, as well as any other children in the home temporarily requiring supervision, should be included in the child: provider ratio. In family child care settings where there are mixed age groups that include infants and toddlers, a maximum ratio of 6:1 should be maintained and no more than two of these children should be 24 months or younger. If all children in care are under 36 months, a maximum ratio of 4:1 should be maintained and no more than two of these children should be 18 months or younger. If all children in care are 3 years old, a maximum ratio of 7:1 should be preserved.  If all children in care are 4 to 5 years of age, a maximum ratio of 8:1 should be maintained.

Topic:Health Services Management

Resource Type: Article

National Centers: Early Childhood Health and Wellness

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