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    Child Care Providers: Safe Child-Staff Ratio and Group Size

    Child Care Providers: Safe Child-Staff Ratio and Group Size

    Topic Overview

    The number of children per adult care provider and the total group size are two important factors that indicate the quality and safety of a child care setting. The recommended guidelines for these factors vary by the child's age, the type and size of the child care center, and other aspects. For example, recommendations for group child care centers are shown below: 1

    Safe child-staff ratio and group size for group child care

    Children's ages

    Maximum child-to-staff ratio

    Maximum group size

    12 months or younger

    3 to 1

    6

    13 to 35 months

    4 to 1

    8

    3 years

    7 to 1

    14

    4 years

    8 to 1

    16

    5 years

    8 to 1

    16

    6 to 8 years

    10 to 1

    20

    9 to 12 years

    12 to 1

    24

    Related Information

    References

    Citations

    1. American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. (2002). Caring for Our Children?National Health and Safety Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs, 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

    Credits

    By Healthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
    Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
    Last Revised September 14, 2012

    Last Revised: September 14, 2012

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