What You Need to Know
The number of adults who are present to teach and care for your child and the other children who are playing, eating, and sleeping together in a group is known as the child-to-adult ratio. The maximum number of children in a group is called the group size.
Low child-to-adult ratios and small group sizes help ensure that your child gets enough one-on-one attention from an adult who is available to take care of each child’s unique needs. This responsive caregiving is extremely important to your child’s social and emotional development, physical well-being, and overall learning.
This one-on-one attention helps children feel safe and secure and reduces feelings of being overwhelmed — for both children and adults. A smaller group size with enough trained adults present is easier to manage. Because adults are better able to watch and respond to a smaller group, children will be less likely to get injured or sick.
The following are some general recommendations from early childhood experts. (Please note that when providing care for mixed-age groups, child-to-adult ratios and group sizes will vary.)
|Your Child’s Age||Child-to-Adult Ratio||Group Size||Number of Adults in a Full Group|
|Infant (Younger Than 12 Months)||4 Infants to 1 Trained Adult||No More Than 8 Infants in a Group||2 Trained Adults Present in a Full Group of 8 Infants|
|Young Toddler (1–2 Years)||6 Young Toddlers to 1 Trained Adult||No More Than 12 Young Toddlers in a Group||2 Trained Adults Present in a Full Group of 12 Young Toddlers|
|Older Toddler (2–3 Years)||6 Older Toddlers to 1 Trained Adult||No More Than 12 Older Toddlers in a Group||2 Trained Adults Present in a Full Group of 12 Older Toddlers|
|Preschooler (3–5 Years)||10 Preschoolers to 1 Trained Adult||No More Than 20 Preschoolers in a Group||2 Trained Adults Present in a Full Group of 20 Preschoolers|
|School Age||12 School-Age Children to 1 Trained Adult||No More Than 24 School-Age Children in a Group||2 Trained Adults Present in a Full Group of 24 School-Age Children|
Adapted from: https://www.childcare.gov/consumer-education/ratios-and-group-sizes