Important Tips Every Parent Should Know About Staff/Child Ratios In Day Care Centers

Posted on: 30 March 2016

As the parent of a young child, day care is obviously a big concern for you, since recent data has determined that about four out of five kids in the United States have spent at least some time in day care by the age of four. It is also important to note that the ratios of students to teachers in child care facilities typically increase during nap time and that there are certain times of the day in many child care facilities that can be more challenging. Therefore, as part of your screening procedures for possible child care services, it is a good idea to understand how the ratios of kids to staff works at the facility in question and how those numbers might be legally allowed to fluctuate throughout the day.

Know The Laws In Your State Regarding Teacher/Student Ratios In Your State For Awake Children

When considering the numbers of children that a single staff member, which could be a teacher or side, can be in charge of at any given time, it only makes sense that in general, the number of students in a classroom increases as the children age. There may be occasional exceptions to that if a facility has classrooms for special needs children or day care for sick children, where reduced numbers of children or the presence of a nurse might be necessary.

Otherwise, infant rooms often have no more than four babies per teacher, while school-aged children could have 20 or more students to one teacher. Since the laws about day care facilities are primarily determined on a state level, there is not just one set of guidelines for parents to refer to throughout the country when evaluating the numbers of children that staff members can be entrusted with. However, one common feature relates to the increased ratios of children to teachers during nap time, as explained below.

Understand How The Laws Change During Nap time-And What Age Groups Will Be Impacted

A good rule of thumb is that babies need a lot of sleep, while school-aged, healthy children rarely need naps during the day. Therefore, it is common for toddlers who are at least a year old and children under the age of five to have a regular, scheduled nap each day that they are in day care.

It is usually immediately after lunch, and during that time, it is fairly common for the ratio of students to staff member to go up. It is not unusual for it to double, as it does in Ohio, Pennsylvania and many other states. You may find it helpful to drop by the child care service that you are considering, in the time immediately prior to nap time, to get a better idea of how smoothly things go during a challenging, busy time of the day.

In conclusion, choosing the right day care for your child is likely to be one of the most important parenting decisions you have been asked to make thus far. By knowing how many children each teacher can legally be responsible for at different times of the day and by making random visits to the facility, you can be sure that your final choice is the one that will provide the most benefit to your son or daughter.