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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Child Care Providers: Safe Child-Staff Ratio and Group Size
The number of children per adult care provider is one thing that reflects the quality and safety of a child
care setting. Total group size also matters. The guidelines for these factors vary by the child's age. They also vary by the type and size of the child care center.
The guidelines for group child care centers are shown in the table.footnote 1
Maximum child-to-staff ratio
Maximum group size
12 months or younger
3 to 1
13 to 35 months
4 to 1
7 to 1
8 to 1
6 to 8 years
10 to 1
9 to 12 years
12 to 1
American Academy of Pediatrics et al. (2011). Staffing. In Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards—Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd ed., pp. 2–45. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
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