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Staffing Ratios

Childcare and Staffing Ratio Examples

These regulated, setting examples also represent qualifying childcare options for eligible participants in the Childcare Choice - Employee program and the Childcare Choice - Student program.

Small Family Childcare Homes Certified by the Department of Economic Security (DES)

Childcare takes place in the home of another person, caring for as many as four (4) children. There is a 1:4 staff/child ratio.

Family Childcare Group Homes Certified by the Department of Health Services (DHS)

Childcare takes place in the home of another person caring for up to ten (10) children for compensation. There is a 1:5 staff/child ratio.

Childcare Centers Licensed by the Department of Health Services (DHS)

Childcare takes place in a center-based facility and serves larger groups of children. Centers may be called “preschools, schools or nursery schools and early childhood centers.” Staff to child ratios vary according to the age group and are referenced below. Exceptions include centers that are located on military bases and tribal lands, where parents are on the premises (such as health clubs) and where children are free to come and go.

 


State Standards and Accreditation Standards

Best practices research indicates responsive, early care and education programs consistently demonstrate features that support optimal learning experiences. Such features include ratios where larger numbers of adults serve smaller groups of children.

State, parent and consumer information is here. Quality First – a signature program of First Things First – partners with child care and preschool providers across Arizona to improve the quality of early learning for kids birth to 5 and helps parents and families make more informed decisions when choosing a provider to meet their needs.

Beyond state criteria, independent and voluntary national accreditation also exists. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership association that accredits childcare centers. NAEYC has developed recommended adult to child ratios that are referenced in the following matrix. Childcare programs can also be accredited by other entities representing a specific affiliation (e.g., by religion or curriculum philosophy)
 
Similarly, family childcare homes may also pursue voluntary accreditation through the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Both NAEYC and NAFCC offer useful web-based accreditation searches and suggestions on how to select care.

 

State of Arizona

Children’s Ages

Adult to Child Ratios

Infants
(Birth–12 months)

1 adult/5 children
2 adults/11 children

1 Year Olds

1 adult/6 children
2 adults/13 children

2 Year Olds

1 adult/8 children

3 Year Olds

1 adult/13 children

4 Year Olds

1 adult/l5 children

5 Year Olds

1 adult/20 children

School-Age Children

1 adult/20 children

 

Quality First

Children’s Ages

Adult to Child Ratios


Birth to 12 months
 
1 adult/ 5 children or less

12-24 months
 
1 adult/ 6 children or less

2 Years Olds
 
1 adult/ 8 children or less

3 Years Olds
 
1 adult/ 12children or less

4-5 Years Olds
 
1 adult/ 13 children or less

In mixed-age group settings, check these guidelines by the age of the youngest child in the group. Source: QF
 

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Recommended

Children’s Ages

Adult to Child Ratios

Infants
(Birth–15 months)*

1 adult/3 children in a group no larger than 6
1 adult/4 children in a group no larger than 8

Toddlers/Twos
(12-28 months)*

1 adult/3 children in a group no larger than 6
1 adult/4 children in a group no larger than 8...10...12

(21-36 months)*

1 adult/4 children in a group no larger than 8
1 adult/5 children in a group no larger than 10
1 adult/6 children in a group no larger than 12

Preschool
(30-48 months)
2 ½-4 years

1 adult/6 children in a group no larger than 12
1 adult/7 children in a group no larger than 14
1 adult/8 children in a group no larger than 16
1 adult/9 children in a group no larger than 18

(48-60 months)
4-5 Years

1 adult/8 children in a group no larger than 16
1 adult/9 children in a group no larger than 18
1 adult/10 children in a group no larger than 20

(60 months to Kindergarten)
5 Year Olds to Kindergarten Enrollment

1 adult/8 children in a group no larger than 16
1 adult/9 children in a group no larger than 18
1 adult/10 children in a group no larger than 20

Kindergarten (Enrollment in Any Public or Private Kindergarten)

1 adult/10 children in a group no larger than 20
1 adult/11 children in a group no larger than 22
1 adult/12 children in a group no larger than 24

*These age ranges purposefully overlap.  Source: NAEYC