What’s the Ideal Child-to-Caregiver Ratio for Daycare?

Recommended Ideal Child-to-Daycare for Daycares

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An important question from our series on Questions to Ask During a Daycare Tour was “What is your staff-to-child ratio?” This question comes up frequently, and it’s an important one to ask as a parent, but also to answer as a daycare.

Why staff-to-child ratios are important

This is normally a burning question among parents but for the right reason. You want to be 100% certain your child is receiving the proper care and attention during their time at a Cornerstone Academy or any daycare in the Kenosha area. If the staff members in the facility are overworked or have too much to handle, it will be impossible for them to provide the necessary focus on your child in a day. Staff-to-child ratios are also essential in considering your child’s safety, relationship building with other peers and teachers, and abuse prevention.

Best ratios for daycare staff to children:

So, what is a good ratio? We did the legwork so you know exactly what a good answer is as you go through and tour Kenosha’s Daycare facilities.

Newborn to 18 Months – 1:4

Wisconsin state requirements are one child care staff member per four newborn or infant children under 15 months old in a daycare. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHS) feels that one staff member should be able to coordinate feeding schedules, naps, diaper changes, and other basic newborn needs throughout a day without much help from additional staff members. As the children get a little older, this also is the ideal ratio to watch children that are constantly on the move while also giving them independence.

Toddlers (2 years old) – 1:6

Toddlers (2.5 years old) – 1:8

3 years old – 1:10

4 years old – 1:13

The Wisconsin DHS recommends the same child-to-caregiver ratio for toddlers as it does for newborns and infants. There should be one staff member assigned to every group of six to eight toddlers. A toddler is a child between 18 months and 30 months old. The caregiver will need to be able to help children to go to the bathroom, prepare snacks and meals, coordinate naps, and schedule one or two activities throughout the day to stimulate the children. You might notice that as the children get older, there are fewer teachers required by the state. These numbers are simply minimum guidelines and some centers might have more teachers on staff to keep these ratios lower even as the kids get older.

Preschool – 1:17

Children ages 4+ in preschool only need one caregiver per every 17 children/students. This is because a 4-year-old child will more likely to be better behaved than a toddler or an infant. The expectation is that the child can listen to directions, be respectful to the teacher and other students, and be able to use the bathroom by themselves.

Recommendations for Daycare Ratios

We recommend that the daycare you choose for your child offers the child-to-caregiver ratios that we provided above. These ratios have been approved by the Wisconsin DHS.

If the daycare you tour doesn’t staff enough caregivers to meet these recommendations, you should take the time to continue interviewing and researching other facilities that are better prepared to care for your child and provide them the necessary attention in order to foster growth and ensure safety and comfort. At the end of the day, saftey of your child is the most important thing you need to consider at daycare.

To learn about the child-to-caregiver ratio at Cornerstone Academy and our current enrollment opportunities, contact us online or call (262) 552-5368.

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