Child Care ratios and qualifications for child care

Child Care ratios and qualifications for child care

All parents want to know their child is receiving the best possible care and attention while they are in a child care service. There are many tangible ways to assess the quality of care offered by the service you are considering and our checklist offers some great hints on what to look out for when you are doing your research and centre visits.

You should also be mindful of what your instincts are telling you. If you and your child feel happy with the carers and environment then there is a great chance the child care service will be a good fit for your family.

Under changes brought about by the National Quality Framework the Government is hoping to raise the standard of child care in Australia through new quality standards and improved carer ratios which are being introduced between now and 2020.

The Government is also introducing new qualifications standards for early childhood educators in the hope that more qualified carers will improve early education outcomes for children.

According to the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority the following qualification requirements for educators caring for children will apply:

QUALIFICATIONS

By 1 January 2020:

  • When long day care and preschool services are provided to 60 or more children on any given day, the service must ensure that a second early childhood teacher is in attendance for:
    - three hours on that day (for a service that operates for 50+ hours per week) or
    - 30 per cent of the operating hours (for a service that operates for 50+ hours per week)

    A service may choose to comply with these requirements by engaging a second early childhood teacher for half of the full-time equivalent hours at the service.
  • When long day care and preschool services are provided to 80 or more children on any given day the service must ensure that a second early childhood teacher is in attendance for:
    - six hours on that day (for a service that operates for 50+ hours per week) or
    - 60 per cent of the operating hours (for a service that operates for 50+ hours per week)

A service may choose to comply with these requirements by engaging a second full-time equivalent early childhood teacher.

Educator to Child Ratios
Under the National Quality Standards educator to child ratios have also been improved. The ratios are summarised in the table below.

States/Territories Service Type Educator to Child Ratios
Children from birth to 24 months

All States and Territories*

Child care centre 1 educator to 4 children
Children aged 24 to 36 months
ACT Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children

NSW

Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children
NT

Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children
SA

Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children
QLD* Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children

TAS**

Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children
VIC

Child care centre

1 educator to 4 children
WA

Child care centre

1 educator to 5 children
Children aged 36 months and older
NSW

Child care centre/preschool

1 educator to 10 children
NT

Child care centre/preschool

1 educator to 11 children
QLD

Child care centre/preschool

1 educator to 11 children
SA

Child care centre
Disadvantaged preschool
Preschool

1 educator to 10 children
1 educator to 10 children
1 educator to 11 children
TAS***

Child care centre
Preschool

1 educator to 10 children
1 educator to 25 children
VIC

Child care centre/preschool

1 educator to 11 children
WA

Child care centre/preschool

1 educator to 10 children
Children over preschool age
All States and Territories

Outside school hours and vacation care

No national ratios however state and territory ratios may apply
Children aged birth to 13 years
All States and Territories Family day care

1 educator to 7 children with no more than 4 children pre school age or younger including educator's own children younger than 13 years of age at home

* Some services in QLD have permission to operate at 1:5
** Some services in TAS have permission to operate at 1:7 until 2018
*** This is due to the school starting age in Tasmania

Further information about the educator to child ratios or qualification requirements can be found on the ACECQA website.

Further Reading:

Child Care National Quality Framework and National Quality Standards
Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority

This child care article was last updated on Friday, 22 September 2017

Share this article


Leave a comment