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Promoting Professional Development and High Quality Early Childhood and School-Age Programmes
 Council on Children and Families
 Deborah Benson, Executive Director

Staff/Child Ratios

The following table compares staff-to-child ratios by age range, group size, and standard. See Notes at bottom of page for more information.

Age and Standard Group Size (#of children in same room)
  6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 30
Under 6 weeks                        
NYS Child Care Center 1:3                      
                         
Infants(Birth-12 months)                        
Early Head Start   1:4                    
NAEYC 1:3 1:4                    
                         
6 weeks to 18 months                        
NYS Child Care Center   1:4                    
                         
Toddlers(12-24 months)                        
Early Head Start   1:4                    
NAEYC 1:3 1:4 1:5 1:4                
                         
18 months-36 months                        
NYS Child Care Center       1:5                
NAEYC 1:3 1:4 1:4 1:4                
                         
2 yr-olds(24-30month)                        
Early Head Start   1:4                    
NAEYC   1:4 1:5 1:6                
                         
2.5 yr-olds(30-36months)                        
Early Head Start   1:4                    
NAEYC     1:5 1:6 1:7 1:8 1:9          
                         
3 yr-olds                        
Head Start*           1:8            
NAEYC         1:7 1:8 1:9 1:10        
NYS Child Care Center             1:7          
                         
4 yr-olds                        
Head Start**               1:8        
NAEYC           1:8 1:9 1:10        
NYS Child Care Center                 1:8      
                         
5 yr-olds                        
Head Start**               1:8        
NAEYC           1:8 1:9 1:10        
NYS Child Care Center                     1:9  
                         
Kindergartners                        
NAEYC             1:10 1:11   1:12    
                         
6-8 yr-olds                        
NAEYC             1:10 1:11   1:12 1:15  
                         
Through 9 yrs                        
NYS Child Care Cntr               1:10        
                         
9-12 yr-olds                        
NAEYC                   1:12 1:15  
                         
10-12 yr-olds                        
NYS Child Care Center                       1:15
                         

Special Notes for ratios:
  • Note the distinction between "group size" and "center size". A center may have many groups.
  • Note that the age ranges for NYS Child Care Center are different and therefore overlap those for the other standards.
  • For Head Start Standards, if local licensing ratios are more stringent, the local ratios shall apply.
  • More stringent ratios may exist for special activities such as swimming.
  • *If double sessions for three-year-olds, group size cannot exceed 15 children.
  • **If double sessions for four or five-year-olds, group size cannot exceed 17 children.
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