Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Child Care Providers: Safe Child-Staff Ratio and Group Size
The number of children per adult care provider and the total group
size are two important factors that indicate the quality and safety of a child
care setting. The recommended guidelines for these factors vary by the child's age, the type and size of the child care center, and other aspects. For example, recommendations for group child care centers are shown below: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.
Current as of:
October 9, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.