What is a good ratio of adults to children in childcare?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,466
    National Research Center for Women and Families president Dr. Diana Zuckerman recommends the right balance of children to adults in childcare settings.

    Host: What is a good ratio of adults to children in childcare?

    Dr. Diana Zuckerman: The ratio of adults to children really depends on the age of the child. So for example, if you have infants under the age of one you really don't want more than three infants per adult, but it also matters not just how many infants per adult but how many kids are in the room. So, you really only want about six babies under the age of one, altogether. You don't want 30 babies even if you had ten adults. Then from ages one to two, you can go up to four children per adult. From two to three you can go up to five children per adult and then after that, it gets a lot easier because the children are interacting with each other and they are not just dependent on attention from the adults. They are learning from each other. They are playing with each other. They are imitating each other and so by the time you get over the age of three you really can start getting into six or seven children per adults. By the time you get to age six, you are still at about ten children per adult ideally. But of course, in kindergarten many kindergartens do have 20 kids or even more with just one adult. Although, I think more and more they are trying to have a teacher and a teacher's aide or something like that just to keep those ratios down, but just remember that it matters the age and it matters how many children in the room because it can get very chaotic when you have a lot of children no matter how many adults you have.