With improved educator to child ratios starting 1 January 2016 in several states and territories, your service may have questions on how ratios are calculated.
Educator-to-child ratios are calculated across the whole service, for the ages of children in attendance at the time, rather than by room grouping. This flexibility may allow some services affected by the ratio changes to reconfigure groupings rather than roster additional staff or reduce overall capacity of the service.
The National Law and Regulations do not prescribe how services must roster staff or group children to ensure ratio requirements are met. However, the approved provider and nominated supervisor are responsible for ensuring that children are adequately supervised at all times.
Ratio requirements are the minimum requirements, and additional educators may need to be rostered to ensure ratios are maintained while educators are on a rostered break. Also, at some times of the day and for some activities, some children may need closer supervision than others. In these situations, services need to be aware that just because educator-to-child ratio requirements are met, it does not necessarily mean there is adequate supervision across a service.
New ratios apply for:
- children older than 24 months and younger than 36 months at centre-based services in NSW, Queensland and South Australia
- children older than 36 months up to and including preschool age for all centre-based services in Queensland and Victoria
- preschools in ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia
- family day care services in Queensland.
More information, including an interactive map outlining the changes in your state or territory, is available on ACECQA’s ratio page.