Educator to child ratios

The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets out the minimum child ratio requirements for children’s education and care services.

Acecqa – The Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority

The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets out the minimum qualification and educator to child ratio requirements for children’s education and care services.

Educators must be working directly with children to be counted in the educator to child ratios. 

Family day care ratio requirements

  • 1:7 educator to child ratio
  • Maximum of four children preschool age or under.
  • Ratio includes the educator’s own children younger than 13 years of age if there is no other adult to care for them. 

Centre-based ratio requirements

  • Ratios are calculated across the service (not by individual rooms). This gives providers the flexibility to respond to the needs of children.  In a mixed age group of children, maintaining the ratio for each age range of children does not mean the educator to child ratio for the youngest age range must be applied to all children in an older age range. An educator who is caring for one age range of children can also be counted against another age range of children, as long as the ratio for each age range is maintained and adequate supervision is maintained at all times.

Age of children Educator to child ratio Applies

Birth to 24 months

1:4

All states and territories1

Over 24 months and less than 36 months

1:5

All states and territories excluding VIC

1:4

VIC

Over 36 months up to and including preschool age

1:11

ACT, NT, QLD, VIC

1:10

NSW

1:10 for centre-based services other than a preschool

1:10 for disadvantaged preschools
1:11 for preschools other than a disadvantaged preschool 

SA

1:10

2:25 for children attending a preschool program

TAS

1:10

WA

Over preschool age

1:15

NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC

1:15

NSW –  applies 1 October 2018

1:11

ACT

1:13

(or 1:10 if kindergarten children are in attendance)

WA

 

1 Some declared approved services in Queensland have approval to operate at 1:5 until January 2020.

More information 

See the Guide to the National Quality Framework for more information on educator to child ratios and adequate supervision. 

See the Guide to the National Quality Framework outline of mixed age ratios in centre-based services.