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.

On this page you will find educator to child ratio requirements for family day care and centre-based education and care settings. A calculator at the bottom of this page may assist in determining educator to child ratios in centre-based services, as well as any Early Childhood Teacher requirements.

Educators must be working directly with children to be counted in the educator to child ratios. Working directly with children means being physically present with the children and directly involved in providing education and care to those children.

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 whole service (not by individual rooms). This gives providers the flexibility to respond to ensure educators are allocated appropriately based on the age and needs of children in the service. 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. Educators must be working directly with children to be counted in the educator to child ratios.
Age of childrenEducator to child ratioApplies
Birth to 24 months

1:4

All states and territories
Over 24 months and less than 36 months

1:5

All states and territories excluding VIC

1:4

VIC
36 months up to and including preschool age

1:11

ACT, NT, QLD, SA, VIC

1:10

NSW

1:10

2:25 for children attending a preschool program

TAS

1:10

WA
Over preschool age

1:15

NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, NSW

1:11

ACT

If no Kindergarten children present

1:10 for first 12 children

then 1:13

(eg.  If 11 or 12 children present, 2 staff members still required)

Refer to table in Reg 369 for full breakdown

WA

 

Educator to child ratio calculator for centre-based services

Please ensure that you read the full Disclaimer text below, notably that the calculator is a guide only, that educators must be directly involved in the education and care of children to be counted in ratios, and that adequate supervision of children must be maintained at all times.

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.