What are the California Child Care Ratios?

In your search for a quality preschool program, there are many factors to consider. Is the school licensed and/or accredited by NAEYC? What’s the school’s teacher turnover rate? And what is a child care ratio? We know, it’s a lot. And we’re here to help. Let’s tackle these questions one by one, and learn more about California child care ratios. 

What are child care ratios? 

Also referred to as the teacher-to-child ratio, a child care ratio is the number of adults present to teach and care for the children in a classroom. All child care centers and family day care homes in California must be licensed by the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services, and thus must follow specific regulations. Child care ratios are just one of many regulations by Community Care Licensing, among staff qualifications, discipline guidelines, and parent rights when enrolled in a child care program. 

When considering different forms of care, take note that the following facilities are not required to be licensed, and thus do not have specific guidelines for teacher-to-child ratios. 

  • Child care in the child’s own home (i.e. nanny, babysitters)
  • Family Day Care programs that care for the children of only one family other than the provider’s family 
  • Informal child care arrangements such as co-ops, shares, exchanges, and play groups where no money changes hands for care and supervision. 
  • Certain school-age care programs (parks/recreation programs, on-site run by school district) 
  • On-site military care programs, which are regulated separately by the military or programs located on federal property. 

What is the ratio in California? 

It depends. California child care ratios are determined by the type of facility the preschool is in. All programs required to be licensed must meet the regulations specified in the Title 22 of the California Administrative Code. However, state-subsidized child care centers must meet additional Education Code requirements, outlined in Title 5

Title 22 Regulations 

Title 22 applies to all licensed child care settings, and regulates a childcare center’s staff qualifications and teacher-to-child ratio. In child care centers like Kids’ Care Club, there must be at least 1 adult to 4 children for ages 0-2 years old, and 1 adult to 12 children for children ages 2-6 years old.

Title 5 Regulations

Title 5, also known as Education Code, regulates state-subsidized child care centers to stricter standards than Title 22. Under title 5, children ages 0-2 years old must have 1 adult to three children, or 1 adult to four children in combination age classrooms (0-3 years old). For children ages 2-6 years old, there must be 1 adult per 8 children. 

What are the Child Care Ratios under NAEYC? 

In addition to child care licensing requirements, child care centers that opt for further accreditation may have differing requirements. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has recommended best practices for staff-to-child ratio and class sizes for NAEYC accredited programs. 

As defined by NAEYC, the staff-to-child ratio is the number of children compared to the number of teaching staff. The class size is the number of children assigned to a specific teacher or a team of teaching staff members that occupy an individual classroom or well-defined space that prevents children from different classrooms from interacting with one another. Each classroom must have at least one designated teacher. The following ratio and maximum class sizes set forth by NAEYC can be seen below. 

Age Category  Staff-to-Child Ratio  Maximum Class Size 
Infant (Birth – 15 months)  1 teacher:4 children  8 Children
Toddler/Two (12-36 months)  1 teacher:6 children  12 Children
Preschool (30 months-5 years) 1 teacher:10 children 20 Children

What is the Child Care Ratio here at Kids’ Care Club?

Kids’ Care Club is a Child Care licensed, NAEYC accredited child development center in San Diego. Both our locations in 4S Ranch and Rancho Penasquitos are divided into 5 different classrooms based on your child’s age and stage of development: Infants, Toddlers, Two-Year-Olds, Preschool, and Pre-K/TK. Each of our classrooms follows the child care ratios set forth by NAEYC, allowing each of our classrooms to have enough educators for adequate supervision of children. Low teacher-to-child ratios in our classrooms promote high-quality interactions between educators and children that enrich your child’s learning experience and support their emotional, cognitive, and physical development. 

We invite you to contact us today to learn more about the early childhood educational experiences that await your family. 

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