Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Child Care Providers: Safe Child-Staff Ratio and Group Size
The number of children per adult care provider and the total group
size are two important factors that indicate the quality and safety of a child
care setting. The recommended guidelines for these factors vary by the child's age, the type and size of the child care center, and other aspects. For example, recommendations for group child care centers are shown below:1
Maximum child-to-staff ratio
Maximum group size
12 months or younger
3 to 1
13 to 35 months
4 to 1
7 to 1
8 to 1
6 to 8 years
10 to 1
9 to 12 years
12 to 1
American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. (2002).
Caring for Our Children—National Health and Safety Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs, 2nd ed. Elk Grove
Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
September 14, 2012
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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