Victoria government logo

Educator to child ratios in early childhood services

The National Quality Framework (NQF) and the Children’s Services Act (CS Act) set out the minimum educator to child ratio.


The National Quality Framework (NQF) and the Children’s Services Act 1996 (CS Act)External Link set out the minimum educator to child ratio.

To be included in the ratio, the educator must be working directly with children:

  • any educator that is physically present
  • directly involved in the education and care of children.

To be counted, the educator must also hold the relevant qualificationExternal Link .

Ratios in centre-based services

  • 1:4 for children from birth to 24 months
  • 1:4 for children over 24 months and less than 36 months
  • 1:11 for children up to and including preschool age
  • 1:15 for children over preschool age.

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.

View the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) Educator to child ratio calculatorExternal Link - note that this is a guide only, and adequate supervision is always required.

Ratios in family day care (FDC)

  • 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.

Mixed age groups

Where there is a mix of children from all three specified age groups, you may wish to calculate the educator to child ratios by including the older age groups as part of the ratios for children in younger age groups.

Record keeping

All centre-based services must have a record of educators working directly with children.

A staff roster, timesheet or alternative must be used to capture the required information:

  • the name of each educator who works directly with children
  • the number of hours they work directly with the children at the service
  • the number of hours they are not directly working with children, including rostered breaks (such as lunch breaks)
  • if an educator is completing duties such as program planning, completing cleaning, or food preparation duties.

The record does not need to include short brakes such as:

  • going to the toilet
  • answering a phone call
  • briefly talking to a parent
  • checking paperwork etc.

Early childhood teachers

Learn more about Early childhood teacher requirements.

Reviewed 04 April 2023


Contact us

Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD)

Was this page helpful?