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Questions Regarding Ratios in a Child Care Facility

questionQuestion 1: Toddlers room age 2 to 3 how many children to 1 teacher including after schools in the same classroom setting and when is a second teacher is needed? I work in a early care setting and was not given a handbook.

Question 2: In a 4k class how many children to 1 teacher and when is an assistant teacher needed?

Question 3: When there is no school for the after school children or half days are the children allowed in the 4k class?

answer

Thank you for your questions regarding ratios in a child care facility. The DSS Regulations regarding ratios is as follows and must be maintained at all times, in the classrooms, on the playground, and away from the center.

114-504B. Ratios

(1) The following staffing ratios apply at all times children are present on the premises and during activities away from the center and shall be prominently posted in all classrooms

STAFF:CHILD RATIOS

Child’s Age Staff:Child Ratio
   
Birth to one year 1:5
One to two years 1:6
Two to three years 1:8
Three to four years 1:12
Four to five years 1:17
Five to six years 1:20
Six to twelve years 1:23

(2) When there are mixed age groups in the same room, the staff:child ratio shall be consistent with the age of the majority of the children when no infants or toddlers are in the mixed age group.

(3) For mixed age groups, with one or more infants or toddlers, the ratios applicable to the youngest child in the group apply.

114-504 C. Nap time staff:child ratios

(1) During nap times the following ratios apply as long as at least one other staff person is readily available:

NAP TIME STAFF:CHILD RATIOS

Child’s Age Staff:Child Ratio
   
Birth to one year 1:5
One to two years 1:6
Two to three years 1:16
Three to four years 1:24
Four years and older 1:34

 

  1. Water safety staffing

(1) The following staffing ratios apply at all times while children are swimming or wading. The staffing ratios shall also apply at all times while children are near a water body that poses a potential risk based upon the age of the child.

WATER SAFETY STAFF:CHILD RATIOS

Child’s Age Staff:Child Ratio
Birth to two years 1:1
Two to three years 1:2
Three to four years 1:3
Four to five years 1:6
Five years and older 2:25

(2) All swimming activities shall be supervised by a person with current lifeguard training certification. If this is a staff person who has current lifeguard training certification, they may be included in the staff:child ratio. In instances in which all staff members can, without the ability to swim, quickly reach any child, a certified lifeguard is unnecessary.

Children maybe allowed in any classroom as long as ratios and supervision are maintained and other factors. However, infant children may not be allowed into other classrooms but that depends on that specific facility’s approval from the fire marshal. Thank you and please let me know if you have further questions or concerns.

Thank you!

Charlene G. Caldwell
Program Manager, Child Care Licensing
South Carolina Department of Social Services
Division of Early Care and Education

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