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Educator to Child Ratios In Early Childhood Services

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Educator to Child Ratios In Early Childhood Services Parker Knight

From the 01 January 2016, early childhood educational services across Australia has improved educator to child ratios. 

 

The National Quality Framework sets out the minimum educator to child ratio requirements services must adhere to while caring for children. Educators must be working directly with children to be counted in the educator to child ratios.

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 service (not by individual rooms). This gives providers the flexibility to respond to the needs of children.
  • 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.

The ratio requirements across all age ranges in Australia are as follows:

 

 

Meeting New Educator to Child Ratios

Some services may need to increase the number of qualified educators in order to meet the new ratio requirements. To, be included in ratios, educators need to meet the appropriate qualification requirements, which may also include “actively working towards an approved qualification”.  

This means that an educator doesn't necessarily have to have a completed qualification if they are meeting the requirements set below they too can be part of the ratio. 

Cert 3 Qualified Educator: An educator can be counted as a cert 3 qualified educator is they hold an approved qualification or if they are “actively working towards” the following requirements:

  • Being enrolled in a course for the qualification
  • Commenced the course
  • Making satisfactory progress towards completion
  • Meeting requirements to maintain enrolment

Diploma Qualified Educator: An educator can be counted as a diploma qualified educator if they hold an approved diploma qualification or if they are “actively working towards” the following requirements:

  • Being enrolled in a course for the qualification
  • Commenced the course
  • Making satisfactory progress towards completion
  • Meeting requirements to maintain enrolment
  • Hold an approved cert 3 qualification OR
  • Have completed the approved cert 3 units OR
  • Have completed 30% of the unit in an approved ECT qualifications

‘Actively working towards’ provisions may not apply where a state or territory specific regulation is in place, including for services educating and caring for school-age children. If you have any questions about this, contact your regulatory authority.

Please note that all family day care coordinators in Australia are required to have an approved diploma level education and care qualification and cannot be ‘actively working towards’ this qualification.

ECT Qualified Educator: In September 2017, the Education Council agreed to extend regulation 242 of the National Regulations. Under regulation 242, you are ‘taken to be an early childhood teacher’ until 31 December 2019 if you:

  • are enrolled in an approved early childhood teaching qualification, and
  • give the approved provider documentary evidence from the course provider that you:
  • have started the course, and
  • are making satisfactory progress towards completing the course, and
  • are meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment, and
  • hold an approved diploma level educator qualification, or have completed at least 50 per cent of the course. 

Regulation 242 does not apply in Victoria after 31 December 2017 or if you are working in a centre-based service educating and caring for 30 or more children preschool age or under in NSW.

This transition provision will end on 31 December 2019. From 1 January 2020, an educator will need to have completed their ECT qualification to be considered a qualified ECT. However, educators ‘actively working towards’ an approved ECT qualification may still be counted as a certificate III or diploma level educator, depending on how much of the approved ECT qualification they have completed.

Reference: 
Educator to Child Ratios, ACECQA

Last modified on Monday, October 1, 2018
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