Aussie Childcare Network Forum • Under the roof ratios
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Under the roof ratios

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:08 am
by ShanB

I have just started Directing a new service and have a different opinion regarding what to do when it comes to ratios. They are counting ratios service wide- so if there is 1 over for 0-2s they count that child in with an educator who is in the 2-3s room. However, the 2-3s educator is not directly working with that child unless the 0-2 year old gets moved to the 2-3s room.

The issue is I think this causes unpredictability in a child’s day as they will need to be moved rooms different days according to ratios.

What are people’s thoughts on this? What do you do at your centre?

Re: Under the roof ratios

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:36 pm
by Lorina
I received this response from the Departement Of Education and Training regarding "under the roof" guidelines...

The Department of Education, Training and Employment (the Department) is the Regulatory Authority responsible for the regulation of education and care services in Queensland under the National Quality Framework (NQF). The NQF comprises the Education and Care Services National Law (the National Law) and the Education and Care Services National Regulations (National Regulations) that apply to education and care services including most long day care centres, pre-Prep, outside school hours care services, family day care and kindergartens. Whilst most services in Queensland are regulated under the NQF, a small number of services are captured by the Queensland Education and Care Services Act 2013.

The NQF includes the National Quality Standard (the NQS) intended to promote continuous quality improvement in education and care. The Department’s website at provides useful information and resources tailored to support the implementation of the NQF in Queensland.

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the national entity overseeing the NQF in education and care services in Australia. Valuable resources including copies of the National Law and National Regulation are available on the ACECQA website.

Educator to child ratios and qualification requirements
Under the National Law, an Approved Provider of a centre based service must comply with staffing arrangements outlined in Part 4.4 of the National Regulations. This includes educator to child ratios outlined in regulation 123 and qualification requirements outlined in regulations 125 to 135, which are dependent on the size and nature of the service. In addition, Queensland also has some specific transitional provisions that also currently apply. Attached is a fact sheet which outlines the staffing requirements and qualifications in Queensland including time frames for any transitional provisions.

In accordance with regulation 121, the minimum number of educators and their qualification requirements are calculated across the service, regardless of the individual room configuration. This means that ratios are not calculated on the number of children and educators present in a ‘room’ or ‘group’. This flexibility in calculating ratios allows services the ability to tailor the operation of their service to meet the needs of families and children enrolled.

The ratio required is always calculated according to the youngest age of the child allocated to an educator for the purposes of calculating ratios. Under regulation 122 the educator must be ‘working directly with children’ at the service. Regulation 13 of the National Regulations defines ‘working directly with children’ as being both physically present with the children and being directly engaged in providing education and care to the children. Please note that an educator is still considered to be working directly with children for the purposes of the educator to child ratio requirements if they are taking a rest pause or are briefly absent in accordance with Regulations 313-317.

Adequate supervision
The educator to child ratios outlined in the National Regulations provides the minimum requirements which education and care services must meet. The Approved Provider needs to consider the size and composition of groups for educators to achieve quality education, health, safety and wellbeing outcomes for children. Beyond complying with the minimum ratios, under section 165 of the National Law, the Approved Provider and Nominated Supervisor must ensure that children being educated and cared for by the service are adequately supervised at all times.


Re: Under the roof ratios

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:44 am
by briode
Hi Lorina

Would this help my case of the 1.51 regulation for OSHC in one large multi-purpose room. I spoke to a colleague from long daycare yesterday and they said they use the "under the roof ratio" to meet this regulation - e.g. going to the toilet just down the hall way (and this is someone in the babies room where ratio is 1:4). Our other duties actually occur in the same room as the children (that is washing up, cleaning - which the children maybe helping with as well - and myself sitting at a desk with laptop for brief intervals throughout the afternoon to check parents accounts, emails etc). And when packing up resource trolleys etc a trip to the storeroom is literally 3-4 metres from where the children are and would take under 1 minute to complete (and there would still be adequate ratios of educators where the children are whilst this one educator makes the trip to the storeroom). It would actually be quicker than if an educator went to the toilet (which we only do with adequate ratios anyway). What do you think?

Re: Under the roof ratios

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:48 pm
by briode
Also Lorina I've just been checking the regs before I talk to DEET officer again and the 313 - 317 section only applies in Qld until 31st Dec 2019. So that wouldn't help my case. They make it so confusing!!!


Re: Under the roof ratios

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:47 pm
by Lorina
So the main reason to use "under the roof ratio" is for Educators complete duties such as cleaning, documentation etc. and to make sure that you're within ratio when this occurs...

The main purpose of under the roof ratio is to enable children to move freely within rooms and make the environment more free flowing so you don't have to worry about counting heads per room. Since you are in an OSHC you should already be using the "under the roof ratio" since it's one large room that all the children are in and all the Educator's work together to supervise the children etc. So, that's basically "under the roof", counting Educators within the service not based on grouping of children as such.

As for completing duties etc. I did find the following information in the regulations:

"Educator to child ratios when an educator or early childhood teacher absent for 5 minutes or less

(1) A centre-based service is taken to meet the relevant educator to child ratio during the absence of an educator or early childhood teacher if—
(a) the educator or early childhood teacher is absent for not more than 5 minutes; and
(b) the educator or early childhood teacher is not absent on a rest pause or during a rest period; and
(c) no other educator or early childhood teacher counted in the relevant required educator to child ratio is absent during that absence.
(2) During the absence of an educator or early childhood teacher in accordance with sub-regulation (1), the centre-based service is taken to meet the relevant qualification requirements for educators.
(3) In this regulation, a reference to an early childhood teacher is a reference to an early childhood teacher who is counted as an educator in calculating the educator to child ratio of the service.

So this basically is stating that if your absent for 5 minutes or less it's ok if you meet the requirements above.

Regarding completing duties, you cannot be counted as part of the "under the roof ratio" since you will not be directly working with children which this specifically applies to so you need an Educator to cover during that time to maintain ratios if necessary.

I agree these are all very confusing!!

I would just ring the DEET officer to confirm any doubts or email so you have it stated in writing.