When looking for a Day Care and Preschool one should always visit the center and ask a few specific questions of the center's director or person giving the tour. One of the most important questions to ask is what is your teacher to child ratio.
First, before visiting the center you should review the state guidelines that are set up for your area as they may vary. Florida state laws require the following teacher to child ratios:
- Infants - 1 teacher to 4 infants
- 1 year olds - 1 teacher to 6 children
- 2 year olds - 1 teacher to 11 children
- 3 year olds - 1 teacher to 15 children
- VPK (4 year olds) - 1 teacher to 20 children
*Note that 2 years old and up with mixed ages groups is based on the age that has majority role
"From day one we have always made sure that we never enroll more children than the ratio requirement calls for. While they may not all show up on the same day, its important that we never enroll more because a lot of centers do and have big problems when all the children show up they are over ratio for their teacher to child ratio." - Carla Wooten Tiny Tykes Child Care Ocala, FL
Why is it important to look for a daycare and preschool center that has strict teacher to child ratios? There are several reason. For example, your child's safety relies on the teacher being able to watch your child along with other children in the classroom. Next, for teaching purposes children require a certain amount of one on one time that may not occur should the teacher be over ratio. And, lastly children that are potty training may get the proper care and attention they need, when being cleaned and changed after bowel movements or mandatory changing.
These are only a few examples of why teacher to child ratios are so important. Please make sure when you are touring a center that you count the children in the class room and then ask then ask the director the ratio for that center to make sure they are observing the law as it could mean your child's learning experience could be less than perfect and / or worst their health and safety.
Do you have a question regarding daycare and preschool or early childhood Development? Ask us!