ACECQA brings out new educator-to-child ratio calculator for centre-based services
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has worked in conjunction with all state and territory regulatory authorities to develop an online calculator to simplify ratio calculations across centre-based services.
The calculator will assist centres to meet the required educator-to-child ratios for education and care services as outlined in the National Regulations, including requirements for early childhood teachers (ECTs).
Having sufficient numbers of appropriately qualified educators, ACECQA said, enables the delivery of quality education and care programs, which respond to and promote children’s learning and development.
The new online tool calculates the minimum number of educators a centre-based service must have based on a given number of children at any point in time and the age mix.
It also calculates requirements for ECTs.
ACECQA clarified that in order for an educator or teacher to be considered as being in ratio, they must be working directly with children.
The phrase ‘working directly with children’ means being physically present with the children and directly involved in providing education and care to those children; and where required, holding or being actively working towards an approved qualification.
In addition to the need to meet the required educator to child ratios, centres must also ensure that there is adequate supervision of children at all times, with ACECQA cautioning that the calculator is a guide only, and that results are based on the accuracy of the information entered and do not take into consideration some specific circumstances, such as a service having a staffing waiver in force.
Should a service be unsure about what the ratio should be, ACECQA encourages seeking guidance from the relevant state or territory regulatory authority.
Further information on ratios and qualifications may be found in Part 4.4 ‘Staffing Arrangements’ in the National Regulations or in the operational requirements > staffing arrangements section of the Guide to the NQF.