What is a staff-to-child ratio, and why is it important in child care?

A staff-to-child ratio is a measure of the number of children for whom each child care provider is responsible. The staff-to-child ratio is usually stated in numerical terms. For example, if each caregiver cares for 10 children, the ratio is 1 to 10.
In general, lower staff-to-child ratios are one indicator of a higher-quality program because a child care provider can be more sensitive and responsive to children’s needs if he/she is responsible for a smaller group of children.
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