What is an acceptable preschool teacher/student ratio? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been researching what the teacher/student ratio laws are for preschools in CA, but I'm a little confused because it seems there are lots of variables. The ratios can differ if you have 2 teachers vs. 1 teacher and 1 aide, for ex. And sometimes, I guess, the law allows a school's director to count as a "teacher" in the ratio. I don't get it.

Anyway, would you consider 2:19 decent?
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#2 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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We live in Iowa and here it depends on the ages of the children in the class. At my dd's preschool, there were 16 kids and two teachers for the 3-year-old class. 18:2 for the 4-year-old class and 20:2 for the pre-K class which was made up of mostly 5-year-olds.
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#3 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is for 3-4 YO.
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#4 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeresaZofia View Post

Anyway, would you consider 2:19 decent?

for that age group, yes.

DS is 5 and in Kindergarten. His class size is 18 and they have a full-time teacher and full-time Assistant.

There are definitely pre-schools that have a higher ratio. I know of some that have 30 students and 2 teachers.

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#5 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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I believe the CA law is 1 adult per 10 kids.
So 2 to 19 is fine, and I think that would be enough for kids that age. Our coop preschool currently has 11 kids and we have 2 adults. When we have 15 then we have 3. Thats a lot nicer because you can break them up into small groups to do things. But most schools are not going to have that many teachers.
And if you are in the Long Beach area, you should come to our school

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#6 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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My son is in a class that is made up for 3-4-5 yr olds and the ratio is 2:19. The teachers seem to have everything under control. In addition, they almost always have a parent volunteer as well.
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#7 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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We're in Washington State. My understanding of the rule here is that it's 1:10 for 3 and 4 year olds. The ratio for 5 year olds here is 1:15 I think. DD's preschool has all 4 and 5 year olds in the class, and they have 2 teachers for 14 kids.

The ratio was 1:8 where we used to live in Canada... and you had to follow the ratio guideline for the youngest child in the room. So if you had one 2 year old and the rest of the kids were 3, you'd have to follow the ratio for 2 year olds.

Personally, I wouldn't be thrilled with 2 teachers for twenty 3 and 4 year olds even if it was legal. DD's old preschool had three teachers for 24 kids, but with a group that big there was always a couple of absents, and although that preschool was tolerable, I actually recommend the neighbouring preschool to parents - one reason being that they didn't max their ratios. The owner said that although a classroom could function with the maximum number of kids, it was a lot nicer to have more teacher heavy ratio.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#8 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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In California the required ratio for preschool (2yrs and up) is a minimum of 1 to 12. NAEYC (Nation Association of Education for Young Children) accredited centers must be 1 to 8 or 1 to 9, I can't remember. Parent co-op preschools muct be 1 to 5 and that can include parents.

I'm the board president of my kids co-op preschool and we have a 1 to 4 ratio.
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#9 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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I'm in CA and my children attend a private Montessori school. Both of them are in Children's House (ages 3-6). My 3 year old has 11 children in her class and 1 teacher, so 11:1. My 4 year old has a teacher and a teacher assistant with a class of 24, so 24:2. They also have a "floating" teacher that helps out where needed (infant room or Children's House).

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#10 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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My son's preschool maintains a 5:1 student ratio. I am really really happy with it.
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#11 of 19 Old 02-14-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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My daughter mostly had a ratio of 6:1. A ratio of 12:2 is not exactly the same thing. There is a huge difference between having 6 kids in a room versus having 12 kids in room...the additional teacher is definitely needed, but doesn't make up for the extra noise/distraction/attention issues that manifest when there are 12 kids in a room versus 6, especially at the younger ages.

If you are talking about 19 preschoolers in one room/class, I personally would not find that appealing no matter how many teachers were there.
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#12 of 19 Old 02-14-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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Our pre-school is 2:16 for the 3-4 yr old class & depending on the class either 2:18 or 1:10 (with a second teacher in the office attached to the room doing lesson plans who is immediately available in a pinch) for the 4-5 class. Our pre-school only has 1 room, so 1 class at a time. Have you met with the teachers? Some teachers just can't do a larger class & some can. Can you drop in on the class anytime you want to check?
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#13 of 19 Old 02-14-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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My older two had a ratio of 3:18 (one of which was a parent helper). My DS2 has a ratio of 4:15 (one teacher and three aides). It is an intergrated class, though, and one of the aides for suppose to be for one particular kid.
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#14 of 19 Old 02-14-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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The preschool my kids went to had no more than 14 kids per class, and two teachers. I was very happy with that. It was also 2.5 hr three times a week. My niece is in daycare now, with 20kids and 2 teachers. IMO, this is too many kids, especially for all day, everyday. The state lawa says you can have 1:10 ratio though. I don't think that it is always in children's best interest to push it to the max.
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#15 of 19 Old 02-14-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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12:1 is the ratio where my dd goes to preschool. As soon as it goes above 12, there have to be 2 teachers in the room. 24 is the limit at her preschool.
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#16 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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The school my DD will start in the fall will have 12 kids and 2 teachers. I think that's even pushing it -- ideally, I liked the smaller school we looked at (but is too far away), which had 8 kids, 1 teacher, and 1 parent.

Sarah, mama to Miriam 9/26/2006 and Isaac 2/12/2010
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#17 of 19 Old 02-16-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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My daughters class had 19 children, half three years old and half four. and ONE teacher`
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#18 of 19 Old 02-16-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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In my experience as a preschool teacher a 2:19 ratio is not very good. I think 2:12 or for older children 3:18 is more appropriate. Especially for 3-4 year olds. I worked in a classroom where the ratio was 2:17 and we always felt a bit overwhelmed. With only 2 teachers it often ends up that one teacher is stuck managing all the children while the other is doing the prep/clean up. And there is always prep and clean-up to be done. Really in an ideal classroom you would have 2 teachers and 1 aide for a class of 19 children. Honestly I'd rather have my child in a class of 24 if there were 3 teachers than a class of 19 with only 2.

Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson
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#19 of 19 Old 02-16-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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We're 2:12 at DS 2's preschool - kids are 3-4 at his school.

I believe that Wisconsin allows 2:18, but our preschools have shrunk considerably since our district introduced the Pre-K program at the elementary schools.
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