9/17/2010 | Download File (6.03 MB) - right click to download
Today, weíre talking about teacher-to-child ratios in child care centers. With over 20 years experience in referring parents to quality child care centers, Collaborative for Children is a non-profit organization that serves the Greater Houston Area and Gulf Coast Region. We have over 1,000 child care centers represented in our online QualiFind database. We used research, focus groups, parent and provider surveys and best practices in the early care and education fields in the development of QualiFind. As a result of this research there are six key characteristics to rank child care centers and each center voluntarily provides the information. Here are the six characteristics: Teacher-to-Child Ratio and Group Size Teacher Education and Training Accreditation Teacher Tenure Family Involvement Compliance with Licensing Standards Each one of these 6 characteristics is ranked as Excellent, Good or Minimal. In this episode, we will focus on Teacher-to-Child Ratios and Group Sizes. A teacher-to-child ratio is defined as the number of children under the care of one teacher. Generally speaking, the younger the group of children, the more individual attention is needed. If there is more than one teacher in the class, then you can have more children in the class, but the minimum ratio must still be met. If there is a class with mixed age groups, you abide by the ratio for the majority age group. Group sizes are slightly different. A group size is based on 2 or more teachers and is limited by the physical space of the classroom. There are occasional differences between the requirements for groups sizes and teacher-to-child ratios. As in other states, Texas has set forth minimum standards for child care centers that are required for a center to do business. To receive an Excellent QualiFind ranking in the Teacher-to-Child Ratio and Group Size category, all classrooms in the center must meet the lower ratios and smaller group sizes established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation standards. Letís look at some examples of the differences between the Texas Minimum Standards and the NAEYC standards. The teacher-to-child ratio for a classroom with childrenís ages between 0-11 months is 1:4 for both Texas and the NAEYC. By age 2, however, the ratio is 1:11 in Texas and only 1:6 by NAEYC standards. In other words, nearly twice as many 2-year olds can be assigned to one teacher according to the minimum Texas standards. Similarly, a group size with two teachers for children ages 0-11 months is 10 in Texas, but only 8 by NAEYC standards. By age 2, the group size is 22 in Texas, but only 12 by NAEYC standards. Fortunately, the individual child care centers can exceed these minimum standards and strive towards the lower ratios of the NAEYC. Again, if all of the classrooms meet the lower ratios of the NAEYC they receive an Excellent ranking for this category in the QualiFind database. If a majority of the classrooms meets the lower ratios of the NAEYC standards, they receive a ranking of Good. This episode was sponsored by Gulf Coast Workforce Board - Workforce Solutions, which also generously supports our Child Care Resource and Referral Service. Additional funding for Child Care Resource and Referral comes from United Way of Greater Houston - 211 Texas. If you are in the Greater Houston Area or Gulf Coast Region and are interested in Child Care Resource and Referral, you can access our online child care database, which includes QualiFind, at www.CollabForChildren.org or you may dial 211 or 713-600-1234. Our database includes these additional early care and education services as well: Motherís Day Out, Licensed and Registered Child Care Homes, camps, nanny services, private schools, mildly ill care, transportation services, school age exempt programs, and charter schools.