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Ratios of Employees to Children and Group Size

Ratios and maximum group sizes

Outdoor Play

During outdoor play, standard staff/child ratios apply.

Ratios cannot be reduced during outdoor play periods at any time.

Outdoor playground with staff and child highlighted

A ministry director may give approval for a child care centre to use mixed-age grouping for any licensed age group set out in Schedule 1.

Infant Room

Place children in groups according to age as set out in Schedule 1.

Reduced staff/child ratio is not allowed for groupings of infants at any time.

Infant room with staff and child highlighted

Toddler Room

Place children in groups according to age as set out in Schedule 1.

A ministry director may approve mixed age grouping provided that:

  • When more than 20 per cent of children are from the younger age group, the ratio of employees to children and the group size required for the youngest child is used.

During periods of arrival, departure and rest, the staff/child ratio may be reduced to 2/3 of the required ratio.

Toddler room with staff and child highlighted

Preschool Room

Place children in groups according to age as set out in Schedule 1.

A ministry director may approve mixed age grouping provided that:

  • When more than 20 per cent of children are from the younger age group, the ratio of employees to children and the group size required for the youngest child is used.

During periods of arrival, departure and rest, the staff/child ratio may be reduced to 2/3 of the required ratio.

Preschool Room with staff and child highlighted

Kindergarten Room

Place children in groups according to age as set out in Schedule 1.

A ministry director may approve mixed age grouping provided that:

  • When more than 25 per cent of children are from a younger age category, the ratio of employees to children and the group size required for the youngest child is used. 

During periods of arrival, departure and rest, the staff/child ratio may be reduced to 2/3 of the required ratio.

Kindergarten Room with staff and child highlighted

Primary School-age Room

Place children in groups according to age as set out in Schedule 1.

A ministry director may approve mixed age grouping provided that:

  • When no more than 25 per cent of children are kindergarten children, and all other children are primary/junior school age children, the ratio of employees to children and the group size required for the primary/junior school age group is used.

During periods of arrival, departure and rest, the staff/child ratio may be reduced to 2/3 of the required ratio.

Primary school-age room with staff and child highlighted

Junior School-age Room

Place children in groups according to age as set out in Schedule 1.

A ministry director may approve mixed age grouping provided that:

  • When no more than 25 per cent of children are 68 months or older but younger than nine years, and all other children are junior school age children, the ratio of employees to children and the group size required for the junior school age group is used.

During periods of arrival, departure and rest, the staff/child ratio may be reduced to 2/3 of the required ratio.

Junior school-age room with staff and child highlighted

REGULATION

Sections 7 and 8 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 - General

CONNECTIONS TO HOW DOES LEARNING HAPPEN?

Grouping children within similar age ranges allows educators to create environments and experiences that are responsive to children’s development. Children are able to interact with others in play, explore ideas and investigate their theories about the world around them. Educators are able to establish positive responsive relationships with children and their families.

Consider the following questions:

  • How do I know that the environment I am providing for this age group is encouraging the children’s sense of inquiry, curiosity, and exploration?
  • How do adults act as co-learners with children in this age group to foster their understanding of the world around them?
  • Recognizing the diverse abilities, experiences and dispositions of children within this age grouping, how can we support all children to feel fully included?