As an early care and education (ECE) researcher, I have followed the discussion regarding ratios and group size. While it is true that there is some mixed
research about the link between low child-to-staff ratios and children’s well-being, the literature demonstrating the critical importance of small group size and low ratios in the early years far outweighs the studies with mixed results. It’s important to consider this larger body of evidence before proceeding with a plan that could have serious implications for young children. Furthermore, the research examining ratios has been conducted in ECE settings that comply with state and local ratio regulations. Therefore, we don’t have research informing how relaxing regulations would affect child care quality or children’s development.
Low child-to-staff ratios are critical to ensuring that children receive adequate care and supervision. Low ratios also set the stage for high-quality interactions between caregivers and children that can promote children’s well-being. Widening these ratios will pose a threat to children’s development, health, and safety.
–Brenda Miranda, Research Scientist
(cross posted with permission from Child Trends
, June 15, 2017)
*Howes, C. (1990). Current research on early day care. In S. S. Chehrazi (Ed.), Psychosocial issues in day care (pp. 21-53). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.