Child care group leader Rowena Lancaster, with Starbella, Tennessee and Aurillius Tonkin, and Lucy Brain, says the new staff-to-child ratio is an improvement.
Child care group leader Rowena Lancaster, with Starbella, Tennessee and Aurillius Tonkin, and Lucy Brain, says the new staff-to-child ratio is an improvement. John Gass

New child care ratios gain support

A MANDATORY one-to-four staff-to-child ratio for babies in all licensed children’s services has been announced by the New South Wales Government.

The change means that child-to-staff ratios will change from 1:5 to 1:4 for children under two years of age.

A statement from the NSW Government said early childhood advocates in NSW had been seeking this change for a long time and their arguments were extremely compelling.

According to the statement individual care and nurturing can improve the emotional wellbeing and safety of babies and this change will mean each baby will get more individual attention.

Freckles Early Education Centre babies room group leader Rowena Lancaster has worked in child care more than 20 years and believes the new ratio will have a positive effect in Tweed child care centres.

“I think this is very beneficial. This allows us to spend more quality time with each of the children. It is something we have already implemented in our centre in the zero-to-two room,” Ms Lancaster said.

“Each child is an individual and needs to be treated that way. The ratio allows us to spend one-on-one time with the kids, which is very important.”

The ratio move follows wide- spread consultation with the child care industry.

The new rule will be implemented in all NSW centre-based and mobile children’s services.



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