children playing

Child-adult ratios at daycare centres

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Nygaard Christoffersen, Mogens & Højen-Sørensen, Anna-Katharina
Publication Date: 
20 Dec 2013

Note: This report is currently unavailable. CRRU will embed the link to the report or summary as it becomes available. Meanwhile, you can use search engines to look it up with the full title "Rapporten afdækker variationen i hvordan normering defineres og beregnes". 


The debate on the child-adult ratio at daycare centres has swung one way then the other in recent years. How many, or how few adults should there be in a daycare centre to help give our children a good start in life?

This report is about how to calculate the child-adult ratio at daycare centres. The report is a systematic review which describes how child-adult ratios have been calculated in a number of research projects on the development and well-being of 3-6 year-olds.

The review shows that there is a great difference in how child-adult ratios are calculated. For example, a child-adult ratio could be determined on the basis of the number of children registered at a centre, via a questionnaire for parents and managers, or on the basis of observations at a centre. Are students included in the child-adult ratio? Do calculations take staff and child absenteeism into account?

The researchers conclude that it is important to be careful when choosing methods to describe the child-adult ratio in a daycare centre. They also point out that it can be difficult to compare child-adult ratios across studies and surveys.

The review was commissioned and financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Children and Integration.