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New Jersey Child Care / Day Care Regulations – What Rules Apply as to Staff / Child Ratios?

By Robert Fernicola, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In New Jersey, child care centers and day care centers are regulated by the Department of Human Resources and the Child Care Licensing Laws. There are specific rules / regulations pertaining to staff / child ratios in day care centers under the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. Chapter 10: 10:122-4.3.).

What is a staff / child ratio?

It is the minimum staffing required by the State of New Jersey to be in place for the number of children present at the day care center.

What is the purpose of the staff / child ratio?
The purpose is to make sure that the facility is adequately staffed and that there is a sufficient number of staff members to care for the needs of the children.

Does age play a role or factor in setting up the staff / child ratio?
Yes, the younger the child – the lower the ratio. In other words, a facility with 10 children under the age of 18 months will be required have more staff in place per the regulations than a facility with 10 children over the age of 18 months.

Does compliance with the staff / child ratio mean that my child will be kept safe?
Not necessarily. However, compliance with staff / child ratios and documentation for the same is a good indicator that the day care center is following regulations and putting a sufficient number of child care providers in place to meet the needs of the children.

You can read more about these and other regulations at Chapter 122 – Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers – State of New Jersey Department of Human Resources.

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