ACECQA’s new ratio calculator tool
Anyone working in childcare knows that balancing the need to have 50 per cent Diploma qualified staff onsite, with the right number of early childhood teachers, first aid qualified educators, and nominated supervisors can be a rostering nightmare.
To help, ACECQA recently released a ratio calculator tool, which is designed to make it easy for busy childcare providers to make sure they have the right people in the right spaces at the right time. In this piece, we’ll help you understand what the tool is, how to use it, and why you need it.
What is the calculator?
The calculator was developed by ACECQA, who worked with all state and territory regulatory authorities to produce an online calculator which makes staying in regulation simple and easy.
Ultimately those using the calculator can feel comfortable that they are complying with the National Regulations, including requirements for early childhood teachers (ECTs), which can vary based on the number of children enrolled, and their ages.
How do you use it?
Step one in using the calculator is to identify the state or territory you’re in - different states and territories have different regulations around the ratios needed to care for children.
Next, a yes/no question about the primary purpose of your service, and if it’s to care for children who are older (or younger) than preschool age.
Then a location question - is your service in a remote or very remote area? This information is needed because there is some leeway in ratios for these services, based on historic staffing challenges.
Finally, enter information about the number of children in each age group who are present that day.
The calculator will then tell you the total number of children you have present, how many educators you need across the service, and the requirements for an ECT or ECTs to be present.
Why use the calculator?
While many childcare centres have existing methods of making sure they have the compliant number of educators, this calculator is a good back up, to make sure that your calculations are correct.
It’s also a useful tool for those who are new to childcare, and might find themselves at the beginning or end of the day wondering if they are still compliant as numbers grow, or drop.
The tool is also useful when developing rosters, and can be used with projected numbers to make sure the right “mix” of educators, in terms of qualifications and certifications are rostered on.
To learn more about the calculator, please see here. As always, Sprout is ready to partner with you to take the headache out of compliance, and deliver less paperwork and more play.
Download Sprout from the App Store or Google play, or learn more about compliance made easy here.
Author Freya Lucas, The Sector
Freya is the editor of The Sector, and has over 20 years of experience in education and care services. Her previous roles as an early childhood teacher, primary teacher, and ECEC operations manager giving her a unique insight into the ECEC sector at all levels.