Preschool ratios

October | 2018

Definitions of preschools

  • Preschool means a government preschool or a preschool program provided by a non-government school.
  • Government preschool means a governmentoperated kindergarten that is a children’s services centre within the meaning of the Children’s Services Act 1985 (SA).
  • Prescribed preschool means a preschool provided by a school on the site of a school; or a rural preschool; or a preschool with fewer than 16 children.
  • Disadvantaged preschool means a preschool that:
    a) is provided on a school site by a non-government school or a government preschool
    b) is ranked as category 1 for disadvantage. (For any queries about category rankings, please refer to your approved provider.)

General educator ratios

The educator-to-child ratio for preschool-aged children attending a preschool are:

  • 1:11

r. 123(1)(c) National Regulations

Early childhood teacher requirements

In a government preschool (other than a prescribed preschool) the first and second educators required to meet the educator-to-child ratio must be early childhood teachers.

In a prescribed preschool, the first and third educators required to meet the eductor-to-child ratio for preschool age children must be early childhood teachers. This is covered in r. 324.

Qualifications for other educators in preschools

All other educators who are required to meet the relevant educator-to-child ratios must have, or be actively working towards, at least an approved certificate III-level education and care qualification. This is covered in r. 126(1)(b).

What does 'actively working towards' mean?

To be actively working towards a qualification, as defined in r. 10, you need to:

  • be enrolled in the course for the qualification
  • provide the approved provider with documentary evidence from the provider of the course that you:
    • have commenced the course
    • are making satisfactory progress towards completion of the course
    • are meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment.

If you are actively working towards an approved certificate III-level education and care qualification, you can be included in the eductator-to-child ratios as a certificate III-level educator.

Information about the definition of actively working towards an approved qualification is available on the ACECQA website at:

Contact details

Education Standards Board
Phone: (08) 8226 0077 or 1800 882 413
Email: educationstandardsboard [at]