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Old 08-21-2018, 04:42 PM
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Default Ignorance Among Coworkers: State Ratios

Today, I was working in the 2.5-3 year old classroom at my new job. The oldest in the room is nearly 3.5. The youngest turned 2.5 in July.

We had 10 children today. In NJ, this age group is a 1:10 ratio. So, I asked my coworker if it would be ok if I stepped out to grab something. She told me that if I left, she'd be out of ratio.

Now, I understand some centers don't follow state ratios and choose to have smaller teacher to child ratios, but my coworker was convinced that the ratio for her age was a 1:8 and that even among the 4 and 5 year olds the legal ratio was a 1:10 ratio. I don't know if her ignorance is because a couple months ago, it WAS a 1:8 ratio because she had a few younger children in the room or if the center follows lower ratios. (I did ask for an employee handbook/manual when I was hired, and I will ask again on Wednesday).

I also worked with an assistant director who thought the naptime ratio for a group of toddlers ages 18-24 months was a 1:20 ratio.(It's not.)

Shouldn't knowing state ratios be a standard part of the job description? I've been quized on the ratio in a classroom by state inspectors before. "I have 7 right now. The youngest is 2.5 the oldest is 3 and will be 4 in March. According to the state, this is a 1:10 ratio, but we try to follow a 1:8 ratio whenever possible).
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:17 PM
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LysesKids LysesKids is offline Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 2,846

Knowing state ratios is one thing; what the center wants is another... if they want lower #'s in each class I would go by that just to keep the peace if not the job. It maybe one thing they sell clients on too, so why rock the boat
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:22 PM
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Bluemoon5 Bluemoon5 is offline Member
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Location: New Jersey
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Shouldn't knowing state ratios be a standard part of the job description?
Probably. But I was never indoctrinated into state ratios when I started at my center. I was told the centers ratios, which are the same or lower than state ratios. We have to abide by our center ratios; we could be inspected at any time by our center inspection and must keep the lower ratios. So if someone started working in my room, I would insist on the center ratios; state would not matter. As long as they are insisting on a lower ratio than state, I wouldn't see a problem.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:42 AM
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I spoke to the director today and asked her about the ratios. I know what the state ratios are, but if our school follows different, lower, ratios, then I need to know that.

She said that the ratio was 1:10 (State). She said that they TRY to keep the ratios lower, but officially, they follow state ratios.

From what it sounds like, they often change the ratios all willy-nilly around here. Although, I'm not sure if it's really that the center is changing the ratios for the classrooms or if it's more of a case of "there is a big age gap between Billy and the next oldest person in the 2 year old classroom" or "Julie is too big/rough and needs to move up to the 2.5 year old classroom even though she's still a couple months too young." There are a few big gaps like that (there is currently no 18-24 month classroom; I'm hoping to get put into the class when they open it up since there are a few almost ready to move up). If they transitioned a few January babies at the beginning of the summer before they turned 2.5, it could have lowered the ratio for that classroom for a few weeks.

My main concern is that I've been quized by state inspectors about what the ratio is in the room, so I should know if we are following state ratios or not. The director says I don't need to worry about it since the state won't talk to me, but they have in the past.

Of course, they've been leaving me alone even though I haven't been fingerprinted yet which also makes me incredibly nervous. I've had some pretty nasty run-ins with the state in the past. (Some of my old daycares were very poorly run), and I don't want to screw anything up. If the state says the children need to wear shoes or have their sheets on their mats, then it makes me incredibly nervous when my coworkers say to let them keep their shoes off or tangle themselves up in their fitted sheets. (Especially since we're not just abiding by state laws here, but by Grow NJ Kids standards which are additional standards on TOP of the state laws.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:31 AM
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storybookending storybookending is offline Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,495

When I was at a center our licensor absolutely asked every staff member about ratios. I would know the state ratios at the bare minimum because that is what the liscenor will be after. They probably wonít even care about center ratios because bottom line is they work for the state.

As for the fingerprinting Iím pretty sure the center can get a citation for not having you have them done. I will keep on your supervisor about that.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:30 PM
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racemom racemom is offline Member
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Location: nebraska
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As long as you know the state ratios qnd the director told you to follow those I would let it go. As long as you are not over state ratios, you are in complance
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:30 PM
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I have an appointment for my fingerprinting tomorrow, so I'm getting it done (unlike at my last job where they never fingerprinted me despite my asking). However, I shouldn't be alone until after my fingerprinting and other forms (like my CARI) come back.
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