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Preschool student-teacher ratio: What to look out for

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Oct 3, 2019 5:21:03 PM
When it comes to preschool, the amount of time and interaction a child has with a teacher can have a profound effect on their education; from enhanced learning to better results. But when teachers may be given large classes to manage, trying to meet the individual needs of each child may become challenging.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss the impact that a low and high student-teacher ratio can have on a child’s performance at preschool. We have also included some points that you can look out for when selecting a preschool that is suitable for your child.


Student-teacher ratio refers to the number of adults present to teach and look after a child divided by the number of children in a class.


This is an important consideration for any parent as it could impact both the quality of teaching received and the amount of support for that child. 

Low student-teacher ratios would ensure that your child gets more one-on-one time which could potentially result in the below benefits:

  • Better attention to social and emotional needs
When faced with new environments, children may take some time to adjust to their surroundings. Smaller classes may be generally be calmer, quieter and easier for children to familiarise themselves with which may lend itself to encouraging more participation in class, which may help them to feel more comfortable.

  • Learning flexibility
With low student-teacher ratios, given there are fewer students per group, teachers can be more flexible with their approach to teaching and have more opportunities to accommodate different learning styles. Teachers can spend more time with each child on problems or subjects that they find difficult. After all, everyone learns at their own pace.

  • More feedback opportunities and better relationships
Smaller classes mean more opportunities to assess the progress of children over time and feedback to parents. Parents will also build a rapport with the teacher and get a better understanding of what they can do at home to help progress their child’s education.


The best choice is the one that meets the needs of your child. For example, if they have social interaction or learning difficulties, they may benefit from preschools with low student-teacher ratios and carers, whilst more independent children may prefer a less “hands-on approach”.

You should also assess the teachers who will be working with your child; are they interacting pleasantly with children? Do they regularly communicate with parents and provide feedback on progress? Are they friendly and full of life?

The number and quality of teachers supervising your children at preschool is critical to their health, safety and personal development.

While low student-teacher ratios enable a greater quality of interaction between children and their teachers through additional support and assistance, there’s no exact ratio to go for.

The key is to identify what you would like your child to get out of their preschool experience. Remember, it’s all about finding the best school for their needs.