Adult to child ratios

Avoid any safety issues by having the right number of adults present at your meeting

There are different adult to child ratios for different situations

The ratios change depending on:

  • the location of the meeting or activity
  • the type of activity
  • whether children of volunteers are present.

Read this page carefully to make sure you have the right number of adults to supervise children.

Meetings in your usual meeting place

Girlguiding suggests the following adult to child ratios for normal unit meetings within the usual meeting place. Unit Leadership Teams are not required to follow them - except in the case of Rainbow units, who must always have two adults at every meeting.

 

 Suggested minimum unit sizeSuggested unit sizeSuggested maximum unit sizeSuggested ratio of adult to girls Mandatory ratio 
 
Rainbow Guide units 5 12-15 18 1:5 Minimum of 2 adults irrespective of the size of the unit.
 
Brownie Guide units 12 12-18 24 1:8 N/A
 
Guide units 12 12-30 36 1:12 N/A
 
The Senior Section 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A
 

 

View the meetings adult:child ratio table as an image

It is recommended that there are a minimum of two adults present at each unit meeting. This is to ensure that there are an adequate number of adults to keep girls safe and respond effectively in the case of an emergency.

Activities and events outside of the meeting place

Adult to child ratios become mandatory when:

  • an activity starts and finishes away from the normal meeting place
  • you undertake certain activities.

Many activities have specific ratios that must be adhered to for safety reasons. These ratios can be found on our activity pages - simply search for the activity you're planning to do, and click on the 'Planning and Safety' tab to find out exactly how many adults you need.

Ratios for events and residentials can be found on our Events and going away pages.

Do volunteers under 18 count as adults or children?

  • Young Leaders are members of The Senior Section, and there is no required adult to child ratio for members of The Senior Section. However they do not count as adults if they are under the age of 18.
  • Guides who are Rainbow Helpers or Brownie Helpers must be counted as children using the Guide unit adult to child ratios when taking a unit away from the meeting place.

Looking after children of volunteers

Sometimes volunteers may need to bring their own children to unit meetings, activities and residential events. This should only happen when alternative supervision cannot be arranged, and they should check with their local Commissioner first.

This situation does not change adult to child ratios in normal unit meetings - so children of volunteers can be included in the ratios above in these cases. But if a volunteer is bringing her children to an event or activity outside the meeting place, those children - and any other children of volunteers - must be looked after by a separate adult.

The ratios below state the number of adults to children of volunteers. These adults must only be assigned to supervise children of volunteers, and cannot be counted a part of the above ratios.

 

Age of volunteer's children attending event or activity

Adult:child ratio

Event/activity

Residential

 

Under 5

1:2

1:2

 

5-7

1:5

1:4

 

7-10

1:8

1:6

 

10-14

1:12

1:12

 

14-17

N/A (But must be supervised)

 

View the adult:child ratio for children of volunteers table as an image

If children of volunteers are present at an event or residential, is it important that:

Children of volunteers who are aged between 10 and 14 cannot be present at the activity or event in a helping capacity and must be supervised in the ratio above.