How to Start a Childcare Business - Aussie Childcare Network (2022)

How many times while working in childcare, you may have thought of opening up your own childcare centre? Being a boss, implementing your own ideas and suggestions, running things how you see fit. It’s a great opportunity to make a difference within the community and to offer your own experiences and knowledge. It may sound like a good idea but the reality of it, it’s a hard task! There are a lot of regulations, government policies and requirements that needs to be followed. However if you are willing to put the hard work in then it can be very rewarding! This article will provide you with information on what you need to do in order to start your own childcare business.

When starting a childcare business it’s best to have some experience with working in different early childhood settings and be qualified to own a childcare centre. Having a degree isn’t essential to own a childcare centre however a Diploma qualification would enable you to understand the ins and outs of responsibilities within a centre. Along with a qualification you will also require:

  • a Police/Criminal check
  • Current First Aid Certificate
  • Current Working With Children’s Check
  • Current Anaphylaxis training

Being a qualified owner is beneficial as you will be aware of what is required and meet the needs of the educators and families. It also provides trust in staff knowing you are qualified to own a centre. There is nothing worse than working for an owner who has no idea on childcare itself. So, it’s best to spend a couple of years getting qualified and gaining experience… After all this is your business and a lot depends on the choices you make.

Types of Early Childhood Services

When starting a childcare business there are many different types of childcare services you can offer within the community. Before deciding on which service you would like to start it’s best to do some research in the locality you’re planning to run your service. Find out the community needs and see what type of service would suit the needs of the community best. For example: in the locality if there are 3 long day care centres offering care for 0 – 5 year olds, it may be beneficial to start up a preschool service which focuses primarily on school readiness.

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Childcare services include some of the following:

  • Long Day Care – Long day care (LDC) is a centre-based form of childcare service. LDC services provide quality all-day or part-time care for children of working families and the general community.
  • Family Day Care – Family day care (FDC) services support and administer networks of FDC carers who provide flexible care and developmental activities in their own homes for other people’s children.
  • Preschool – Pre-schools are also referred to as kindergartens in some States. They essentially provide services to children in the year prior to attending primary school and involve structured, seasonal programs for two or three days a week.
  • Occasional Care – Occasional care (OCC) is a centre-based form of child care. OCC services provide flexible care which allows parents to meet their work related and non-work related commitments
  • OOSH - Outside school hours care (OSHC) services provide care before and/or after school and/or care during school vacation time.

If you want to start up a service that will be part of the competition in the locality, find a “niche” idea that you can advertise and sell your centre on in order to gain popularity and enrolments. Think of an idea that the other centres are not offering. Some ideas include: being an organic centre, offer after hour care, only target a specific age group (e.g. nursery care only), offer play groups with parents etc. Snoop out the competition and see what unique idea you can come up with!

Provider Approval & Service Approval

Provider Approval - Before operating an early childhood service you will need to obtain a “provider approval”. This is an application process conducted by the Regulatory Authority. This process will examine whether you are a fit and proper person to be involved in the provision of an early childhood service. This is national recognized. To be deemed as a fit and proper person assessed on your history of compliance with current education and care service law, criminal history check and whether you have had any bankruptcy issues. Once submitted you will receive a result in 60 days.

For more information on Provider Approvals:

Service Approvals – If you application is successful as an approved provider you may apply to the Regulatory Authority for service approval. Service approval is needed if you will be the operator of the service and will be responsible for the management of the service. This applications requires details on the type of service you will be managing, insurance, permits, policies and procedures etc.

For more information on Service Approvals:

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Before obtaining any approval it’s best to contact your state or territory Regulatory Authority for further information on approvals.

Franchising, Building or Pre-Existing Centres

Now you what type of service you want to provide to the community and have been approved to offer care, next step is to think about whether you will be building a centre from scratch, buy a pre-existing centre from owners or buying a franchise?

It’s really hard to determine which one is more suitable because it really depends again on the locality and how much money you are willing to spend during this process.

  • Building a Centre - When building a centre from scratch it will probably cost more than buying a pre-existing centre. You need to gain council permits, building permits, landscape and interior designers for both indoors and outdoors and much more! The biggest benefit of building a centre from the beginning is you can basically design the centre of your dreams.
  • Pre- Existing Centres - There are many childcare centres that are available to buy that are already running. They have staff, children and families and everything within the centre has already been settled. Once you purchase the centre you will be the owner and take over responsibility. One of the benefits of purchasing a pre-existing centre is that all the work has already been done. All you really need to do is maintain it.
  • Franchising Centres - In the childcare business there is some stiff competition out there when it comes to running a childcare business. Instead of being a competitor you can purchase a franchise. A franchise is basically running a centre based on the main centre. Initially start-up costs will be involved however you will receive all that you need through support services based on the main centre. All documentation, policies, procedures etc. will be the same as the main centre itself. If you have been working at a particular centre and like the way it is run then this is a great opportunity for you to start a franchise rather than starting from scratch.

No matter which option you choose you will need to spend a bit of money and it varies depending on a number of factors. It’s probably best to start off with a budget on how much you are willing to spend on the centre. It can range anywhere from $200,000 and more. Locality is also a big factor. City areas and surroundings are going to be more costly than rural areas. Another factor to consider is the size of the centre. It will cost less to build or maintain a centre for a smaller amount of children (less than 60) than a larger centre (more than 60). However you need to consider the needs of the community before determining how big the centre will be.


When starting a childcare business and running a centre, it’s important that the centre is insured. Insurance protects against accidents, personal injury, legal action and property damage. Insurance types, how much you need and requirements depend on the type of service you are providing.

Under the Family Assistance Legislation of the Department Of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations for education and care service the following insurance must be provided:

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  • Public Liability – not less than $10 million for each and every claim
  • Workers Compensation - required by law
  • Professional Indemnity – not less than $5 million per claim

Depending on the type of childcare service you are providing you can also consider purchasing the following types of insurance:

  • directors’ and officers’ liability (for community-owned services)
  • personal accident insurance for volunteers
  • property damage
  • fire and theft
  • glass
  • money insurance
  • car insurance (for damage resulting from work related activities)
  • fidelity guarantee
  • electronic equipment

It’s best to seek support from an Insurance company authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority on the types of different insurance that your service may require.

Legislative Requirements and Responsibilities

It’s imperative that when starting up a childcare business that you are aware and are up to date with the current legislation and law that is implemented throughout Australia. Even if you are an existing educator wanting to start up a childcare business and are familiar with the legislation and law you should understand it completely.

Throughout Australia most services (LDC, OSHC, FDC), in most states, are regulated by the National Quality Framework. The NQF includes:

  • the National Law
  • the National Regulations – Education & Care Services National Regulations
  • a National Quality Standard – for assessing the quality of the service
  • The National Quality Framework provides early childhood settings support in improving the quality of education and care, improve program delivery that impact child’s learning and development and assist families to make informed choices about which services suit their child best.

Under the National Regulations services must meet specific operational requirements including:

  • Educational Programs & Practice
  • Building Standards & Physical Environments
  • Staffing Requirements
  • Policies, Procedures & Records

For more information on NQF:

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The information and details provided here is just the beginning of the long road ahead of starting your own childcare business. It should be used as a starting point to make an informed decision about whether or not it is possible for you to own a childcare service. If you are willing to spend the money, go through all that’s necessary, you can create a fantastic service for children to learn and develop. Also, a childcare business is less likely to fail as the need for childcare centres are in high demand. So, good luck and take a chance to do something wonderful for the community…


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Is childcare business profitable in Australia? ›

The childcare services industry made almost $1 billion in profit last year, or more than one-eighth of what the government put into it in fee subsidies, according to IBISWorld's July report on the industry.

How much do childcare Centres make in Australia? ›

The average childcare centre director salary in Australia is $95,000 per year or $48.72 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $85,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $103,000 per year.

Who are the biggest childcare providers in Australia? ›

Today KU is one of Australia's largest and leading providers of preschools, childcare and other early education services, and remains proudly not for profit.

How do I open a childcare center in NSW? ›

To operate an education and care service in NSW, you will need to hold a provider approval. A service approval authorises the approved provider to operate an education and care service under the National Law and National Regulations. For an approved provider to operate a service, the service must be approved.

Do childcare Centres make money? ›

In terms of assets, child care centres are historically one of the most profitable, with many benefits that other investment opportunities lack.

Is childcare a good investment? ›

The childcare sector has been the fastest growing commercial real estate investment class in recent years. Providing investors a long-term, low risk investment with consistent, reliable income and capital growth potential that will deliver significant returns over time.

How much is childcare per hour in Australia? ›

Hourly rate cap
Type of child careHourly rate cap
Centre Based Day Care - long day care and occasional care$12.74
Family Day Care$11.80
Outside School Hours Care - before, after and vacation care$11.15
In Home Care$34.64 per family
1 Aug 2022

How much does a childcare worker earn per hour in Australia? ›

How much does a Child care worker make in Australia? The average child care worker salary in Australia is $59,500 per year or $30.51 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $53,265 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $81,050 per year.

How can I make my daycare more profitable? ›

How to make your daycare center more profitable?
  1. Increase enrollment. Your childcare center's revenue depends on your enrollment. ...
  2. Streamline your processes. ...
  3. Offer add-on services and products. ...
  4. Invest in your staff. ...
  5. Use facility for other services. ...
  6. Accept assistance programs.
8 Jun 2020

Is childcare a growing industry? ›

The childcare industry has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to a variety of factors. With lower unemployment rates and increased costs of living, it's much more common to find two-income households. With two working parents, there is a greater need for childcare.

How big is the childcare industry in Australia? ›

Child Care Services in Australia - Market Size 2008–2029
$14.5bnChild Care Services in Australia Market Size in 2022
3.6%Child Care Services in Australia Market Size Growth in 2022
2.2%Child Care Services in Australia Annualized Market Size Growth 2017–2022
1 more row
22 Aug 2022

How many child care centers are there in Australia? ›

According to the latest data from the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) 2, during the March quarter 2016, there were 15,429 children's education and care services operating across Australia, of which 6,862 (45%) were long day care centres, 3,124 (20%) preschool/kindergartens, 1,056 (7%) ...

How do I become a family day care provider in NSW? ›

Educators are required to have:
  1. a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (or be working towards this)
  2. First Aid qualifications.
  3. Working With Children Check.
  4. Public liability insurance.
  5. a home and garden that can be adapted to meet WH&S regulations and NQS standards (can be owned or rented)

What is an approved provider Acecqa? ›

Approved provider – Governance and management

As the approved provider, you have primary legal responsibility under the National Law and National Regulations to ensure good governance and management of your service.

What is National Quality Framework childcare? ›

The National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care helps ensure your child is given the best possible start in life. The NQF has quality standards to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschools, kindergartens and outside school hours care services.

Is running a daycare profitable? ›

Is the company profitable? We're definitely profitable now. We make our profits from our corporate clients. It's very tricky to run a high-quality child care business and have the business itself be highly profitable because then you'd be taking money away from the needs of the children.

How much do daycare owners make? ›

Owners of daycare centers profit an average of $37,000 per year. While some owners of daycare centers report earning over $60,000 profit per year, the other side of the spectrum reported hauling in less than $20,000 profit. There are several factors that lead to these numbers including location, size, and demand.

Is daycare business profitable in Canada? ›

There are more than 39,000 child day-care services in Canada, with around 4,000 in Quebec; 2,085 in Ontario; and 1,305 in British Columbia. Total revenue can range from $30,000 to $5,000,000, with an average revenue of around $168,200.

How do you value a daycare business? ›

To find the value of a daycare business you can use several methods such as: Multiples of sellers discretionary cash flow (SDCF), Percentage of annual revenue, Multiples of earnings before taxes (EBIT), Multiple of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and Based on license capacity.

Is an au pair cheaper than a nanny? ›

An Au Pair costs an average of $8.32 an hour, far below the cost of a nanny. It's literally that simple. First the stipend is paid weekly to your Au Pair, and starts at a minimum of $195.75.

Why is daycare so expensive in Australia? ›

The government has more influence over the child care and education industry as it counts as a future investment. The compensation is paid hourly, and the average rate per hour is more than AU$20 based on experience and skilled childcare services. There is a differentiate in salaries range in every state of Australia.

How much is a nanny in Australia? ›

Average daytime nanny rates are between $30 and $35 per hour in Australia.

What is a Level 4 in childcare? ›

The Level 4 CCLD is an NVQ for professionals working in childcare. It recognises specialist learning and helps develop the candidate's career.

What qualifications do you need for childcare? ›

What childcare qualifications and training you need to work in childcare
  • Level 3 NVQ in Caring for Children and Young People.
  • Level 3 NVQ in Childcare and Education.
  • Level 3 NVQ in Children's Care, Learning and Development.
  • Level 3 NVQ in Early Years Care and Education.
  • Level 3 NVQ in Play work.
13 Jan 2016

How much does a diploma in childcare get paid in Australia? ›

The average diploma qualified educator salary in Australia is $63,375 per year or $32.50 per hour.

How do I attract parents to my daycare? ›

Daycare Application Forms
  1. Host an Open House. ...
  2. Invest in Physical Signs. ...
  3. Create an SEO Strategy. ...
  4. Get on Social Media. ...
  5. Boost Your Online Reviews. ...
  6. Run Paid Advertisements. ...
  7. Offer New Customer Deals. ...
  8. Promote Word of Mouth.
4 May 2021

How do I start a successful daycare? ›

9 expert tips for running your daycare
  1. Put yourself in the parents' shoes. ...
  2. Consistently encourage reviews from your clients. ...
  3. Invest in your staff. ...
  4. Keep your environment clean and safe. ...
  5. Maintain a detailed handbook. ...
  6. Acquire quality tools. ...
  7. Embrace social media. ...
  8. Make important information easily accessible online.
15 Feb 2017

How do I set up a daycare business plan? ›

  1. Create Your Company Description. Create a general overview of your day care business plans. ...
  2. Provide A Market Analysis. Include an analysis of the day care center industry. ...
  3. Detail Your Marketing Plan. ...
  4. Outline Your Organization and Management. ...
  5. Lay Out Your Finances. ...
  6. Make Your Funding Request.

What is the target market for daycare? ›

The target market for a day care business is generally working parents or one-income families that have very active daily routines. Many potential clients look for day care centers that are near schools their other children attend, near their homes or near their jobs.

What are the trends in the child care industry? ›

Top 12 Child Care Trends Parents Should Know
  • Child Care Is Catering to Budget-Minded Families. ...
  • Child Care is Now Early Education. ...
  • Drop-In Child Care Is More Common. ...
  • Corporate Child Care Is Raising Quality Bar. ...
  • Technology Is Changing Provider/Parent Connection. ...
  • Most Child Care Is Becoming Safer. ...
  • More Child Care Options Exist.
27 Dec 2021

What trends are affecting the daycare industry? ›

Four Trends to Know If You're Running a Childcare Business
  • Controlling Costs is Top of Mind. ...
  • Transitioning from “Just” Babysitting to Early Education. ...
  • Partnering with Corporations to Help Employees Achieve Work-Life Balance. ...
  • Technology is Enhancing Childcare Services.

Who funds child care in Australia? ›

The Commonwealth Government funds two complementary programs to help the families of children with additional needs gain access to childcare services.

How many children are in child care in Australia? ›

In the December quarter 2020, there were 1,311,630 children who attended a Child Care Subsidy approved child care centre. Of these, 1,266,800 children were eligible to receive a Child Care Subsidy.

Who owns goodstart early learning? ›

Goodstart Early Learning
TypeNonprofit organisation
HeadquartersBrisbane, Australia
Number of locations649 centres
Key peopleJulia Davison - CEO and Executive Director Michael Traill - Non Executive Chair
OwnerBrotherhood of St Laurence Mission Australia The Benevolent Society Social Ventures Australia
3 more rows

When did Childcare start in Australia? ›

The Commonwealth first became financially involved with childcare in 1972. In that year $6.5m was provided for non-profit organisations to operate centre-based day care facilities for children of working and sick parents.

How much is the babysitting industry worth? ›

Report Overview

The U.S. child care market size was valued at USD 54.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% from 2020 to 2027.

How many hours is preschool in Australia? ›

In Australia, every child is entitled to free or subsidised preschool for 15 hours a week (or 600 hours in a year).

What is family day care Victoria? ›

Family day care offers caring, flexible, highly-personalised education and support for children, within the comfort of an approved educator's home.

How do I apply for Acecqa? ›

How to apply for assessment
  1. Read the Requirements for early childhood teaching program assessments and Requirements for diploma and certificate III level program assessments . ACECQA assess applications against these requirements. ...
  2. Provide the required supporting documentation for your application. ...
  3. Submit your application.

What are the 7 responsibilities of Acecqa? ›

  • 2.1 Guiding implementation of the National Quality Framework. ...
  • 2.2 National quality improvement. ...
  • 2.3 National information and registers. ...
  • 2.4 Excellent rating and Second tier reviews. ...
  • 2.5 Educate and inform. ...
  • 2.6 Support and training for authorised officers. ...
  • 2.7 Educator qualifications.

What are the 7 national quality areas? ›

These areas are:
  • Education program and practice.
  • Children's health and safety.
  • Physical environment.
  • Staffing arrangements.
  • Relationships with children.
  • Collaborative partnerships with families and communities.
  • Governance and leadership.
30 Aug 2021

What are the 3 frameworks in Australia? ›

National approved learning frameworks
  • Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) Approved learning framework under the NQF for young children from birth to five years of age.
  • My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia.

What are the 5 parts of the National Quality Framework? ›

Requires the service to use and document an approved learning framework and develop an educational program.
  • Quality Area 2: Children's health and safety.
  • Quality Area 3: Physical environment.
  • Quality Area 4: Staffing arrangements.
  • Quality Area 5: Relationships with children.

How much do early childhood educators make in Australia? ›

The average early childhood educator salary in Australia is $60,617 per year or $31.09 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $54,720 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $73,809 per year.

How much do most daycare workers make? ›

For childcare workers, their median salary for 2021 was $27,490/year which translates to an hourly rate of $11.65 per hour. This varies based on the childcare center's work requirements.

What is a Level 4 in childcare? ›

The Level 4 CCLD is an NVQ for professionals working in childcare. It recognises specialist learning and helps develop the candidate's career.

How much do childcare workers make in Victoria? ›

Wages start from $20.29 per hour for those who have yet to complete their Certificate, while those who have qualified could expect an hourly pay rate of $21.99+.

What type of teacher is in highest demand? ›

Types of teachers in highest demand by 2030.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL). ESL educators are some of the most in demand teachers. ...
  • Math Teaching. Another teacher subject in demand is mathematics. ...
  • Science Teaching. What about science teachers? ...
  • Social Studies Teaching. ...
  • Special Education Teaching.
18 Dec 2020

Are early childhood educators in demand in Australia? ›

Early Childhood Teachers is one of the most in demand occupations in Australia. Early Childhood Teachers teach very basic numeracy, literacy, music and art to pre-primary students (Students aged between 1 – 6 years old).

What is the minimum wage in Australia 2022? ›

What is the current national minimum wage? From 1 July 2022, the national minimum wage is $21.38 per hour or $812.60 per 38 hour week (before tax). Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also get at least a 25% casual loading.

How much do daycare owners make? ›

Owners of daycare centers profit an average of $37,000 per year. While some owners of daycare centers report earning over $60,000 profit per year, the other side of the spectrum reported hauling in less than $20,000 profit. There are several factors that lead to these numbers including location, size, and demand.

What is the job description of a daycare worker? ›

A Child Care Worker, or Daycare Worker, is responsible for maintaining a safe and fun environment for young children to preteens. Their duties include coming up with creative and educational activities, preparing and serving snacks to children and maintaining a clean environment for the children.

How much do you get paid to work at a daycare California? ›

The average Child Care Worker salary in California is $40,112 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $36,273 and $45,663.

What is a level 5 in childcare? ›

The aim of the Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner qualification is to support leadership and management skills in early years and the knowledge and skills relating to the early years practice. The Early Years Senior Practitioner will be a positive role model for the team.

What can I do with Level 3 childcare? ›

The childcare level 3 apprenticeship is perfect for the following areas:
  • Nursery Worker/Supervisors.
  • Nursery Nurses.
  • Nursery Teaching Assistants.
  • Early Years Workers/Assistants.
  • Nursery Practitioners.
  • Classroom Assistants.
  • Care Workers/Assistants.
  • Assistant Youth Supporters.

What qualifications do I need to work in childcare? ›

A childcare or education course achieved at college or in a sixth form. Work experience or volunteering in a childcare setting. A childcare apprenticeship, working and learning at the same time.

Is childcare a good career? ›

Rewarding To Work With Children

Childcare can be one of the most rewarding industries for any individual to work with. As you are helping to develop and prepare children for the next steps in life, the overall job role already offers a sense of pride as you set children on their way.

Can you work in childcare without qualifications Vic? ›

for children preschool age or under at least 50 per cent of required educators must hold, or be actively working towards, at least an approved diploma level education and care qualification (regulation 126(1))

How much does a diploma in childcare get paid in Australia? ›

The average diploma qualified educator salary in Australia is $63,375 per year or $32.50 per hour.


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