The childcare industry is huge, and guess what? It’s still growing!
Parents rely on these services to not only look after their children during the working week, but also play an integral role in their development.
The earliest years of a child’s life are their most influential, paving the way for their ascent into adolescence and adulthood. In fact, the first few years of someone’s life are more important than you might think.
The demand in childcare services has soared, resulting in a sort of ripple effect:
- Enrolment has become tougher and as the demand grew, so too did costs
- However, along with rising childcare fees, government support has risen, too
Fast facts about the childcare industry
- More than 1.2 million children in Australia attend childcare
- There are around 17,000 government approved childcare services nationwide
- The number of long day care centres has risen from 5900 in 2010 to almost 7000
- The industry recorded a 4.6% growth in just five years!
What has fuelled growth in the childcare industry?
Four major factors have affected the industry’s growth. We touch on each below.
1. Changing demographics
Parents and mothers
The thought of only one parent in a household working, while the other remained at home, is now considered an outdated norm.
Female work participation rates have climbed over the last few decades, from about 45% in 1978 to almost 60% in 2016.
Mothers want to return to the workforce, and/or families depend on two incomes to satisfy a higher cost of living. Less traditional working hours – beyond the regular 9am-5pm regime – have created a market opportunity for centres (particularly family day care centres) to offer more flexible hours of care.
Somewhat similarly, people are working until later in life, meaning previously simple access to grandparents as babysitters has suddenly become more challenging.
2. Population growth
The most well-known baby boom is of course the aptly named generation of Baby Boomers (those born after WWII) and since then, the birth growth has continued.
We’re in the midst of a mini baby boom!
That’s right: people are having more babies and Australia’s birth rate is rising. In fact, it’s estimated that the childcare industry will surge almost 35% within the next five years thanks to this baby boom.
As such, more children than ever are entering childcare for anywhere from a few months up until a few years before they enter primary school. Colliers research found that 1.2 million children attend some form of formal childcare.
In 2014-15, there were approximately 4.5 million Australians aged between 0 and 14. That number is set to project to 5.9 billion by 2034-35 (that’s a 31% increase!) Additionally, within the next 15 years, it’s estimated that another 50,000 children between the ages of 0 and 5 will join our population.
3. Workplace trends
Many larger workplaces now incorporate their own childcare services within a business. Corporate childcare has experienced rapid growth over the past few years, disrupting the market and thus further increasing the need for qualified educators.
4. Government support
The government’s funding is designed to help encourage parents, “in particular women,” to return to the workforce.
Along with industry growth, demand for educators grows, too
As you’d expect, along with a growing demand for national childcare services, the demand for educators has soared, too.
With the opportunity to choose between several childcare courses, the chance to pave your own career really is possible within the dynamic industry:
- Choose the Certificate 3 In Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113) if you’d like to work, for example, as an educator within a centre or an assistant in Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)
- Choose the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113) if you want the added responsibility in a role like Team Leader, Centre Manager, or even Family Day Care Owner!
Note that the Certificate 3 is the minimum qualification to work within this industry across Australia.
A few years ago, the Australian government made two important changes to the national childcare framework. The first was that all childcare educators now must be qualified with either the Certificate 3 or Diploma (as mentioned above), and the second was that adjustments to staff-to-child ratios would mean that centres needed to recruit more educators.
Now more than ever is the right time to join this bustling industry: as educator demands rise, so too do their requirements.
These changes have resulted in a quality industry, fuelled by qualified educators caring for children of all ages in approved, safe, comfortable, and happy facilities!