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Children’s Education and Care

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Children’s Education and Care sector, which is one component of the Community Services industry.

This sector is an area of increasing demand due to population growth and growing recognition of the importance of the development of children. The sector is comprised of the following sub-sectors.

  • Early childhood education and care
  • School age education and care
  • Outside school hours care
  • Education support.

As pointed out by the Skills Forecast, the Children’s Education and Care workforce is largely regulated by the Education and Care Services National Law. As such, there are mandated qualifications (many of them being VET qualifications) to work in the sector. These qualifications are approved by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for a range of Children’s Education and Care work roles such as:

  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Outside School Hours Care Worker
  • Education Assistant.

Nationally recognised training for Children’s Education and Care occupations is delivered under the CHC – Community Services Training Package.

For more information on Community Sector and Development and Direct Client Care please visit their respective pages. 

Information sourced from the Children’s Education and Care IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment in Child Care Services and Preschool Education industry sectors has increased over time, with further projected increases until 2023.

Within these industry groupings Child Carers (also referred to in the industry as Early Childhood Educators) are the largest occupational group. It is also projected that the number of those employed as Child Carers will increase substantially up until 2023. Employment numbers in other relevant occupations within these sectors; namely Early Childhood Teachers, Childcare Centre Managers and Education Aides, are also projected to increase substantially up until 2023.

A media release regarding the 2016 census indicates that in terms of absolute growth Child Carers was the second highest ‘largest growth’ occupation between 2011 and 2016. In addition, Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teachers was the fourth highest percentage growth occupation between 2011 and 2016.

The 2016 National Early Childhood Education and Care workforce census report found that about 195,000 staff were employed in the Early Childhood Education and Care workforce during the week the survey was conducted. Over a half (56%) of this workforce were employed in long day care services, followed by family day care services (17%), outside school hours care (14%) and vacation care (12%). 

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were almost 150,000 program enrolments in courses related to Children’s Education and Care in 2017. In addition, there were 37,300 course completions. Both course enrolments and completions decreased from 2016.

The program enrolments were split mainly between diploma and above level courses and certificate III level courses in 2017. Over 80% of the qualifications were in the area of early childhood education and care with an intended destination occupation of Child Care Worker. A further 18% of qualifications were in in education support with an intended destination occupation of Teachers’ Aide.

Fifty seven percent of the course enrolments in 2017 were with private training providers while TAFE institutes accounted for a further 33%. However, 63% of the funding for subjects was through government with a further 33% through domestic fee-for-service. Training was split between the three eastern states.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements have declined since 2012 but there was a much larger decline after 2014. There was also a large decline in completions after 2014. The vast majority of apprenticeships and traineeships in 2017 were for the intended occupation of Child Care Worker. The largest proportion of apprenticeships were reported in New South Wales, followed by Queensland and Victoria.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry.

For more data specific to your region please visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, please select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Children’s Education and Care IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast future skill needs for the sector include interpersonal or ‘soft’ skills, technology related skills and language, literacy and numeracy skills. Interpersonal skills include a variety of skills such as communication and collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, emotional judgement, professional ethics and cultural competence.

Consistent with the future skill needs the top generic skills identified in the Skills Forecast are communication/virtual collaboration/social intelligence and language, literacy and numeracy. In addition, the top two generic skills in demand, according to employers, are communication and building effective relationships. 

The job vacancy data also indicates that the most sought-after occupations in this industry are Child Carers (Early Childhood Educators) and Early Childhood Teachers.

The Federal Government introduced a New Child Care Package including the Child Care Subsidy which began on 2nd July 2018. While it is too early to know the extent of the impact there are some key changes for service. In summary, these are:

  • increased flexibility in hours of operation for providers within certain boundaries
  • a streamlined approval process that focuses on the approval of providers to administer subsidies in relation to services they provide
  • strengthened compliance to protect payment integrity and new obligations on providers to comply with Family Assistance Law
  • a new IT system to support the changes to the child care package which has streamlined processes, reduced administrative and regulatory burden and more information sharing.

A research study authored by ACER on behalf of the South Australian Department of State Development, that looks at what employers really want in the early childhood and aged care sectors found that in both sectors they were looking for people that can connect and work with others. The authors of the report pointed out that the current qualifications did not specifically incorporate these skills, but some learners need strategies to help them develop these skills.

The report Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation forecasts strong growth in employment for Child Carers to 2024 (2.6% per year). There are also expected to be 7,100 job openings per annum from 2017 till 2024 for this occupation (56,900 in total).

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Government bodies

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority

Department of Education NSW

Department of Education and Training (Victoria)

Department of Education and Training (Queensland)

Department of Education (Northern Territory)

Department of Education and Child Development (South Australia)

Department of Education (Western Australia)

Education Directorate (Australian Capital Territory)

Department of Education (Tasmania)

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Childcare Alliance

Australian Community Children's Services (ACCS)

Australian Teacher Aide

Australian Tutoring Association (ATA)

Community Child Care

Community Early Learning Australia (CELA)

Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)

Family Day Care Australia

National Outside School Hours Services Alliance

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)

Employee Associations

United Voice

Australian Education Union (AEU)

Australian Services Union (ASU)

Relevant research

2016 National Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Census Report Social Research Centre, Department of Education and Training 

Early childhood education workforce issues in Australian and international contexts New South Wales. Department of Education. Early Childhood Education Directorate 2017

Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation Shah 2018

Media Release – Community and Personal Service Workers on the Rise Australian Bureau of Statistics 23 October 2017

What Employers Really Want Perkins 2017

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2023
    • 871 Child Care Services
    • 801 Preschool Education
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • Child Carers
    • Early Childhood (pre-primary school) Teachers
    • Child Care Centre managers
    • Education Aides.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument>

Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2018, May quarter

  • 871 Child Care Services
  • 801 Preschool Education

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 3 digit ANZSIC:
    • 871 Child Care Services
    • 801 Preschool Education and
    • 960 Private Households Employing Staff.
  • 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • CHC Community Services Training Package
  • Children’s Services
    • CHC60208 - Advanced Diploma of Children's Services
    • CHC30402 - Certificate III in Children's Services
    • CHC30708 - Certificate III in Children's Services
    • CHC30712 - Certificate III in Children's Services
    • CHC50302 - Diploma of Children's Services
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
    • CHC30113 - Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
    • CHC50113 - Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
    • CHC50908 - Diploma of Children's Services (Early childhood education and care)
  • Education Support
    • CHC30213 - Certificate III in Education Support
    • CHC30808 - Certificate III in Education Support
    • CHC30812 - Certificate III in Education Support
    • CHC40213 - Certificate IV in Education Support
    • CHC41708 - Certificate IV in Education Support
    • CHC41712 - Certificate IV in Education Support
    • CHC51308 - Diploma of Education Support
  • Out of School Hours Care
    • CHC41208 - Certificate IV in Children's Services (Outside school hours care)
    • CHC41212 - Certificate IV in Children's Services (Outside school hours care)
    • CHC51008 - Diploma of Children's Services (Outside school hours care)
    • CHC50202 - Diploma of Out of School Hours Care
  • School Age Education and Care
    • CHC40113 - Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care
    • CHC50213 - Diploma of School Age Education and Care.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Community Services Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from Children’s Education and Care IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018, <https://www.burning-glass.com>.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / occupations
    • Community and Personal Service Workers, Managers, Professionals
    • 8710 Child Care Services
    • 8010 Preschool Education
  • Employers
    • 4211 Child Carers
    • 2411 Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teachers
    • 1341 Child Care Centre Managers
    • 4221 Education Aides
    • 2412 Primary School Teachers
    • 8710 Child Care Services
    • 8010 Preschool Education.
Updated: 06 Dec 2018
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