Opening a childcare business can be an exciting, but daunting proposition.

As with anything, the answer to whether you should start a childcare centre in Australia comes back to your goals.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the key aspects to owning a child care business, including the regulatory environment, the business model, market demands and trends, and your revenue and expense structure if your primary goal is profitability.


  • There are many different types of child care services, each catering to different needs and therefore with different revenue, expense and profitability models.

  • The market is growing and demand for services is strong. The market is also highly regulated so it’s important to understand the needed qualifications, approvals and compliance up front.

  • An important first step in starting a childcare business is getting a business plan and cash flow projections, as well as any funding needed to launch.

Childcare business


What are the types of early childhood businesses?

In Australia, early childhood services cater to the care, development, and education of children from birth to school age. These services play a crucial role in supporting children’s learning and wellbeing while also assisting parents in balancing work and family responsibilities.

Here are the main types of early childhood services available in Australia:

service approval for care


Long Day Care (LDC):

  • Long day care services operate for extended hours, typically from early morning until late afternoon or early evening, to accommodate working parents.

  • They offer full-day care and educational programs for children from birth to school age.

  • LDC services are licensed and regulated by government authorities to ensure compliance with national quality standards.

Family Day Care (FDC):

  • Family day care involves the provision of childcare in the homes of registered educators.

  • Educators care for small groups of children in a home environment, offering a more intimate and personalized setting.

  • FDC services cater to children from birth to school age and often provide flexible hours to accommodate parents’ work schedules.


  • Preschools and kindergartens offer early education programs for children in the year or two before they start formal schooling.

  • These programs focus on preparing children for the transition to school by developing social, emotional, and cognitive skills through play-based learning activities.

  • Preschools and kindergartens may be standalone facilities, part of long day care centers, or operated by schools or community organisations.

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC):

  • Outside school hours care services cater to the care and supervision of school-aged children outside of regular school hours.

  • They operate before and after school, as well as during school holidays, to support working parents and provide a safe and stimulating environment for children.

  • OSHC programs offer a range of recreational and educational activities, including homework assistance, sports, arts and crafts, and social interaction with peers.

Occasional Care:

  • Occasional care services offer short-term, flexible childcare options for parents who need temporary care arrangements.

  • These services may operate on a casual or as-needed basis, providing care for children for a few hours or days at a time.

  • Occasional care can be particularly beneficial for parents with irregular work schedules, appointments, or other commitments.

Mobile and Outreach Services:

  • Mobile and outreach services deliver early childhood programs and support to families in remote or disadvantaged communities.

  • These services may include mobile playgroups, parenting support programs, health and nutrition initiatives, and early intervention services.

  • Mobile and outreach services play a vital role in addressing barriers to accessing early childhood education and care in underserved areas.

Each type offers different benefits and caters to different needs.

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What is the National Quality Framework?

Both federal, state and territory governments are responsible for the health, safety and educational outcomes of Australian children. This comes together under the NQF.

If you are looking to open a business for the first time, it’s really important to understand the approval process in your state, and how you become an approved provider. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with professionals who understand the childcare service approval application process.