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How to Start a Family Day Care at Home

by Marianne Stenger
Posted: January 23, 2020

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Do you enjoy working with kids? Have you always wanted to be your own boss and work from home? Childcare is one of Australia’s largest industries, and with rising maternal workforce participation rates and an ongoing demand for formal childcare arrangements, its expansion is expected to continue. 

With this in mind, you’ve been thinking of starting a home-based business, setting up a family day care in your home could be an excellent option. 

Of course, as with any business venture, it’s important to do careful research before you make any final decisions. For instance, what qualifications will you need? What requirements and regulations are there? How much can you expect to earn?

If you’re currently looking for answers to these and other questions related to family day care, read on to find out more about how to become a family day care provider in NSW.

What qualifications do you need for family day care?

Anyone interested in opening a family day care in Australia must have or be enrolled in and actively working towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Completing this course will equip you with the skills you need to work effectively in an early childhood setting and provide children with a safe and caring environment. For example, you’ll learn to communicate and collaborate with other childcare workers, minimise risks to ensure the health and safety of children, and facilitate play, learning, and physical activity.

You’ll also learn to navigate and comply with Australian requirements, policies, and procedures. If you haven’t yet earned a qualification in early childhood education, enrolling in the right course is an important first step towards becoming a family care provider.

What are the regulations and requirements for family day care Australia?

If you’re wondering how to start a family day care centre, you should first familiarise yourself with the requirements and regulations in Australia to make sure your home will be suitable. For example, all potential hazards to children must be removed and indoor spaces must be well-ventilated with natural light and a safe temperature. Outdoor areas must be protected by barriers to prevent children from wandering off unsupervised.

You must also have emergency procedures in place and keep records of each child’s enrolment and attendance, as well as a log of all visitors to your home and any accidents or injuries that may occur. You can find the full list of requirements for family day care centres by visiting the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.

How to get government approval for a family day care service?

If you’ve already earned or enrolled in an early childhood education course and believe that your home complies with all the regulations and requirements for family day care centres, you will need to apply for government approval. 

In order to operate a day care centre in NSW, you must apply for provider approval, and this application can take up to 60 days to be processed. You can find more information about the approvals process on the NSW Department of Education’s website.

How much can family day care providers expect to earn?

Another important aspect you will need to consider when opening a family day care centre is how much you can expect to earn. According to PayScale, the average hourly pay for a child care or day care worker is AU$22. The average child care centre director, on the other hand, can expect to earn AU$32 per hour, depending on their level of experience and location. 

Of course, if you’re managing your own family day care centre, you also need to factor in expenses such as bookkeeping and accounting fees, cleaning and laundry services, insurance policies, and daily supplies such as nutritious food and drink, nappies and play equipment. So it’s important to set up a realistic budget early on and keep track of your expenses. 

Ready to kickstart your career in early childhood education? You can start by taking a look at the range of Early Childhood Education courses available at Open Colleges and request a free course guide and consultation today.


Marianne Stenger

Marianne is a London-based freelance Writer and Journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central.

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