5 Resources for Opening a Childcare Business in Australia
You’ve run through all the opportunities, and the conclusion is clear – you’ve got the ambition to develop Australia’s next best childcare business. Great decision – opening your own childcare business is an excellent way to combine your passions and expertise into a rewarding entrepreneurial outcome. Like all new business endeavours, opening your own childcare business is one that’s certainly feasible with the right quantity of preparation. There are many laws and regulations that you must comply with to ensure that both you and the children you are responsible for are 100% safe and sound. Below we’ve compiled a list of resources that will make opening your first childcare business a more straightforward process.
How to Open a Childcare Business in Australia
- Government legislation compliance information
Opening a childcare business requires a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory and funding requirements that apply to the type of child care business you are opening. Whether you’re opening a long day care, family day care, or a different kind of childcare business (we specialise in long day care management and marketing services), failing to comply can be very costly for you.
According to ACECQA, the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations applies to most education and care service types in Australia.
Before you begin operating your childcare business, ACECQA stresses that it’s mandatory to know your:
- local government’s planning controls
- how children checks and child protection laws work in your area
- health department rules
- food safety requirements
When you’re opening a new childcare business, it’s vital to understand how these rules apply to your State or Territory in particular.
- Key question cheat sheet (free download!)
Every new childcare manager must ask themselves these questions before making any big decisions:
- Will you buy or build the property you are using for your childcare business?
- Who will obtain provider approval, and how will you ensure that you receive service approval?
- Have you undertaken a feasibility study?
- Do you need a financial forecast?
- Have you considered the location?
- Will you run it yourself, or will you need an external management company (such as Early Learning Management)?
Download the cheat sheet below and save it to your smartphone to discuss it with your team.
- Application to operate your childcare business
In order to launch, you will need to submit an application for provider approval. Once you register an account on the NQA IT System (NQA ITS), you can submit an application.
Protip: If you use the NQA IT system, you can enjoy shorter processing times, according to ACECQA.
Also, another important note from ACECQA: the NSW and Victorian regulatory authorities will only accept your application or notification if it’s submitted online via the NQA IT System.
- Childcare business master list
Protip: create a bookmarks folder within your browser of choice titled ‘Childcare Business Master List’ and include each of the following links within it:
- Contact the regulatory authority for your particular jurisdiction to check the status of your application and/or notification.
- Keep an eye on the Australian Government Department of Education website for information about registering your childcare business for the Child Care Subsidy.
- Read this entire Child Care Provider Handbook as it’s ‘a source of practical information about the requirements and responsibilities of providers and services that are approved under the Family Assistance Law,’ according to ACECQA.
- It’s also not a bad idea to contact your local council and state or territory government agencies in charge of health and child protection – they might have the information you can put to use straight away.
By the time you’re through with launch, you’ll know these folks like the back of your hand. This mouthful-of-an-acronym stands for the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. It’s pronounced a-see-kwa, in case you were wondering (we know you were).
This organisation is an ‘independent national authority that assists governments in administering the National Quality Framework (NQF) for children’s education and care.’
Its headquarters is based in Sydney, and the whole organisation is run by a governing board that consists of members nominated by each State and Territory and the Commonwealth.
ACECQA teams up with the Australian and State and Territory governments to come up with ways to help children birth to 13 years of age and their families. They also oversee and advocate for the ‘consistent application of the Education and Care Services National Law across all States and Territories,’ as they detail on their official website. It also has its hand in the children’s education and care sector to ‘improve quality outcomes for children.’
You can contact them here (not a bad idea to include this link in the master list as well).
Need a custom financial forecast or assistance from development through to comprehensive management? Call Naomi at 07 5592 5800 to put your enrolments on autopilot.