Childcare 2020: Understanding Occupancy
According to the Australian Early Education Annual Childcare Report, high occupancy services promote their priority for children’s nutrition, wellbeing and social and academic growth.
Just 1% increase in occupancy is worth an average of $18,000 in added revenue.National survey for The Early Years Insights – Sept 2019
Occupancy is one of the most important indicators of a thriving business. Services operating with an occupancy rate of 90% or higher are generating an additional $313,000 and making $71,000 more in profits than the average service in Australia.
The childcare sector continues to grow with an estimated $16.3 billion generated by the Early Education space in 2019. The report shows that just 1% occupancy in a childcare service is valued at $18,000 in added revenue.
As competition increases and occupancy across Australia is generally declining, services are required to put more emphasis on differentiating their service in order to remain competitive.
All childcare services should have a policy on healthy eating. Studies show that a healthy child is a happy child. When given healthy food, children’s bodies are able to grow in order to reach their full potential. Unhealthy foods can cause health issues later in life such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more. If a child has too much sugar, their cognitive functionality is impacted and they lose their control to concentrate. Childcare services should instil a healthy nutrition to parents to help facilitate a healthy lifestyle at home as well as at childcare.
Parents are developing a hungry appetite for early learning as the benefits have been proven to be remarkable in both academic and cognitive areas of child development. Research shows that children who participate in learning prior to Prep are more likely to be academically strong, resilient and confident, and able to concentrate for longer. By Year 3, students should be able to read and write independently so they can decipher the context of a text. If a childcare service fully comprehends the importance of a strong curriculum that blends play-based learning with academia and wellbeing, parents are more likely to enrol, which drives attendance and occupancy rates.
Children need to be stimulated on an emotional, social, mental and physical level to achieve holistic happiness. Wellbeing can be enhanced by being connected to the outdoors where children can bask in the culture of the land and explore ideas of how to sustain it. Wellbeing stations can regenerate a child’s cognitive functionality through means of a Zen garden that they can play in or have a quiet area where children can read, draw or sleep. For a parent, we often forget the importance of adult wellbeing. Wellbeing to adults with children can be as simple as the childcare service offering flexibility such as extended hours so they can commute from work without the stress of being late or having an open communication system that allows the parent to feel included in their child’s milestone moments. With nutrition, academic rigour and wellbeing at the forefront of every childcare service, occupancy and attendance rates can improve dramatically.
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