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Childcare 2020

The national survey for The Early Years Insights was carried out in August and September 2019. The survey had over 2,100 respondents across Australia, making it the most comprehensive benchmarking study of the early years sector.

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Why research matters.

Xplor conducts research to make our products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personalised. We are investing heavily in research and automation, and we are excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including education. In particular, we believe that by automating administration systems we can greatly enhance the teaching experience in three key areas: improving safety, increasing access to learning, and realising the broader societal benefits of Early Years education.

Australian Snapshot

A net total of 5,745 Long day care services (4% more than 2018) are meeting the NQS, and 23 are recognised as Excellent.

  • Session fees for the OSHC segment increased 3% from 2018 and the total number of services grew by 1%.
  • The total number of LDCs increased of 4% across Australia, with Victoria, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory experiencing the highest growth (+5%).
  • The average daily rate increased only 2% over the last year, while the percentage of services Meeting NQS increased by 4%.

Childcare Occupancy

Research suggests that 89% of services with high occupancy are meeting the NQS.

  • Across the board, fee reductions are not seen as an effective way to drive occupancy. 
  • Services reported that Fridays also have 7% less occupancy than 2018, sitting at 54% in 2019 compared to 58% in 2018.
  • 1 in 3 services have high last minute cancellation rates.

National Quality Standard

Approximately 20% of services failed to meet the National Quality Standard (NQS), and these services performed worse across all Performance Indicators with a large difference to those that were Exceeding the NQS.

  • Standard 1.3 (Assessment and planning) and Standard 7.2 (Leadership) are the areas most commonly failed and services should focus on improving.
  • Providing more intimate care arrangements and longer opening hours are are the drivers that had the highest impact on services Meeting NQS.
  • Services with Exceeding were able to increase their fees by 4%, with the average daily rate increasing from $105 in 2018 to $109 in 2019.

Childcare 2020


Australia’s most comprehensive benchmarking study of the early years sector.