FDCA releases industry first study into the next generation of family day care educators

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) is proud today to release an industry-first study into the family day care workforce in Australia: Attracting the next generation of family day care educators.

The study, which drew on the feedback and insights of 1,288 current family day care educators across Australia, explored the current socio-demographic profile of family day care educators.

The research showed a growing professionalism of the family day care workforce over the past decade, with a majority (55%) now holding Diploma level qualifications or higher, and 39% having a Certificate III qualification. A small proportion (4%) are classified as "working towards Certificate III".

The study also showed a growing proportion of family day care educators have experience in other settings - nearly half (45%) of survey respondents who became educators within the last three years have previously worked in a long day care centre. While it was no surprise that 47% of educators indicated that the ability to work from home while caring for their own children was a key motivation for starting a career in family day care.

Increasing administrative and compliance requirements was cited by a total 20% of educators as the biggest challenge they faced. this figure rose to 35% for educators that have been working for ten or more years in the field. However, interestingly newer educators felt less burdened by administration and compliance than long term educators, with only 11% citing this as a challenge.

The research forecasted a future where family day care educators are more likely than in the past to:

  • be qualified, experienced early childhood education and care professionals;
  • be increasingly a renter rather than a home owner;
  • have previously worked in a long day care setting, kindergarten or preschool;
  • be attracted to a career in family day care by the ability to use their own skills, knowledge and experience to develop individual care programs; and not necessarily have their own young children at home when they first set up as a family day care educator.

FDCA Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Paterson said that this research was conducted by the national peak body, are part of its commitment to ensuring a strong and viable future for family day care. 

"The outcomes of the research are multifaceted, with the findings assisting to inform strategies and advocacy to remove and/or minimize barriers to entry and facilitate growth," said Mr Paterson.

Mr Paterson also said that the research will help inform current and future recruitment strategies; leveraging insights into the demographic profile and key benefits to target and attract the next generation of educators. While the research provides an industry first foundation for future research and an evidence base to inform broader early childhood education and care workforce strategies.

To view the key findings and full report visit www.fdca.com.au/NextGen.