If you love children and would love to work with them in your career, the childcare industry in Australia is a significant source of employment for refugees wanting to start their own business in this field.
Let’s start at the beginning…
When we talk about starting your own childcare business in Australia, there’s a few things you should know.
A family day care provider is an approved form of child care that is provided in the family day care educators’ own home. This care focuses on each individual child’s development, while providing high-quality early learning. Children aged from six weeks to 12 years old can be offered family day care, and services usually offer flexible hours in small groups. For family day care services, the ratio is one educator to seven children, and there can be no more than four children who are under school age.
It’s important to note that there are certain regulations to meet in order to become an approved family day care provider – most importantly, a home and garden that can be adapted to meet WH&S regulations and NQS standards (can be owned or rented) and equipment and resources for education and play.
To work in early childcare, you’ll also need a formal qualification. NSW’s Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care is a very good starting point. This is the nationally regulated entry-level qualification for working in early childhood education and care, and has no entry requirements. Navitas Skilled Futures offers the Pathway to Work Childcare course, as part of the Adult Migrant English Program, which is the perfect preparation course for migrants and refugees wanting to pursue further education for a childcare career. It covers English language, relevant skills and work experience (see below).
As well as a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, you also need first aid qualifications, a Working with Children Check and Public liability insurance.
There are a number of steps you’ll need to take to become an approved childcare provider and open your own business in Australia. Each State or Territory in Australia will have its own rules and regulations, so you will need to research these accordingly. Running your own family daycare business can be a lucrative business, and one that also allows you to stay at home with your own children. For migrants and refugees coming into Australia, this is extremely handy.
Here’s the insider tips from Navitas Skilled Futures expert trainer, Voleak Socheat, on everything refugee entrepreneurs need to know about starting a childcare business in Australia. Voleak has worked as a trainer in the Pathways to Work program at NSF Liverpool, teaching
people about the Early Childhood Education and Care industry.
Where is the best place to start if you want to work in childcare in Australia?
It’s best to start by working in a day care centre, and then, in time, and with the proper requirements set in place, you can own and run a family day care business. At Navitas Skilled Futures, we offer the perfect course – Pathways to Work Childcare – for refugees to get started and learn the basics before gaining the confidence and experience to then look in the future at starting their own family day care business.
Tell us more about the Pathways to Work Childcare course.
The Pathways to Work Childcare course takes place at our Navitas Skilled Futures colleges, including Liverpool College, and runs over a 10-week period. This includes 40 hours (over two weeks) of external work experience placement within a childcare facility. The contents of this course include important language skills, both written and spoken, as well as Food Safety (HLTFSE001) and First Aid (HLTAID012 VET), which are both essential skills for a career in childcare.
Why is the Pathways to Work Childcare course the perfect start for someone wanting to run their own business?
As a valuable part of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) range of courses, the Pathways to Work Childcare course is more vocational, and therefore industry specific to working within the childcare sector in Australia. This course is designed to provide a pathway into working within a childcare facility or even starting your own childcare business from your own home, whether that is rented or owned.
The eight weeks of intensive training run by Navitas Skilled Futures aims to help refugee entrepreneurs improve their English skills, which will increase their confidence in communicating in English in Australia. During these eight weeks, essential childcare requirements will be taught, including first aid and health and safety, as mentioned above.
Additionally, the PTW Childcare course allows learners to complete two weeks of work
placement. This is incredibly valuable as it helps learners gain real world work experience and become familiar with the industry-specific training to create a great foundation for the start of their career. Not only will learners build connections with childcare centres during their placement experience, they as will gain valuable insights into what it’s like in a real childcare workplace. As a result, learners have a strong sense of pride in their childcare business.
What are some of the challenges people face when doing this course and how can NSF help them overcome these?
For refugees wanting to start their own childcare business in Australia, it is important to have a certain standard of English language, both written and spoken. Learners need to have achieved Certificate of Spoken & Written English 2 and Certificate of Spoken & Written English 3. They can do this through AMEP classes at NSF.
It is also very important for learners to have good time management skills. If the learners are mothers and have family commitments, then this needs to be managed through the
support services on offer, like free childcare available at NSF, to ensure they have enough time to complete their work placement.
Can you tell me about any recent success stories?
Yes I can. We have had many great testimonials and good news stories from people attending and completing the Pathways to Work (PTW) Early Childhood Education and Care course. Many students report that they not only have increased confidence to deal with all situations while looking after children, but also fundamental skills, like food hygiene, effective first aid and safety procedures.
In particular we have had an example of a learner now working in the childcare industry. After graduating from the Pathways to Early Childhood Education and Care course at Fairfield, Bhavana said her confidence grew, and she acquired valuable new childcare skills, like teamwork, while improving her English proficiency. When she completed her work experience, she was offered casual employment at one of the Guardian childcare centres.
What next steps can I take towards studying and starting my own childcare business?
If you are looking to start your own childcare business in Australia, the Pathways to Work Childcare course is a free government-funded course that will enable students to gain practical work skills and experience in Australia with the Pathways to Work (PTW) program.
There are some eligibility criteria, for example learners must be AMEP-eligible and assessed at Level 2 or above, and have studied AMEP in the last 12 months.
Clients who are already enrolled in the AMEP are eligible for the PTW program.
*The Pathways to Work (PTW) program is part of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and is funded by the Australian Government. The program is also known as the Settlement Language Pathways to Employment and Training (SLPET).