Early childhood Educators in Australia are chronically underpaid. Given that Educators provide such an essential service, the wages do not match the importance of their role. Potentially, Family Day Care Educators can earn a higher salary than their counterparts in long day centres.
At a time when the industry should be growing as demand is surging, these skilled workers are leaving in droves. Pay rates in Long Day Care Centres vary widely from AU$20 to AU$30 an hour, with an average of AU$25. So, the wage depends on the type of position, whether casual or permanent. Also, the qualifications of the individual can affect the salary.
At a minimum, all Educators possess a Cert III. Some have bachelors’ degrees. Also, some are qualified teachers, having completed university.
The vast majority, over 90%, of people employed as an Early Childhood Educator are women. When they leave, the most often cited reason is low wages.
Operating your Family Day Care means your wage is in your control. Often, it will be higher than an Educator who works in a Long Day Care Centre. Because you have control over your hours and the services you provide, you can tailor your work to achieve your desired income.
For Family Day Care Educators, the average daily rate per child is AU$100 per day. The day rate can be higher for overnight care. Additionally, care provided on weekends or holidays tends to have a higher fee as well. Some Educators choose to charge an hourly rate instead of the daily one.
Your income will also vary depending on how many children you care for each day. The maximum is seven children, with no more than four preschool-aged. That maximum includes your own children if they are in the home as well.
Then, they set a minimum number of contracted hours per day. Those minimums then apply whether the child is in care or not.
There are some additional expenses to running your Family Day Care. The Service Provider you work with will assess fees such as the leverage fee. There may be additional fees charged, depending on who your Service Provider is. Also, you will incur regular business expenses for things like supplies and insurance.
However, there are tax advantages to owning and operating your own business. Because your business occurs in your primary residence, there may be tax claims that you can make. Sometimes, you are eligible to claim a portion of your homes’ expenses. Occasionally, you can claim vehicle expenses. And, of course, owners can deduct regular business expenses.
Family Day Care Educators Comparisons
Take a look at this comparison of annual incomes. Hopefully, it will help you decide to open your Family Day Care. When you’re ready, our course “How to start a Family Day Care Business” will teach you everything you need to know to get up and running quickly.
For example, with a daily rate of AU$100 per day per child and having four children in your care, your earnings would be AU$2.000 per week. That works out to $104,000 per year. Your Service Provider will charge a family levy as well as an Educator levy. On average, those fees amount to $16,380 per year. That provides for a gross salary of $87,620 per year. The example assumes you work Monday to Friday, regular business hours not offering extra services.
Now, try that same calculation for an Educator who works in a Long Day Care Centre. The average hourly pay rate is $25, and a standard workweek would be 38 hours. That provides for $950 per week. Per year, that works out to a gross annual salary of $49,400.