Latest ACECQA Snapshot provides more clarity on moderation in LDC supply
A net total of 94 new service approvals were issued in the first quarter of 2019 according to the latest release of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority’s (ACECQA) snapshot, taking the overall annual increase to 3.5 per cent growth down from 3.8 per cent in the quarter ended December 2018.
The percentage growth of net total of new service approvals, all new service approvals issued less cancelled service approvals, issued in the quarter also fell against the same period last year when growth was at 4.2 per cent per annum.
This latest release confirms commentary from operators that at the margin the volume of services opening continues to moderate.
Across the key states the overall trend of lower growth relative to the last several years can be seen although Victoria and Queensland still appear to be quite elevated relative to their peers.
It is important to recognise that early education supply and demand dynamics are localised, so a national snapshot may not be representative of a particular catchments characteristics but as a guide to overall trends provided value.
Family Day Care service approvals remain under pressure
The number of service approvals in the March quarter of 2019 showed a continued contraction with a net 35 service approvals cancelled. This represented a reduction of 23.4 per cent from the same period of last year and the 10th consecutive quarter of reductions.
The challenges faced by the family day care community are well documented with additional news breaking this week regarding fraud related activities and multiple associated arrests.
There appears to be no sign of stabilisation at this juncture.
OSHC growth steady but notable uptick in new Kindergarten licenses issued
The number of new Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) licences issued grew by 1.1 per cent year on year, consistent with the lower end of the range of growth experienced in the last two years, however, Kindergarten license issuance appears to have picked up.
Overall a net of 14 new service approvals were issued in the period. This is the first meaningful uptick in new kindergarten openings for several years.
The growth appears to be coming in Queensland where eight new kindergartens opened and Victoria which saw seven, consistent with initiatives launched by the Victorian Government post their 2018 election victory.
For a closer look at the ACECQA snapshot and associated data please click here.