Early Years Research reports 5% drop in long day care occupancy during Q1 2021
The Sector > Economics > Supply & Demand > Early Years Research reports 5% drop in long day care occupancy during Q1 2021

Early Years Research reports 5% drop in long day care occupancy during Q1 2021

by Jason Roberts

June 17, 2021

Early Years Research (EYR), an online data and research portal for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector powered by Xplor Technologies, has released its latest Quarterly Performance Indicator Snapshot covering the first quarter of 2021 with a focus on long day care.


The Quarterly Performance Indicator Snapshot – Q1 2021, which draws data from around 1,500 log day care services that are currently using the Xplor and QikKids childcare management platforms, reports that average occupancy across the network fell 5 per cent in the three months ended March 2021 compared to the equivalent period ended December 2020 to 72 per cent. 


“Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen childcare services adapt to new needs, new methods of educating and adopting technologies that help families stay connected to their children every step of the way,” Mark Woodland, CEO of Education at Xplor said.


“But what’s clear from the data is that childcare centres across Australia are still struggling to fill their empty spaces, despite increased demand from families this last quarter.”


Other key highlights from the Q1-2021 Snapshot include:


  • The largest drop in occupancy of 9 per cent was recorded in the SA, TAS, WA, ACT cohort followed by a 6 per cent fall in Queensland.
  • New enrolments in the quarter were up 22 per cent with NSW recording the highest percentage of new enrolments at 25% with the SA, TAS, WAS, and ACT cohort seeing the lowest at just 19 per cent.
  • The Average Daily Rate was $113 nationally, up 5 per cent since Q4-2020. The ADR rate for Q3-2020 and Q4-2020 was $108.
  • Melbourne had the highest ADR at $131 for Q1-2021, up 13 per cent QoQ, followed by Sydney at $124, up 2 per cent QoQ.
  • The current national revenue potential was $5,000 per place per quarter. 
  • The average LDC enrolment duration was recorded as 18 months nationally with waitlists measured at 2 per cent.


Another notable finding, in the quarter, was a significant gap in actual and potential revenue for the ECEC sector, calculated using the Revenue Per Available Place (RevPAP) indicator which is a product of fees and occupancy. 


While operator health at the national level stayed the same, the report found that revenue potential for state capitals, Brisbane and Melbourne, went up by a considerable amount. 


“If the Australian Government can follow through with their proposed education budget agenda, this will be a welcome relief for families and childcare service providers. Every Australian family deserves quality childcare at an affordable price.” Mr Woodland said. 


The Performance Indicator Snapshot series, which includes quarterly and yearly reports, is a key initiative of the EYR portal which draws insights from over 7,000 services currently using the Xplor and QikKids platforms to provide childcare operators with a holistic view of how comparable centres are performing across cities and states so they have actionable data to assist them in creating baselines and setting performance goals for their business. 


EYR.org is Australia’s first dedicated Early Years Research portal, with a mission to help services succeed through data and insights.


All benchmark reports released by EYR to date can be accessed here

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