Supply growth of new LDCs continues to move higher
The Sector > Provider > General News > Supply growth of new LDCs continues to move higher as momentum builds

Supply growth of new LDCs continues to move higher as momentum builds

by Jason Roberts

November 06, 2023
NQF snapshot Q323 - LDC

The number of long day care (LDC) centres in Australia as at the end of September 2023 rose by 3.7 per cent compared to the same period last year marking the fifth consecutive quarterly increase since the post COVID low point registered in Q2 2022.


The increase, although small in percentage terms compared to the June 2023 rise of 3.5 per cent, is still significant as it tips the overall increase into the upper half of the long term growth range of 2.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent. 


The details were released as part of the most recent Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) NQF Snapshot and provide a useful indicator as to how supply momentum is slowly but surely returning. 


LDC growth rates

Across the states and territories four of the eight jurisdictions are now tracking at 4.0 per cent or more growth year on year with Queensland now showing growth rates not seen since early 2019. 


Victoria and Western Australia have historically grown at faster rates then their peers but yet another quarter of above 4.0 per cent growth suggests that there is no let up in the rate of growth in these jurisdictions. 


State and territory LDC growth rates


New South Wales is of particular note, not only because it is the largest state by number of services but also because at 2.8 per cent growth it is now approaching the 3.0 per cent mark that was last recorded just before COVID-19 began. 


The increases in growth rates are also reflected in absolute terms as well, with the number of centres opened from 1 January 2023 to 30 September 2023 across all of Australia just beating the previous high level recorded in September 2019. 


Year to date centre openings


243 centres have been opened thus far in 2023 compared to 242 in 2019 and 2041 in 2018. Whilst the broader early childhood education and care sector has been focused on workforce related matters, supply has been gradually creeping higher with the stage set for 2024 to be a year when supply related issues are likely to return in force. 


That being said, although long day care centre supply is moving higher there is no evidence of increases in preschool or kindergarten supply. 


LDC to preschool ratio

There are currently 3,062 preschool or kindergartens across Australia, exactly the same number as this time last year, which is notable given the step up in commitments to rolling out new facilities in states like Victoria and New South Wales.


To review the latest NQF snapshot please click here

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