Childcare Sector Investment Growth 2024

Childcare Sector Investment Growth 2024

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Posted on: 9 July 2024

The childcare sector in Australia has become a prominent player in the alternative commercial property market over the past decade. Despite economic uncertainties and rising construction costs, the sector continues to attract strong investment, driven by robust government support and sustained demand for childcare services. This article delves into the factors contributing to the resilience and growth of childcare sector investment in 2024.


The Australian childcare sector has experienced significant transformation, establishing itself as an appealing investment opportunity. Attracting a diverse range of investors, the sector's stability and affordability have made it a highly attractive asset class. This article explores the investment trends, government support, and market dynamics that are shaping the future of the childcare industry in 2024.

In 2023, childcare centre transactions across Australia reached an impressive $743 million. Although this represented a slight decrease from 2022 and a notable drop from the peak in 2021, the first five months of 2024 have already witnessed over $200 million in sales. Metropolitan areas continue to draw significant attention from investors, with transactions evenly distributed across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. This widespread investor confidence underscores the sector's resilience and growth potential.

Government Support and Subsidies

One of the critical factors driving the sustained investment in the childcare sector is the substantial government support. The Australian government’s commitment to funding childcare services plays a crucial role in maintaining high occupancy levels and making childcare more affordable for families. In the federal budget for 2023-24, the government allocated $12.7 billion for childcare subsidies, with projections indicating a 42% increase in spending to $15 billion by 2027. This substantial funding boost enhances the attractiveness of childcare assets to investors.

Market Dynamics and Investor Confidence

Ray White Commercial Western Sydney agent Jai Sethi has observed that the demand for childcare assets shows no signs of slowing down. He attributes this resilience to the sector's nature as a government-subsidized industry providing essential services, ensuring stable cash flow for investors. The competitive market of professional childcare operators seeking expansion opportunities further enhances the sector’s appeal.

Growing Demand for Childcare Services

The anticipated rise in demand for childcare services is another driving force behind the sector's growth. Australia’s expanding population and increased female workforce participation contribute to this growing demand. Despite high development costs, the potential for increased returns is drawing experienced operators to expand into new suburbs and markets. This trend benefits both existing establishments and new developments, as operators focus on strategic locations to maximise returns.

Profitability and Strategic Locations

The childcare industry maintains high profitability, with margins ranging between 25% to 30%. Operators like Oxanda Education strategically target growth corridors popular with young families. Historically based near primary schools, Oxanda now prefers commercial precincts adjacent to supermarkets or gyms, which better meet demand. This strategic approach ensures high occupancy rates and sustained profitability.

Regional Childcare Developments

Post-COVID migration trends have also influenced investment in regional childcare developments. As more people move to regional areas, the demand for childcare services in these regions increases. Investors and operators are keen to capitalise on this trend, often paying premiums for development-approved sites to avoid delays and meet growing regional demand.

Industry Growth and Future Prospects

The IBIS World Child Care Services February 2024 Industry Report highlights that the sector is firmly in the growth phase of its economic life cycle. Revenue is expected to grow annually by 3.3% over the next five years, reaching an estimated $20.3 billion. High occupancy rates and increased female workforce participation, driven by reductions in out-of-pocket childcare costs, support this growth.


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected childcare sector investment?
The COVID-19 pandemic initially caused a dip in investment, but the sector has shown resilience. Government support and sustained demand for essential childcare services have driven recovery and growth.

Why is the childcare sector attractive to investors?
The childcare sector offers stable cash flow, high profitability, and substantial government subsidies, making it an attractive investment. The sector’s essential nature and long-term stability further enhance its appeal.

What are the key factors driving demand for childcare services?
Australia’s expanding population and increased female workforce participation are key factors driving demand for childcare services. Government subsidies also make childcare more affordable for families, contributing to higher occupancy rates.

How do strategic locations impact the profitability of childcare centres?Strategic locations, such as growth corridors and commercial precincts, ensure high occupancy rates and sustained profitability. Operators focus on areas popular with young families and commercial hubs to maximise returns.

What role does government funding play in the childcare sector?
Government funding is crucial in maintaining high occupancy levels and making childcare affordable. Substantial subsidies enhance the sector's attractiveness to investors and support its growth.

What are the future prospects for the childcare sector?
The future of the childcare sector looks bright, with sustained demand, government support, and strategic investment driving growth. The sector is expected to grow annually by 3.3%, reaching $20.3 billion over the next five years.

Investment in the childcare sector remains highly sought after, benefiting both investors and providers. The substantial government funding and commitment highlight the sector’s importance in supporting families and driving economic participation. As the industry navigates economic challenges and leverages government support, the combination of strategic investment and innovative solutions will drive sustained growth and ensure the provision of high-quality childcare services across Australia.

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