Childcare Workforce

GM Daniel Fletcher and Family - Dalby (15).jpg

Western Downs Regional Council advocates for more child care places, and the face-to-face delivery of Early Childhood Education and Care in the region to locally grow this workforce.

Western Downs has clearly identified gaps in the provision of local childcare services. Limited childcare availability is restricting parent’s and carer’s ability to return to work, which further exacerbates the broader workforce gap in the region.

The childcare labour force would greatly benefit from face-to-face delivery of local training opportunities by encouraging interest in this career path and supporting the current local workforce.


The growing population, higher than Queensland average fertility rate and increased workforce participation result in a growing demand for childcare. As a result, there is a notable, growing demand for childcare across the region.  

The Issue

Deloitte Access Economics conducted a Workforce Gap Analysis(PDF, 659KB)  for the Western Downs region in August 2021. Findings of the report indicate that the workforce gap in the region is estimated to grow until 2030. Whilst the workforce gap across all industries in 2020 is estimated to be 4,610 positions (20% of local jobs), this is anticipated to grow to 7,788 positions (28% of local jobs). The gap in childcare workforce is estimated to grow in the same period from 15 positions to 36 positions in 2030.

Childcare is considered a critical occupation to support the liveability of the region, and the lack of childcare workforce further exacerbates the other industries' workforce gaps as it limits parent’s and carer’s ability to return to work.

The Regional Australia Institute presented a 'Maranoa and Western Downs childcare study'(PDF, 8MB)  in March 2023, and reported that the Western Downs has only availability of centre-based long day care places for 22% of children aged 0 to 4 years, resulting in waiting lists exceeding 12 months. 

Childcare workforce shortages prevent childcare services in the Western Downs region to meet the demand, and limits the ability to expand current services or attract new providers to the region.  

Desired Outcome

Incentives and funding are required to locally deliver tertiary training to obtain education in Early Childhood Education and Care and therefore expand the workforce. 

An optimal childcare workforce will enable current centres to operate at full capacity, as well as enable new day care operators to service the region. 

Increased availability within centres will enable the attraction and retention of staff across all industries and will further strengthen the liveability of the Western Downs region and in turn enhance the local and national economy.