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Are you looking to enter the Childcare industry and buy a Childcare business? Or, qualified/ experienced in the industry and wanting to buy your own Center?

The steps listed below need to be undertaken in the order listed.

1. Creation – see an accountant – read recommendation below.

2. If no Childcare qualifications consider enrolling in a Cert IV or Diploma to show ECRU you are serious about learning. You are not legally required to have qualifications or experience in childcare to apply for a Provider number.

3. Lodge Provider Application in the name of the “Entity” e.g. Company/Company & Trust you have established.

4. Study – The Exam is hard.

5. Receive your Provider number – you have approximately two years to secure/open a business or it may be canceled.

6. Decide on a business to buy/establish. Lot less risk in purchasing an existing business for first time business buyers. Qualified staff/management in place/resourced/has been approved for Childcare by ECRU holds a Service Approval. No guarantee with a start up you will get a Service Approval.

7. Complete conditions of Business offer/contract – Transfer of Service etc

8. Congratulations – You now own a business in the Childcare sector. One of the, if not the, most in demand business you can Buy in Australia. Guaranteed Government Funding – Robot proof – High demand – Can be highly profitable.

Step One – Entity Purchase in

The first step in purchasing a childcare business is deciding on the entity you wish to purchase the business in. That might be a Company,  a Company & Trust or other entity structure.    A company can be organised via ASIC or via your accountant. A company and Trust will require an accountant or a lawyer to establish. What is the best option for you should be discussed with your accountant.

If the Company has 3 Directors ECRU will probably insist  all three Directors  go through the exam/interview process. Therefore, if there is a person in the Company who is childcare trained or has Education experience it is best to only have them as sole Director.

They will then be the only person required to go through the approval process and will have a better chance of success.  If there are multiple Directors of the Company and e.g. two Directors are required to sit the exam and one of the Directors fails then usually ECRU will fail both Directors.    Shareholders are not required to undertake the approval process, however, they will be vetted.  

ECRU requires the Director (person applying for approval to hold shares in the Company). What % will depend on entity structure and should be confirmed with ECRU prior to lodging Provider application. 

Step Two – Enrol Childcare qualification

If you are new to the Childcare industry it may assist the Provider  approval process if you can confirm to the approval body ECRU – Department of Communities,  that you are serious about childcare by being able to say  you are enrolled in  a Childcare qualification.

It is not a legal requirement to have qualifications or experience in childcare to buy a Centre. However, in recent times ECRU have not looked favorably on applicants (even if they have passed the exam) that cannot demonstrate in some way their dedication to the industry beyond paying for a business.  

Step Three –  Apply for Provider number

To be able to own and operate a childcare business your entity purchasing the business must hold a Provider number.   The persons associated with that entity e.g. Director/s must be ECRU approved.

This Provider number is applied for via the Department of Communities – Child Care section in the State you live in or the State you are buying the Childcare business in.

Once approved/received, the Provider number is valid for all of Australia.  You can own multiple businesses around Australia under the one provider number.

The Provider number is attached to the entity e.g. Company – Company/Trust you have set up that will ultimately own the Childcare business or businesses.

The price is $241 for 2022 -2023.

The Provider number once obtained does not last forever.   If you have not purchased  a center within a period of approximately two years from time of issuance the Department may cancel the number.

The application will require credit checks into the Company history and of ALL the Directors of the Company.

Sellers will rarely accept offers from Buyers that do not hold a Provider number due to the time involved to obtain and risk of the Buyer not being approved. The process (exam) is much harder since 01 May 2022. Resulting in a higher fail rate. 

The time quoted by the Department of Communities for Child Care Provider Number is currently 120 days, however, the Provider approval process in July 2022 is taking 180 days or longer.     Refer section 15 of the Act for more information.

Become an approved child care provider

Early childhood education and care providers must be approved to operate a service and administer the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) in Australia.

The approvals process recently changed. Prior to 1 July 2023, Child Care Subsidy applications were managed in the Provider Entry Point. To make applying easier, all applications are now submitted via the National Quality Agenda IT System.

Existing providers must now use the National Quality Agenda IT System to add a new service to existing approvals. Learn more about adding a new service.

The following information is for:

  • prospective providers who intend to apply for CCS approval
  • existing providers who intend to add or remove a service from their approval
  • prospective or existing providers who have purchased a service
  • existing providers who have undergone a restructure of their legal entity.

You must read the following information carefully before applying. You can also complete an e-learning course about the approval process on ACECQA’s website.

If you need help during the application process, contact

If you experience technical issues while using the National Quality Agenda IT System, please email

Families who want to apply for CCS should visit the Services Australia website.

To become an approved child care provider , the process are as follow: 



    • You must be approved to operate a service and administer the Child Care Subsidy (CCS). You must be approved by the Australian Government and your state or territory government. This page outlines the approval process.



    • You must meet eligibility criteria to administer Child Care Subsidy (CCS) at your service. This page outlines who the Australian Government will approve to administer CCS.


  • Get ready to apply
    • When you apply for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approval, you’ll need to provide a range of information and evidence. Having this information ready will reduce the time it takes to complete the application. This page outlines what you need to do before you apply.



  • Submit your application
    • Once you’ve gathered all the required information and evidence, you’re ready to submit your Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approval application. This page outlines how to complete and submit your application.



  • After you apply
    • After you submit your Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approval application, it will undergo a rigorous assessment process. This page outlines what you need to know while you wait for an assessment decision and what to do when you receive a decision.



  • Add, remove or relocate a service
    • Once approved, providers must let us know about any changes to their services. This includes if you intend to open, close or relocate a service or if your provider changes legal entity. This page outlines what you need to do in these scenarios.



  • Suspension of approvals
    • Your National Law or Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approvals can be suspended. Approval may be suspended if you don’t comply with your obligations or following a voluntary request.


Step  Four –  Provider Application Assessment / Examination

Effective 1 May 2022, ECRU ( Education and Care Regulatory Unit)  is now conducting on-line  assessments for Provider Approval suitability in an exam format and subsequent interview.

The exam comprises 46 multiple choice questions to be answered in 75 minutes and no reading time.   Several applicants  have advised they did not finish in time.

You can flag and skip a question,  going back to an answer later.


  75 mins

  46 multiple choice questions (no short answers)

  No outside material/ resources can be used.

You are provided with online access to the required documents for the assessment. Two screens set  up, which are easy to use and navigate

Most of the questions were scenarios wanting the law and regulation reference

You need to be very confident in navigating your way around these documents 

If you are unsure of an answer, you can flag it and return later.

Below is an overview of the documents and information that should be studied.

A very thorough knowledge of the Regulations and the ACT is required to be able to identify and know Regulation numbers and information quickly.  Some of the questions relate to multiple regulation numbers e.g. is it  76/22/14  or  42/1/23   etc 

What needs to be displayed for rating assessment

  SQM inside – outside 



  Healthy eating

  Forms documents how long keep – what need to be in centre – how maintained

  Child protection

  Who responsible what

  Notification of incidents

Applicants sit the exam in the  ECRU offices in Perth.  Usually offer only one date per month.  It is very important participants answer the questions as quickly as possible.

ECRU  provides some reference materials, a pen and some paper. 

A buyer may have their wife/sister/friend/Centre Manager of an existing business, as Company Director to obtain Provider number and have them as the Company  sole Director. 

Or, if there is a good manager in place at the center, who is willing to come on board as Company Director and hold the Provider, that might be an option.   Once you own the center and gain experience, there is a far better chance you will pass the exam and be approved by ECRU in the future.

If you receive a pass mark which is above 80% then you will be called in for an interview.  

The interview takes place around 4 weeks after the exam.   The interview around an hour will again be on your knowledge of childcare.

Business Plan

A business plan is required from buyers for ECRU.  

A business plan is usually required to be submitted prior to sitting the exam.  Where an applicant does not currently own a business or started to build a centre, then they will need to base their plan on what would be their ideal centre that they are hoping/planning to operate.

The business plan needs to incorporate:

  • Costings
  • Financial expectations
  • Budget
  • KPI’s

There is a business plan template available via the ABB website under resources. There are also advisors on the ABB website that specialize in creating business plans for a fee.  I would therefore recommend that all provider applicants   commence their business plan as soon as they have lodged their Provider application, to ensure that it is ready to be submitted as soon as requested.

A Business plan will also be required by PRODA when a centre has been purchased or about  to open.  The PRODA business plan should be an extension of the Provider business plan.

“Study study and study” in the words of a successful applicant. Make sure you are very very familiar with the Regulations and the Act. 

The Provider certificate will arrive in the post.

See resources below:

Applications and notifications forms –

Business Plan Template 

Step  Five – Receive Provider Certificate with number

If the interview is successful you will be advised approximately 3 – 4 weeks later and receive your Provider number certificate in the mail.

Step  Six – Buy a Business

Once you have received your Provider number, you can then proceed with your purchase or look for a childcare business and advise the broker/owner you are already in possession of your Provider number.  

Step  Seven –  Conditions of Business Contract

Child Care Centres – Existing Child Care Providers 

Once you hold a Provider number the next step is the transfer of the existing Service Approval  of the Centre being sold.

Finance must also be approved in writing by a finance provider prior to lodgement of Transfer of Service Approval. 

The transfer of Service is legislated to be 42 days from receipt of correct application with the  Department of Communities.  

If the buyer is purchasing the Centre in a New company they will need to apply for a NEW provider number for that particular Company and may be required to complete the whole Provider process mentioned above, including sitting the exam.

CCS – Funding for parents with children in Childcare  – PRODA

If the buyer has a contract in place to purchase a business, and has  applied for and received their Provider number, then as soon as their Provider number is issued, they should  lodge their application for CCS funding. This application can  take 42 days or longer.

If you are an existing Child Care operator already with a PRODA account and receiving CCS funding, then your new service/business must be added to your existing  PRODA account.    

For an existing Child Care operator or new applicant, ensure as the Buyer of a Childcare Service you have this completed in advance of settlement so there is no disruption in CCS payments to parents.  This form to PRODA should be lodged at the same time as Transfer of Service or earlier if possible. 

Any questions need to be directed to the relevant Government department.

Transfer of Service can only be lodged with a Provider number. 

The price for 2023 was $130.

Step Eight  – Settlement

Settlement on a childcare business usually occurs on a Friday (due to Government funding going Monday to Friday) usually two weeks after Transfer of Service is unconditional as per letter received from ECRU.

Please note childcare centers are hard to come by. They are in high demand and to enter the industry will require flexibility on the part of the Buyer in regard to location and price.

If the center has been operational and profitable for over two years a Buyer may be able to secure finance at 50% of the business price or 60% – 70% of the business & property price if purchasing both property and business at the same time. Finance brokers who specialise in finance for Childcare centers are under Resources on ABB website.

The price of childcare centers can range from $100,000 to $4,000,000 + for an individual center (no property) depending on net profit, location, size and age.

Currently individual businesses are selling in the Perth metro area for a multiple of 3 to 4.5 x net profit including add backs. Group sales can achieve 6 to 7 x net profit.

Regional locations e.g more than two hours from Perth CBD usually sell for multiples of 2.5 – 3 x net profit.

We hope you have found the above useful.

Click HERE to access the PDF version of the Childcare Process!

Are you buying a business in Perth? Do you have a Perth business for sale? For more information on how you can get the best results, contact Angela at Advance Business Brokers today.

The following are contacts and recommended suppliers:


Williams and Hughes
Greg Mohen – Consultant
Ground Floor, 25 Richardson Street WEST PERTH WA 6005
Telephone: +61 8 9481 2040
Facsimile: +61 8 9481 2041
Mobile 0431 992 841

Erica Settineri l  Licensed Conveyancer/Director
Shop 6, 7 Scarborough Beach Road
North Perth,  WA 6006
Work Tel.: 08 9443 3044 Fax: 08 9201 1392

Johnson Hicks Conveyancing
Matthew Hicks
Senior Business and Property Conveyancer
Director – Johnson Hicks Conveyancing
Suite 7/88 Broadway, Nedlands WA 6009
PO Box 3182 Broadway Nedlands WA 6009
PH: 9386 8251 FAX: 9386 2826

MAS Ronson (part of Lyons Babington)
Yat Yau
Ph: 08 9481 1173 Fax: 08 9485 0374
Street Address: Level 2, 33 Richardson Street, West Perth, 6005
All correspondence to: PO Box 1961, West Perth, 6872
Email Address:

Capital Legal Pty Ltd
Elisia Giardina l Solicitor
Office: Level 2, 43 Kishorn Road, Applecross WA 6153
Postal: PO Box 1062, Canning Bridge WA 6153
Work Tel.: (08) 9364 5444
Fax:(08) 9364 8444

WA Property Lawyers
Stephanie Le Roux
Personal Assistant to
Brian McCormack, Corinne Adams, Eden Coad and Sarah Wright
Tel: (08) 9380 3600
Address: 96 Outram St, West Perth WA 6005

Greenstone Legal
Jade Lattimore
Tel.: 0438 303 763

Saint James Conveyancing
Marisa Durante-Maynard / Jill Nelson-Coulon
Tel.: (08) 9240 7525

FS Legal Perth
Chandhi Hettiarachchi
Principal/ Solicitor
Five Star Legal. Unit 5/365 High Road, Parkwood WA 6147
Tel.: 08 6146 6282

Composite Law
Robert Ross – Director
Suite 4, 28 Outram Street, West Perth WA 6005
T: (08) 6162 2399
F: (08) 6162 2335
P: PO Box 7920, Cloisters Sq, WA 6850

NQF Childcare Australia

Childcare Management Companies

Some management companies that may be able to help you and will be able to provide a quote to manage your centre depending on the level of management required.

While we don’t recommend any particular management company, the following links from a Google search may be of assistance:

Elite Childcare Management

Early Learning Management: Child Care Management System

Leading Edge: Childcare – Management, Consultant & Training

Giggletree – Childcare Management, Childcare Consulting, Childcare

Advance Childcare Management

Brisbane Childcare Consultants | Childcare Management Group

Our Services – Foundation Early Learning

Impressions Childcare Management

First Years Consultancy

Roz Brabazon – 0437 894 432


Childcare Resources

Management Service for Enrollments/CCS for Childcare owners

Management Service for Enrollments-CCS for Childcare owners

Childcare Property’s in hot Demand

Australian Children Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

WA Department of Community Services Childcare

(PA09 Transferring provider declaration (service approval))

Tel: 62103333

Education and Care Regulatory Unit (ECRU)

Provider Application (PA01) Including Police Clearance Provider

Approval Declaration of Fitness and Property (PA02)

PRODA-Childcare funding application for Children Providers

PRODA Funding application for Existing Childcare Operators

PRODA Funding application for Existing Childcare Operators

Childcare Subsidies for Childcare Business Owners

Transfer of Service Application CC
PA09_TransferofProviderDeclaration Feb 20-2

Improvements to Childcare Benefit for Childcare Buyers & Owners

The following videos cover the improvements and changes to the Childcare Benefit system effective 01 July 2018.   

Designer specialising in Childcare property design for new or refurbishment of centres

SPH architecture + interiors

143 Cambridge St, West Leederville

08 9284 1888


Marpik Accountants Pty Ltd
Mat Honner
Tel. (08) 9447 1003

Kim Ovard – Tax Accountants
Tax Agent 25333735
Unit 3A ,23 Edinburgh Avenue, Kinross,6028
Tel. (08) 9305 5515

Foreign resident capital gains withholding clearance certificate application form (NAT 74883).

To access the form, visit


Brad Hewett
Relationship Manager • Commercial Banking – Health
Phone: 0468 578 241
Address: Level 5, 240 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

Towner Finance
Michelle Towner | Director
Winthrop & Mandurah
Ph: 08 9332 2554 | Mob: 0418 99 88 44

Bendigo Bank
Shaun Rigby – Business Banking Manager
Level 3, 225 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000
m: 0427 355 458
Small Business Finance Lender

Brett Foster
Tel.: 0438 775 570

Able Finance
Jon Elliott
Tel.: 9328 3600

Southshore Finance
Mr. Steve Greenwood or Michael Coombes
Tel.: (08) 9474 1999

Crediflex Finance
Adam Barbuzza
Tel.: 0439990946

Works with traditional and non-traditional lenders such as Liberty finance. 

Chantal Sforcina – Senior Aussie Broker
Aussie Home Loans
Level 10, 28 Freshwater Place Southbank, VIC 3006
M 0410 074 966
P 03 9679 9333


National Australia Bank

Diana Goh l Small Business Banker
Mobile:      0452 673 120

Level 12, 100 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA,6000



Oliver Wood 
Managing Director
D. 08 6146 0195
M. 0406 934 820
A. 3 Loftus Street, West Leederville, 6007


Specialist in Childcare centre designs plans


Leo Chong | Architect Reg No.2465
D. 08 9277 3393
M. 0433490048
A. Level1, 6/6 Leigh Street, Burswood 6100 WA


Rayford Migration Services:

Contact Pauline Yong – Email:

Rayford Migration Services: MALAYSIA OFFICE
Company detail:  About          Service provided:  Australia       188 and 132 information:  Business Visa Australia

Rayford Migration Services: SINGAPORE OFFICE


Phoenix Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd / Johnson Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd AR 1283293 and Murray Johnson AR

Murray Johnson | Dip of Financial Services (Insurance Broking) ANZIIF (Snr Assoc) CIP |

Mobile:             0418 563 599
Phone:             (08) 9754 2286

Address:           5A Fairbairn Road Busselton WA 6280
                           PO Box 1448 Busselton WA 6280

AFSL:                229847


Stamp Duty – WA 
Department of State Revenue 

Small Business Development Corporation
Lots of useful information and assistance for small business 

Chamber of Commerce WA
Membership required but great resources for small businesses 

The Western Australia Police for National Police Certificate

Working with Children Check

Current Guide to National Quality Framework for Childcare Centres in Australia

Withholding Tax for Foreign Investors Property Sales over $750,000—a-guide-for-conveyancers/#Excludedtransactions

Business Plan Template

Business Plan


Centauri Bookkeeping
Lidia Lovric Hrbut – Registered BAS Agent
M: 0408 192 895
T: 9571 8444


Composite Law
Robert Ross – Director
Suite 4, 28 Outram Street, West Perth WA 6005
T: (08) 6162 2399
F: (08) 6162 2335
P: PO Box 7920, Cloisters Sq, WA 6850

Williams & Hughes
Greg Mohen – Commercial Counsel
Ground Floor, 25 Richardson Street, West Perth WA 6005, Australia
Telephone:    +61 8 9481 2040
Facsimile:     +61 8 9481 2041
Mobile:         0431 992 8411



Duncan Cameron | FAPI CPV, BSc, BBus (Val & Land Econ)
Director – Specialised & Advisory
D. 08 9488 4802
M. 0413 449 477
A. Level 2, 1 Hood Street, Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia

Doug Shorten | AAPI CPV, BBS (VPM)
Senior Valuer
D. (08) 9488 4866
M. 0418 991 077

MMJ Real Estate (WA) Pty Ltd
Chris Geers – Managing Director
Address: Level 6, 12 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9325 5880
Fax: 08 9325 5881
Mobile: 0410 493 057

CBRE | Valuation & Advisory Services
Rick Gismondi AAPI CPV | Valuer
Address: Level 25 | QV1 250 St Georges Terrace | Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9320 0058
Fax : 08 9481 1296
Mobile: 0416 194 227