The Career Clusters in a childcare centre

This Workplace Spotlight will take you through what it’s like to work in a childcare centre, as well as some roles you’ll find in each Career Cluster.

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Childcare centres are places where parents can leave their young children to be cared for, entertained, and educated while they are at work or otherwise busy. They mostly cater to children under school age, including infants. Quality childcare is vital to building a child’s wellbeing, and so childcare centres offer a very valuable service.

Here are some things you can expect when working at a childcare centre:

  1. Working with kids – no matter your role, you’ll be working closely with children every day.
  2. A dynamic and high energy environment – kids require lots of attention and stimulation, so expect to be working on your feet and constantly on the move.
  3. High quality care is important – preventing accidents, providing appropriate nutrition, and maintaining good hygiene is vital to ensure children stay healthy and happy.

Key Outcome – care for and entertain young children

The main focus of childcare centres is to look after children while their parents are busy. They do this by providing care, supervision, entertainment, and in some cases basic education.

Key Tasks –

  • Supervise and care for young children and infants
  • Develop new activities and programs for children
  • Keep parents updated on their child’s progress and wellbeing
  • Manage enrolments and waiting lists


You can find childcare centres in the healthcare and social assistance, and education industries

Childcare centres are generally found in the healthcare and social assistance, and education industries. There are different kinds of childcare centres; some are privately owned and run, some are part of schools, and some have religious affiliations.

Work Environment

You can expect regular hours and on-site work

Flexible work hours  |  Work on-siteJobs in all locations, including metro, regional, and rural  |  Strong job growth

Childcare centres are usually open from early in the mornings into the evenings, the usual times when parents are at work. Some may also open on weekends and holidays. Part-time roles are very common in this industry, giving some flexibility with your working hours.

Most of the work in a childcare centre needs to be done on-site. However, some administrative roles may be able to be done remotely.

There are childcare centres all across the country, from big cities to rural towns. There tends to be more demand in areas with higher population, but with many families choosing to stay in or move to regional and rural areas, demand for childcare in those areas is growing too.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a childcare centre

You’ll find people from all the Clusters in a childcare centre, but the most common Clusters you’ll find are Guardians and Coordinators.

In any role, you’ll probably find yourself doing some tasks from other Clusters. For example, as a Child Carer you’ll be looking after kids, as well as organising toys and talking to parents.


The Makers are responsible for keeping childcare centres clean, and making nutritious meals and snacks for children to enjoy throughout the day. They might also need people who can install and repair electronics, maintain gardens and outdoor areas, and ensure play equipment is safe.

  • Cleaners
  • Cooks
  • Maintenance Workers

The Linkers in childcare centres include social workers, who can help connect parents and kids in need with a childcare centre’s services. Other Linkers keep in close touch with parents to provide updates on their child’s development and report any incidents, as well as answer any questions parents might have.

  • Social Workers
  • Receptionists

Coordinators are the people who do a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ work. They will be managing enrolments, organising shifts and pay, monitoring budgets and expenses, recruiting staff, and supervising other workers.

  • Centre Directors/Managers
  • Office Administrators

The main Informers in childcare centres are there to teach older children basic knowledge and skills, such as writing and basic maths, to prepare them for school. They might also train new staff, or provide advice to ensure the centre is running according to regulations and standards.

  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Compliance Officers

The Innovators in childcare centres are tasked with developing new activities and education programs to keep children entertained and help build their skills. Other Innovators might design new toys, plan the layout of the centre, and even create centre’s the logo and branding.

  • Program Developers
  • Interior Designers
  • Graphic Designers

Guardians make up most of the workers you’ll find in a childcare centre. This includes the carers who are responsible for looking after kids and providing entertainment, as well as helping to foster positive emotional and social development in children. Some Guardians might provide basic care if a child is hurt or sick, while others ensure children are getting proper nutrition and physical activity.

  • Child Carers
  • Nurses/Medics
  • Nutritionists

How do we expect working in a childcare centre to change in the future?

COVID caused huge disruptions for childcare, with many centres closing their doors temporarily. This only highlighted how vital this service is for many parents, and as the population keeps growing, so will the demand for childcare.

Though technology can help to make some jobs easier, childcare will likely remain a very human-centric industry into the future. Providing children with personal care, as well as letting them play and learn with other children, is always a high priority for parents, and is great for the kids too.