Pathways to PR as a childcare worker

Pathways to PR as a childcare worker

This article is going to discuss the pathways to PR as a childcare worker. This is specifically for a childcare worker (not a childcare teacher or a childcare centre manager). Recently, there has been a massive shortage of childcare workers in Australia and we have seen a lot of centres open to sponsoring applicants. We have centres at the moment who simply cannot find staff and need to sponsor.
The common pathways to PR as a childcare worker are:

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 Visa – (Requires 3 years of full time post qualification experience – available in any regional area).
  • DAMA Visa – (Only requires 1 years of full time work experience through SA DAMA agreement, may require 2 years in other DAMA regions)
  • If you want to remain in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane the only option would be through getting sponsored on a Labour Agreement (but this is very limited).
  • Become an Early Childhood Teacher

494 Visa – Regional Sponsored

The 494 Visa is initially a temporary visa that may allow you to obtain permanent residency after 3 years. This is available for anyone in Australia living outside – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

However, in order to apply for this you would need to have at least 3 years full time work experience as a childcare worker (group leader). As you need 3 years of full time work experience (this can be calculated from when the Diploma is finished).

I hear that a lot of you are saying, but I am on a graduate visa and don’t have the 3 years experience. If this is the case, you would likely need to first move onto another type of visa in order to build up this experience before you can apply for this visa. (If you are in this situation, feel free to chat with PTA).

Like all employer sponsored visas you must be nominated by an approved business sponsor to apply for this visa. The company will then nominate you for the position and then you apply for the visa.

482 TSS Visa (DAMA Stream)

Another option would be the employer sponsored – 482 TSS Visa (DAMA Stream). This would most likely be your quickest pathway to PR. In South Australia (for example) you can apply for this with as limited as 1 year work experience.

South Australia DAMA
child care worker form

DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreements) are a special kind of TSS Employer Sponsored Visa (Subclass 482). These visas were created so that specific regional areas can attract much needed employees to fill roles. The occupation of childcare workers is available in some of these area.

So in specific DAMA areas you can get sponsored as a childcare worker. It may a lower entry requirement for work experience, English level or salary.

However please note you still need:

  • An employer to nominate you for an occupation to be able to apply for this visa.
  • The employer must also be an endorsed DAMA approved employer

Labour Agreement:
So far I have discussed options for PR in regional areas. If you want to remain in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane the only option would be through getting sponsored on a Labour Agreement. This would be specifically where your employer petitions immigration to allow the company to sponsor your occupations not usually allowed.

This is a very complex and costly process and therefore, generally speaking, only really large organisations do this. Think mining companies, casinos, aged care centres etc. (Although with the shortage of childcare workers, there has been a lot of larger childcare centres doing this.)

Become an Early Childhood Teacher
The occupation of childcare worker has very limited visa options. However, the occupation of early childcare teacher must be one of the most in demand occupations in Aus. We recently received a NSW invite within less than a week of lodging an EOI.

If you are open to studying again, you could consider studying a course that will qualify you as an early childcare teacher. Please note in order to qualify as an early childcare teacher, you will need to study at a bachelor level or higher. If you have done a diploma, you may be able to complete this in as little as 2 years.