Child Care Worker – New PR and Sponsorship Pathway

Several areas around Australia have been classified as Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) Areas. These areas have a special list of occupations which employees can be sponsored and may lead to permanent residency. These areas also have their own specific requirements for the visa – for example lower salary requirements, lower English requirements, lower qualification requirements etc.. Find our more information on DAMA and the regions here. 

Child Care Worker

The occupation of Child Care Worker (421111) is on the list of eligible occupations for sponsorship for several DAMA regions. Child Care Worker is not on any other immigration lists (MLTSSL, STSOL or RSOL) for sponsorship, therefore if you are not in one of the eligible DAMA regions, you will not be able to get sponsored for the occupation of Child Care Worker

This is important for anyone working in the childcare industry and is looking to either get sponsored or apply for permanent residency in Australia. It is particularly of interest for those who have studied Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia. Previously the main childcare profession that would allow for sponsorship was the occupation of Child Care Centre Manager. The occupation of Child Care Centre Manager (134111) is on the MLTSSL, however there is a big difference between childcare centre manager and Child care worker.

Child Care Worker (421111) as per ANZSCO – Provides care and supervision for children in programs, such as long day care and occasional care, in childcare centres, hospitals and educational centres. Unlike Childcare Centre Manager, you do not need to be the manager or director of a childcare centre.

Occupation Titles for Child Care Worker include
  • Children’s Nursery Assistant
  • Creche Attendant
  • Early Childhood Worker
  • Child Care Group Leader

Requirements for Sponsorship

DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreements) is special kind of TSS Employer Sponsored Visa (Subclass 482). Therefore to be eligible for this visa you must still find an employer that is willing to sponsor your visa in that area. However each specific DAMA region has their own requirements for sponsorship and there can be exceptions to the requirements for occupations.  As an example, I will provide a general overview of the requirements for the occupation of Child Care Worker through the Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement. These requirements are general in nature and can change depending on occupation and location.


You must still be nominated by an employer in the occupation of Child Care Worker. This employer must be granted a labour agreement through their specific DAMA region.

English Requirement

Applicants may be eligible to apply for this visa if they English is lower than the standard IELT’s 5.0 overall with no score lower than 4.5 (or equivalent English test).


You must be offered an employment contract from your employer. The salary must meet the standard TSMIT (however there is concessions for Child Care Worker). Applicants must be paid the Australian Market salary with a minimum salary as low as approximately $48,510 per year in certain occupations. For standard 482 visa applicants, the minimum salary acceptable is $53,900


Be under 45 years of age.

Education Qualifications

Applicants must hold a minimum education qualification of the Cert III in Early Childhood Education and Care or above.

Work Experience

Applicants will need to have 2 years post qualification work experience – experience gained after completing the Cert III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Therefore work experience completed after you have finished the Cert III, but still studying the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care may be suitable. Experience gained when working in the industry on the graduate work visa and bridging visa may also be included.

Skill Assessment

For the occupation of Child Care Worker, the applicant must hold a skills assessment conducted by the relevant Skills Assessing Authority


What is the pathway to Permanent Residency?

Unlike the standard employer sponsored TSS visas, studying in a DAMA area may lead to the opportunity of permanent residency.

After you have worked in the occupation for 3 years, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa.


Please note all of the information provided above is general in nature. Migration regulations are constantly changing and to receive a full understanding of your position, it is recommended to book in for a consultation with a registered migration agent.

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