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The 2024 Guide to Winning in Childcare CX: Insights & Strategies

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The Childcare CX and Outside of School Hours Care (OSHC) landscape is expanding. With significant changes coming to the industry, service providers must improve their customer experience (CX) in early learning programs by understanding parents’ expectations.

Last 2022, we released a childcare customer opportunities report focusing on key areas. This 2024, let’s look at what has changed and how the future might hold for early care and education.

According to the Childcare Customer Experience 2024 research report, 3 in 5 respondents with children are either using or intend to use childcare/OSHC in the next 5 years.

The full report looked at the following respondents:

  • 46% Current Customers: Respondents who are currently sending their children to childcare or OSHC or both.
  • 16% Future Customers: Respondents who are intending to send their children to childcare or OSHC or both in the next 5 years.
  • 9% Past Customers: Respondents who have previously sent their children to childcare or OSHC or both in the last 5 years.
  • 29% Not Intending: Respondents who have never sent or do not intend to send their children to childcare or OSHC or both.

The current customers are the lowest hanging fruit from the demographic and as they take up a large part, we can best observe their behaviors and needs. Likewise, we have identified the expectations of future customers to help care providers design effective strategies to win potential customers.

We can take learning from what past customers valued the most during their enrolment and why some people choose not to send their children to care, or why they choose not to be in the sector at all.

Through this, we can make overall decisions on the best set of actions to take and how we can best leverage our position within the booming childcare industry.

The changing landscape of childcare CX and OSHC in 2024

The landscape of childcare CX and Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) is experiencing significant changes in 2024, reflecting broader trends in early childhood education and regulatory adaptations to meet modern needs.

The landscape of OSHC is adapting to meet these broader educational trends while also addressing specific challenges related to staffing, well-being, and inclusive practices. ​

Importance of customer experience in childcare services

With the dramatic growth of the childcare sector, focusing on customer experience has become essential for the success of childcare centers. The importance of CX in this sector is underpinned by a range of factors, including the increasing number of families requiring childcare due to both parents working and the rising expectations for quality, flexibility, and added value in childcare services.

Effective customer service in childcare not only emphasizes the quality of care and education provided to children but also considers parents as vital customers whose needs and expectations must be met.

Basic yet impactful practices such as answering the phone with a smile, greeting parents warmly, listening actively to their concerns, and consistently communicating positively about their child can significantly enhance the overall customer experience.

These kinds of experiences can be a make or break for parents. Which is why focus on customer experience is vital as it directly impacts the success of early education centers. A customer-centric initiative is a big factor in helping to build a positive reputation, generate word-of-mouth referrals, and encourage ongoing engagement from families.

Understanding the Childcare Customer in 2024

Overview of current, future, and past childcare customer demographics

Let’s explore the demographic information to gain an overall understanding of the current customers.

In the Childcare Customer Experience 2024 research report we published, we have observed a trend where the age of parents putting their children in care is moving towards the older side and the journey from childcare to OSHC results in parents staying in the sector longer.

Most of the current customers (84%) are using either childcare or OSHC services with childcare service being more popular than OSHC. 16% of respondents of this cohort are using both services, which is a strong increase from 7% in the previous year.

Work commitments is the main reason customers use these services. Coming out of a period where socialization has lagged behind, we can see a clear trend for both childcare and OSHC where parents want their children to socialize with others (28%). Preparation for school is a close second for both services, but we did observe that these needs are more prominent in childcare compared to work commitments.

Enhancing Customer Experience through Service Insights

Key Factors Influencing Customer Choice

We also studied the top factors that are most important to current customers when choosing a service.

As more workers return to the office, educator qualifications have become the most important factor for customers. While this has always been a key factor, parents have become more aware of educator credentials and the ability for the sector to fill positions with accredited staff.

Any communication reinforcing the educator qualifications is likely to have a positive effect. Apart from price, current customers also rated location and communication as part of their top four factors when choosing a provider. Digging deeper into their expectations regarding these factors will help us understand better what drives their decisions.

Expectations from Childcare and OSHC Services

In this research, we delved deeper and asked our demographics what they expect from Childcare and OSHC services.

We further explored how parents’ expectations of Curriculum, Educators, and Facilities differ between Childcare and OSHC centres. We found out that Childcare and OSCH users are aligned with important factors in educators and facilities. Childcare users value cognitive development, while OSCH users value socioemotional and communicative development.

Opportunities to Increase Lifetime Value

You might be surprised to learn that a significant (61%) number of our valued customers don’t utilize childcare services five days a week. In fact, on average, most parents send their children to centers just 3.3 days a week.

But as we usher in 2024, we’re witnessing a shift. More families are starting to rely on our services between three to five days weekly. What’s driving this change? A surge in demand for childcare services as the world shifts back to more traditional working hours and offices reopen their doors. And, interestingly, the number of families choosing just a single day of service is on the decline.

When we dive into the demographic data, our analysis uncovers that the usage patterns among families vary widely across different demographics — including age, income, marital status, and whether the parents are working.

So, what does this all mean? For parents, it means receiving the kind of support that truly resonates with their unique circumstances, enriching both their lives and those of their children. And for the childcare/OSHC industry? It’s the pathway to not only increasing the lifetime value they offer but also deepening the bonds they share with the families who choose them for their childcare needs.


The childcare and OSHC industry in 2024 is undergoing significant evolution, responding to changing demographics, parental expectations, and societal needs. With an emphasis on quality customer experience from a reputable customer experience management (CXM) platform like Resonate.CX, childcare service providers can make informed insights from current, past, and future customers.

Moreover, by focusing on key factors such as educator qualifications, communication, and tailored service offerings, childcare centers can enhance their value proposition and foster stronger relationships with families.

As the landscape continues to shift, staying attuned to the needs and expectations of parents will be crucial for the sustained growth and success of the childcare and OSHC sectors.

If you’re interested to know more, you get a free copy of our full Childcare Customer Experience 2024 Report.

Published on

Written by

Aryne Monton

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