DAMA Visa Childcare Worker in Australia:Visa Options and Requirements

DAMA Visa Childcare Worker: DAMA Visa Options and Requirements for Childcare Workers in Australia

In this article, I explore the various visa options and essential requirements available for childcare workers under the DAMA program in Australia.

In recent years, Australia has experienced a growing demand for childcare workers. To meet this demand, the Australian government has implemented the DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement) Visa program, which offers unique opportunities for qualified childcare workers to live and work in Australia.

So let’s talk about the DAMA Visa Childcare worker, about the options available for childcare workers, the application process, and the rights and obligations it entails.

Understanding the DAMA Visa

What is a DAMA Visa?

The DAMA Visa is a specialized visa program that allows Australian employers that operate a business in designated regional areas experiencing labor shortages to sponsor skilled overseas workers. The program aims to address specific skill gaps by creating pathways for international talent to contribute to regional growth.

One of the key features of the DAMA Visa is its flexibility in allowing employers in designated regions to sponsor skilled workers for positions that may not be listed on the standard skilled occupation lists. Each DAMA region has an approved list of eligible occupations and this is usually the starting point for any visa assessment, identify if the proposed occupation/role is on the list.

These approved occupation lists enable businesses in these regional areas to address unique labor shortages and boost their productivity by accessing a broader pool of talent from overseas.

Additionally, DAMA Visa offers concessions on salary (TSMIT Concession), age and English language. These concessions make this visa available to people that do not meet the requirements of the standard programs , for various reasons.

Eligibility Criteria for DAMA Visa Childcare Worker

To apply under the program, DAMA Visa Childcare Workers are required to secure a job offer from an Australian employer, a child care centre, located in a designated regional area.

This ensures that the visa program effectively addresses the labor shortages in specific regions by connecting childcare workers with employers in need of their expertise.

Childcare workers seeking to apply for a DAMA Visa must meet certain eligibility requirements:

  • a recognized qualification in childcare,
  • relevant work experience in the field,
  • ACECQA skills assessment for the nominated occupation (for example ANZSCO 421111 Child Care Worker), and
  • proficiency in English language.

They must also meet health and character requirements set by the Australian government.

Child Care Worker includes specialisations or alternative titles: Child Care Aide, Children’s Nursery Assistant, Creche Attendant, EArly Childhood Worker.

DAMA Visa Options for Childcare Workers

The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) program offers a pathway for skilled workers to secure a visa and contribute to the Australian workforce. There are twelve DAMA programs available at present.

What are the specific visa options available for childcare workers under the DAMA program?

Types of DAMA Visas Available

Childcare workers applying for a DAMA visa have access to different visa subclasses based on their circumstances and the designated region they intend to work in. These visa options cater to the specific needs of childcare centres and include:

  • DAMA Temporary Skills Shortage TSS Subclass 482 Visa
  • DAMA Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) Subclass 494 Visa
  • DAMA Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 Visa

Specific Requirements for DAMA Visa Childcare Worker

As a childcare worker applying for a DAMA Visa, you must meet certain criteria designed for individuals in your occupation. These requirements typically revolve around holding formal qualifications in early childhood education, such as a Certificate III or Diploma in Early Childhood.

Moreover, applicants are expected to provide documented proof of their qualifications and showcase their competency in carrying out the responsibilities associated with being a childcare worker in Australia.

As an example, Far North Queensland DAMA program requires for a DAMA Visa Childcare Worker the following:

  • skills assessment in the nominated occupation
  • relevant qualification (AQF Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training or AQF Certificate IV)
  • for TSS 482 visa or 494 visa, have at least one year of relevant work experience, specified at 20 plus hours per week
  • for ENS 186, have at least two years of full-time work experience

For Norther Territory DAMA, the available occupations are:

  • child care centre manager
  • child care group leader
  • child care worker

NT DAMA Visa Child Care Worker for TSS 482 visa requires:

  • skills assessment from MigrationNT
  • at least AQF Cert III (including 2 years of on the job training), or AQF Certificate IV obtained in Australia and one year of full-time work experience) or
  • relevant overseas qualification equivalent to an AQF Certificate IV and 2 years of full-time work experience or
  • three years of full-time work experience

For Great South Coast DAMA, the child care worker occupation is available and the applicant has to meet ANZSCO skill level 3 requirement.

For Goldfields DAMA region, the occupations available are child care worker and child care centre manager and both require ACECQA skills assessment.

A concession to the work experience requirement is provided whereby the childcare worker must have:

  • at least one (1) year of full-time work experience (38 hours plus per week) if applying for a TSS or SESR visa.

Work experience can include:

  • work undertaken as part-time (equivalent to one year full-time).
  • work experience counted towards being skilled (ANZSCO) also counts towards the work experience requirement.
  • must be in the nominated occupation, or a related occupation at the same skill level.

Application Process for DAMA Visa

Applying for a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) Visa can be a complex yet rewarding process for individuals seeking employment opportunities in Australia.

For childcare workers, the journey begins with identifying a suitable DAMA region and employer willing to sponsor their visa application.

This initial step sets the foundation for a successful application process.

Once a job offer from an employer in a DAMA region is secured, childcare workers must embark on the crucial task of gathering the necessary documents to support their application.

This stage involves showcasing qualifications, employment history, and demonstrating proficiency in the English language through test results.

In my article Navigating DAMA Australia, I talked about this process in great detail and I explain the main steps once again below.

Steps to Apply for DAMA Visa

The application process for a DAMA Visa entails several steps that childcare workers must follow diligently to increase their chances of success:

  1. Identification of suitable DAMA region and employer
  2. Obtaining a full-time job offer from a childcare centre in a DAMA region
  3. Skills assessment (if applicable) and gathering required documents
  4. Lodging DAR application
  5. Lodging labour agreement with the Department of Home Affairs
  6. Lodging business nomination and visa application with the Department of Home Affairs
  7. Receiving a decision on the visa application

Documents Required for Application

When applying for a DAMA Visa as a childcare worker, certain documents must be included to support the application:

  • Proof of identity, such as a valid passport, ID card, birth certificate
  • Formal qualifications and employment history demonstrated by way of employment statements on company letterhead
  • Skills assessment if applicable
  • English language proficiency test results – IELTS, PTE Academic
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Health insurance

It is crucial that all necessary documentation is provided accurately and in a timely manner to avoid delays or complications in the application process.

Attention to detail and adherence to the specific requirements outlined by the Department of Home Affairs can significantly impact the outcome of the visa application.

Rights and Obligations under DAMA Visa

Work Rights and obligations under DAMA Visa

Once granted a DAMA Visa childcare workers have certain rights and privileges, allowing them to work in Australia for the duration specified in their visa. They are entitled to fair treatment in the workplace, including receiving the Australian minimum wage and employment benefits.

DAMA visa childcare workers are expected to abide by Australian laws and regulations governing employment, ensuring they maintain professional standards and fulfill their contractual obligations.

As holders of a DAMA Visa childcare workers are required to meet certain obligations. These may include adhering to the conditions of their visa, accurately reporting any changes in their employment or personal circumstances, and complying with Australian taxation and superannuation requirements.

It is vital for visa holders to understand and fulfill these obligations to maintain their visa status and avoid any potential legal consequences.

As a TSS 482 visa holder, there are two main conditions attached to the visa:

  • work in the nominated occupation for the sponsor only
  • maintain health insurance

As a SESR 494 visa holder, there are several conditions attached to the visa:

  • notify if passport or contact details change
  • live, study and work in designated regional area
  • provide evidence of live, study, work address if requested
  • attend an interview if asked
  • work only in the nominated occupation


For childcare workers seeking opportunities to work in Australia, the DAMA Program offers a pathway to living in Australia and have a fulfilling and rewarding career.

By understanding the requirements, visa options, application process, and obligations attached to the DAMA Visa childcare workers can navigate the process with confidence and embark on a new professional journey in Australia.



Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

  • Sadhana Singh
    21/04/2024 at 23:21  -  Reply

    Hi, My name is Sadhana Singh from Sydney .I am writing to express my sincere interest in seeking sponsorship opportunities with esteemed childcare center. I have completed my certificate iii and have been working in childcare center since 2019 and until now.

    • Hi Sadhana, thank you for your message. Visa Lounge is a migration agency, we provide assistance with visa applications, we do not offer jobs. If you require visa consultation, specific visa advice on DAMA visa options, please send your request via our contact form. Thank you and all the best.

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