Six child care centres planned for Sydney

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To address a lack of child care facilities, the City of Sydney has invested $55 million to develop six new centres.

A study in 2005 found a shortage of childcare services for children aged 0-5. There is great demand for centres catering to those under the age of two.

According to lord mayor Clover Moore, the investment comes because of rising demand for childcare in the inner city. It was estimated that there will be a 45 per cent increase in the number of families living in Sydney by 2031.

Currently, the council has voted on pre-design feasibility studies for the child care centres. They have also viewed potential sites and are discussing whether the sites meet planning rules, community requirements, operational capacity and current and future childcare strategies.

Moore said a planned 60-place child care centre in Darlinghurst, will have 50 per cent of its capacity reserved for children up to two years.

“Through innovative planning controls and the expansion of our own childcare services, we contributed 1,041 extra childcare spaces, a 32 per cent increase, between 2005 and 2012,” the lord mayor said.

Moore also stressed the value of having an integrated approach across all levels of government so that the demand will be met efficiently.

To respond to the issue of lack of accessibility, the city of Sydney has already provided a purpose-built child care centre in Surry Hills Library and Community Centre which can provide service for 26 children.

Sydney has also expanded centres in Redfern and Alexandria to add accommodation for 18 more under-2 children. A centre in Chippendale has also been redeveloped to hold 36 children.

The City of Sydney provides around 23 per cent of all local government child care places. A total of four early childhood education and care centres are being operated by Sydney, which gives 160 areas for pre-school children. The four facilities include Alexandria Childcare Centre, Broughton Street Extended Hours Kindergarten, Hilda Booler Extended Hours Kindergarten, and Redfern Occasional Childcare.

Meanwhile, 16 more long day-care centres, three out of school hours care centres, and two early childhood health centres are leased by the city to non-profit childcare providers.

It was reported that Sydney subsidises fees for childcare centres and gives further reductions on fees for families who are qualified to receive added discounts.

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