City’s $55 million childcare commitment

City’s $55 million childcare commitment

The City of Sydney has brought forward $55 million to fast track the construction of six new childcare centres.

“Demand for childcare in the inner city continues to grow. More families are moving into our community, with an estimated 45 per cent increase by 2031,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Next Monday, Council will vote on pre-design feasibility studies for new childcare centres. Potential sites are being tested to ensure they meet planning regulations, community needs, operational capacity and current and future childcare strategies.

The Lord Mayor said plans had already been drawn-up for the first centre, a 60-place facility in Darlinghurst, with almost half its places allocated to babies up to two-years.

“The City is making a serious investment in much needed childcare places for parents living and working in our community,” the Lord Mayor said.

“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.

“Currently the NSW and Commonwealth governments’ funding to address childcare is through subsidies to parents and to pre-schools, which has left investing in new childcare centres and infrastructure up to local councils and the market.

“We need an integrated approach across all levels of government to effectively respond to the demand in childcare services and invest in new childcare centres.”

A detailed 2005 study into childcare in Sydney found an undersupply of places of children aged zero to five years, high demand for under-twos and waiting times of up to two years.

The City has responded to this need by:

  • Providing a purpose-built childcare centre in the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre with space for 26 children;
  • Expanding centres in Redfern and Alexandria to increase places for under-twos by 18; and
  • Refurbishing the Chippendale centre to provide a combination of work and community-based spaces for 36 children each day.

The City provides about 23 per cent of all childcare places within the local government area, directly or through subsidised leases to not-for-profit groups. The City operates four early childhood education and care centres, which provide 160 places for under school-aged children:

  • Alexandria Childcare Centre: 66 spaces;
  • Broughton Street Extended Hours Kindergarten: 18 places;
  • Hilda Booler Extended Hours Kindergarten: 40 places; and
  • Redfern Occasional Childcare: 36 places.

The City leases a further 16 preschool or long day-care centres across Sydney to not-for-profit childcare providers, as well as three out of school hours care centres and two early childhood health centres.

The City subsides the fees that parents pay at all its childcare centres and ensures fees are in line with other low- to medium-priced centres. The City also provides further reduced rates to eligible families.

For more information: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-services/children/child-care

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus, phone 0467 803 815 or email jminus@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin on 0477 310 149 or email jlarkin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

 

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