Another Sydney council investigates why it cannot stop new childcare centres in inappropriate locations
Have you noticed there has been a lot more childcare centres popping everywhere? Are you hearing local residents asking why certain large childcare centres are in quiet neighbourhoods? Would you believe more councils are becoming more concerned that they see a growing number of childcare centres in inappropriate locations?
Well, Sydney’s Cumberland Council is one more who is taking action. They join Hornsby Shire Council and The Hills Shire Council (see Sydney Morning Herald, 14 October 2018) and possibly North Sydney Council (see Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2018), all of whom are also in Sydney, who are becoming more concerned about seeing certain new childcare centres being approved within their own local government areas, and that they may not have the necessary powers to produce good outcomes.
Cumberland Council has requested an explanation by February 2019 of the regulations, policies and guidelines currently used by Council’s planning officers to assess development applications for
childcare services including matters relating to evacuation, proximity to major traffic hubs, limits on childcare places, emergency exits and any other relevant matters.
Early childhood education and care peak bodies will be invited, including the Australian Childcare Alliance NSW, the Community Early Learning Australia and Family Day Care NSW.
And to assist Cumberland Council assess their current and future local state of supply and demand for childcare places, a request for de-identifiable occupancy data since 2 July 2018 will also be made to the Federal Minister for Education, especially since such information is received by the Federal Department of Education from every childcare service every Friday.
Subject to their findings, Cumberland Council anticipates formally conveying their concerns to the NSW Premier (the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP), the NSW Minister for Planning (the Hon Anthony Roberts MP) and the NSW Minister for Education (the Hon Rob Stokes MP).