Planning application at 40 Ada Street, Cardiff NSW 2285
July 18, 2016, 1:05 a.m.
Over the past few years we have seen a significant increase in the number of child care services established in the Lake Macquarie area. The proposed developments for more child care centres in the Cardiff area raises serious concerns about the impact it will have on surrounding child care services including long day care, family day care and preschools, particularly if there is inadequate demand for further facilities in this location. Several of the newer child care services in Cardiff and surrounding areas still have vacancies, therefore, the development of further child care centres will inevitably cause Cardiff to reach its saturation point and potentially put existing organisations out of business. This includes the potential demise of community child care, loss of jobs and reduced quality of care and education for children. In previous years we experienced the devastating effects of for-profit providers dominating the market. More recently we have been informed of child care centres in NSW and ACT being forced to close because the demographics of the towns are unable to support the many centres in the area. With this in mind, I am concerned that social and economic impacts have not been adequately assessed for the development of more child care centres in Cardiff. If the potential providers cannot demonstrate that there is adequate demand for more facilities in these locations, we could end up with an oversupply of purpose built developments that result in the closure of existing facilities which are difficult to re-purpose. There are well-established child care services in the area and an influx of for-profit centres will impact on their business and thin quality as the staff to child ratios in for-profit centres usually only meets minimum requirements. Support of community-based child care centres is encouraged because all surplus funds are invested back into the service to directly benefit the children resulting in high quality care and education.