Dire need for child care

At Monday night's Committee Meeting the Council Chamber was overwhelmed by parents and children eager to speak out in support of more childcare and facilities for their families.

We know that more and more people are choosing to raise families in the City. This means there is an acute and growing need for childcare places and many child care centres have extremely long waiting lists.

Between 2001 and 2011 the data shows that family households in the City of Sydney increased by 44.5 per cent. There are more than 600 people on the waiting list for a spot at one of the City operated child care centres, and we know that privately run centres have similar waiting lists.

The City has refurbished and upgraded many existing child care facilities, including ones in Annandale, Redfern and Chippendale, to make the most of the opportunities we have.

But I know this is not enough to meet growing demands, so the City has allocated $55 million to create six new childcare facilities.

On Monday night, City of Sydney Council will decide whether or not to proceed with the proposal to create a childcare centre at 277 Bourke Street, East Sydney. This centre could cater for around 60 children, including spaces for babies under two years.

Concept plans involve closing a small section of Berwick Lane to allow children to access the open space next to 277 Bourke Street.

While some residents in the area are apprehensive about the changes, I believe we can create a design that provides the necessary space for a childcare centre and make improvements to the local area, as well as create a nearby park on the corner of Stanley and Bourke Streets on land we're finally being able to purchase from the RMS (formerly RTA) and progress upgrades to Heffron Hall and Albert Sloss Reserve - all items Council will vote on this Monday night.


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