More and more people are choosing to continue to raise their children here in the city. Between 2001 and 2011, family households in the City of Sydney increased by 44.5 per cent, creating new needs for child care, out of school care and increasing pressure on the school system.
Our Independent Team has put in place planning policies that can meet the identified child care, open space and recreation needs to 2030. The City is investing heavily in childcare and out of school care, which is crucial to the workforce participation of parents, early childhood development and to ensure low-income parents are not driven to place their children in unsafe environments.
State government investment has not kept up with demand for schools, and major State development plans lack adequate open space and facilities.
Providing parks and childcare
The City of Sydney has around 330 small parks and playgrounds and has invested heavily in improving and expanding nearly all of its parks and sporting facilities since 2004. Our open space and recreation needs planning has identified open space acquisitions and improvements that will meet the needs identified to 2030.
The City owns or leases 23 child care centres, providing around one-quarter of all places in the area. We have committed to six new public child care facilities with four centres are currently under construction. Childcare places created, approved or under assessment will meet the need for 3100 place shortage identified by the City’s 2013 Childcare Needs Analysis.
Our innovative planning controls for child care in new developments and proactive work with the development industry play a crucial role. Since 2013, 28 development applications for new childcare centres have been approved and twelve new centres have begun operating, with 804 new places.
After school and holiday care
The City operates six services that provide after school and vacation care with a total of 270 approved places, three of which are free for low income and disadvantaged families. The Juanita Nielsen Centre and East Sydney Community and Arts Centre are currently being upgraded. The City also provides funding to services in Glebe and Woolloomooloo.
We are campaigning for the State Government to address out of school hours care in some inner-city areas and have secured an extension of State funding for new or expanded services.