Relief coming for childcare wait lists

Mark, Belynda, Aimee, Kimberly and Aislinn from Old MacDonald’s Child Care. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Wait times for childcare in the area could be eased in the future amid plans for several new centres and a pre-school.

Four separate development applications (DAs) containing childcare provisions were lodged with Penrith City Council in November alone.

Orchard Hills, Mulgoa, St Marys and Jordan Springs are all set to benefit if the DAs are approved.

Owner of Old MacDonald’s Child Care, Mark Sharp, is seeking to construct a neighbouring building on his 8.5-acre property at Mandalong Close, Orchard Hills, to complement the existing centre.

Once complete, the new facility will cater for an additional 158 children and employ up to 40 staff.

Mr Sharp said the Western Sydney Employment Area was “growing like crazy” making expansion a viable option.

“The reason why we have submitted the application is that this place is unique and childcare is in high demand in this area, our wait list is over 200 children,” he said.

“There are 131 children currently attending our existing service daily, however we would like to accommodate more families but there are stringent guidelines relating to maximum numbers in accordance with regulation requirements.”

Council has confirmed it currently has eight childcare applications pending approval.

Jordan Springs locals could also have access to more daycare spots closer to home if a major mixed-use development gets the tick of approval.

To be built at 1 Wianamatta Parkway, the $47 million development is expected to span four to six-storeys and include a 154-place childcare centre, 124 residential apartments, first floor commercial/retail tenancies, 11 townhouses and 358 basement and at-grade car parking spaces.

Childcare centres are also being slated for more established residential areas.

22 Cutler Avenue, St Marys, could soon be home to a two-storey facility offering space for 54 children and basement car parking.

A 60-space pre-school has also been proposed to be built on Nepean Christian School grounds.

The K-12 school, which lies in the rural area between the Mulgoa township and the M4, seeks consent to build the pre-school on land fronting Mulgoa Road.

Earlier this year, a childcare centre was included in a $47 million development application for a new Mulgoa Rise shopping village, which is currently being reviewed by Council.

A contentious 66-place centre proposed for 49 Gibbes Street, Regentville, was recently refused.

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