Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Newcastle is stuck with an oversupply of childcare

BY JESSICA ROUSE

Newcastle is facing a huge oversupply of childcare centres with more and more centres popping up where they aren't needed, instead of where they are needed.

Lyn Connolly, President of the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) says there are no restrictions in place to stop a childcare centre being opened where there are already enough.

The ACA has made a submission to the NSW Government in response to the oversupply, in an attempt to put controls in place which would stop childcare services being built in areas where there are already too many.

"There's no restriction on business between one centre and another and all of that has been taken out of the hands of council. We're calling on the councils in the greater Hunter to support us in asking the state government to introduce some more levers to stop this oversupply," said Lyn Connolly.

There are many more childcare centres at the planning stage for the next three years, with no restrictions on where they will be built, only escalating what is already a problematic situation.

According to the ACA, the number of centres currently in the pipeline will far exceed the projected need based on far too many councils' Residential Development Strategies' population growth projections over the next 14 years.

"You read the newspaper and it tells you about all this money that's being made in childcare centres so everybody goes out and buys a block of land and builds a centre and eventually they're going to have to just walk out," says Lyn Connolly and it's because they simply can't afford to stay open.


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