Building boom helps cut wait lists for child care

That’s the belief of Natalie Hay, co-owner of the new Waratah Saplings Children’s Service, which opened next to the Waratah Early Learning Centre on Farrell Road. 

She said before the centre opened the wait list for places at Waratah Early Learning Centre was up to two years.

She said women had to book a spot for their child while they were pregnant to avoid disappointment.

About three years ago Miss Hay and her sister Kellie Doulin started looking for sites for their second childcare centre because they were only able to take in four or five additional families a year.

“It will certainly make a huge difference for the under twos,” she said. 

“Parents generally have to go back to work within six months of having a baby.”

Miss Hay is hoping the new centre will halve the wait list and the opening of a centre called Create, Imagine, Learn on the corner of Dalton and McLachlan Streets will eliminate the wait altogether. 

Create, Imagine and Learn is expected to open in four to six weeks, according to owner Troy Allen, and will employ about 30 staff.

He said the company was in negotiations for another childcare centre to be built opposite the Orange Health Service. 

Mr Allen said construction was nearly finished on the Dalton Street site and it would only take a few days to go in and furnish the centre. 

“Everything is going well but we’ve got to sit on our hands a bit while we wait for our occupation certificate,” he said. 

A centre planned for Telopea Way will be Orange’s largest, offering 152 long day care places for children aged up to six, before and after school care and vacation care.

However, the Sydney-based developer of the proposed Headstart Childcare centre, Lloyd Williams, could not be reached for comment and construction on the site is one year overdue to begin. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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