Plans for an alternative childcare centre in the heart of the city's central business district have been revealed in a development application lodged with council.
Wagga councillors will vote at their Monday night meeting whether to approve changing the use of commercial building at 133 Peter Street to a 60-place childcare facility.
The plan would involve a $275,000 redevelopment, involving minor alternations, to turn the existing building into a childcare centre for babies and children up to the age of five.
If it is approved, chickens, veggie gardens, painting and cooking will all be on the agenda at the Reggio Emilia-inspired centre.
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Experienced Sydney-based childcare operators Ben Dransfield and Renee Humphry have lodged the development application in close partnership with a Wagga childcare worker who would run the site.
"Wagga's an amazing town. We were down there in July. It's unbelievable. I was blown away by the size. I just think the Wagga community could do with something like this," he said.
"We're really excited about it. We saw the site last year and just fell in love with it and thought it could offer something maybe a bit different and fresh."
He and his wife, Ms Humphry, run two childcare centres near Sydney which focus on fostering creativity and inquisitiveness in young children.
The Reggio Emilia educational philosophy, which focuses on self-directed, hands-on learning, is named for the Italian town where it developed after the Second World War.
Mr Dransfield said the philosophy was slightly more structured than the Montessori style of alternative education and would prepare children to enter mainstream Wagga primary schools.
"It sort of evolved over time. It's something that's exciting. I was at our centre at Cronulla just before and the kids wanted to show me all the insects that they've found and it all stemmed from this cicada shell," he said.
"We're not interested in a big commercial building where there's no outside area. We want to get the kids out in the community and going on excursions."
The centre would operate between 6am and 6pm from Monday to Saturday, with the weekend day proposed because of the site's proximity to the city's commercial centre.
The centre would provide four playrooms divided based on age bracket, two cot rooms for babies, two children's bathrooms, a toilet, laundry, kitchen and reception space.
Council planning staff have recommended that councillors approve the childcare centre at Monday's meeting. The development will also involve signage, landscaping and fencing.