A development application for a 79-place childcare centre with an agricultural focus in Springvale has been submitted to Wagga City Council in response to 'overwhelming' levels of demand for early childhood care.
Applicant Diana Lajdes established the Riverina Kids Early Learning Centre in Lloyd in January 2020 after moving to Wagga from Sydney with her four kids and husband Mark four years ago.
She says since they opened their doors they have been slammed with enquiries, and decided to respond to the massive demand for care in the city by pursuing a second site in Springvale.
"So we opened our one in Lloyd in January 2020 and we've just seen an absolute explosion of demand for childcare," Mrs Lajdes said.
"I'm getting on average at least two to three enquiries a day if not more, it's just overwhelming. The demand is unbelievable."
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The development application is currently on public exhibition until September 10 at Wagga City Council. In one application document it is stated that the Lloyd centre has operated at 100 per cent capacity since it's fourth week being open.
The new childcare centre proposed would have 79 spaces available with five rooms, one for babies, one for toddler and three for children with estimated building costs listed as $980,000.
The site is the corner of Plane Tree Drive and Lloyd road would be accessible from Plane Tree Drive and will operate from 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Mrs Lajdes said if all goes to plan, the new centre should open in mid-2022, and will offer a unique agriculture focus.
"We're proposing to introduce farm animals on an interactive farm for the children," she said. "It's a total different approach to our centre in Lloyd and we thought we'd embrace our surroundings in what we bring to the new centre."
In the development applications it is specified that a portion of the land to the east of the existing home on the lot will be developed for children's agricultural activities.
Demand for childcare has been a well-documented rising phenomena in Wagga, particularly since the COVID lockdown saw more families relocating to the regions.
Tenille Wallace is mum to one-year-old Fleur and three-year-old Ruby, both of whom are in daycare for two and three days a week.
She said finding childcare or securing extra days is extremely hard in the city at the moment.
"It is very hard to get more days at a centre, I would expect to wait months," she said. "Often you're waiting for someone to leave because they're all full all the time."
Mrs Wallace said she would expect new centres opening in the city to be met with high demand from parents, particularly if they offer unique education.
"I think the education side of it is becoming more and more popular ,people are after a specific style of teaching," she said. "I know of people who are going for a Montessori style, but there's not a lot of options in the city at the moment so more centres would be a good thing."
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