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Auckland City Council Reviews Childcare Centres

NEWS RELEASE

7 May 2001

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL REVIEWS CHILDCARE CENTRES IN RESIDENTIAL ZONES

Licensing criteria and District Plan rules will be reviewed as part of an Auckland City Council study of childcare centres to make sure they offer positive environments for children while having the least possible impact on their surrounds.

Planning and Regulatory Committee chairperson Councillor Juliet Yates says the council is supportive of childcare facilities in residential areas, subject to limits in size and their suitability for the areas in which they operate.

“There is a trend for larger childcare centres to establish in residential areas and also in suburban industrial areas where there are less restrictive planning controls,” she says. “There have been a number of recent land use applications from existing providers wanting to upgrade from 20 to 30 children to 50 to 80 children.

“In view of these trends and the fact that there are 349 licensed childcare centres within Auckland City, it seems timely to review the effectiveness of the Plan rules and the environmental effects of the activity, particularly where centres may be concentrated in one street. The committee has asked for more information so that it can further consider such issues next month.

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“I understand that parents need high quality childcare, which is easy to find, but I would worry about a trend to larger centres in industrial areas, which may not be able to provide much natural light, have views only of machinery or concrete walls and concrete play yards. Some access to green grass and natural features seems preferable.”

Councillor Yates says the Council needs to be reassured that its District Plan provisions for childcare facilities are protecting the best interests of babies and young children and their right to have access to light, space and fresh air.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

- Councillor Juliet Yates, tel: 528 0581 or 025 327 437.


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