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Child care centres - planning requirements

Child care centres are common types of development in NSW. This post describes how these developments are assessed under the planning system.

There is now a State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017, which outlines many requirements for the development of childcare centres. This policy is generally considered to take precedence over any local Council controls.

The policy provides a set of standards for the development of centre-based childcare centres. There is also the Educational and Care Services National Regulation, which is referred to in the policy. This regulation contains many controls relating to indoor and outdoor space requirements, fencing, required facilities etc.

Home-based childcare for no more than 7 children can generally be performed without the need to obtain DA approval.

It addition to the policies mentioned above, there are also local planning controls - Local Environmental Plans (includes zoning - outlining whether childcare centres are permitted on a site) and Development Control Plans that may include additional controls relating to childcare centres (to the extent that these matters are not covered in the state policy).

The development of a centre-based child care centre generally requires a Development Application (lodged with the local Council) and Construction Certificate. Issues that would be considered as part of the DA include:

- Compliance with the LEP and DCP

- Compliance with SEPP (Educational Establishments and Childcare Facilities) 2017

- What are the proposed hours or operation, number of students and employee numbers?

- What is the noise impact on adjoining properties? (Detailed noise report may be required)

- What is the traffic impact of the development (traffic impact study may be required)

- How will waste from the development be collected?

- Stormwater runoff/drainage

- The availability of car parking to meet likely demand

- Are any development contributions generated/required?

- Will landscaping be provided?

- What type of advertising signage is proposed

For any questions regarding the development of childcare centres, feel free to get in contact.

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