Ipswich City Council has given the green light to construct a two-storey child care centre in the Ecco Ripley estate.
Ipswich City Council has given the green light to construct a two-storey child care centre in the Ecco Ripley estate.

New 154-place child care centre approved in boom area

A NEW child care centre with capacity for 154 kids has been approved in a residential estate in the booming Ripley Valley and another could also be built next door.

Ipswich City Council has given the green light to construct the two-storey facility in the Ecco Ripley estate with a large number of families moving to the city’s rapidly growing south east pocket.

It will be built on land at 1 Brooking Rise, Ripley and will operate from 6.30am to 7pm.

Ink Developments Pty Ltd submitted a development application to the council in October.

Another child care centre with places for 162 kids has been proposed for 2 Brooking Rise with an application submitted in August, but a decision has yet to be made by the council.

A needs assessment completed for the application found the population in the approved centre’s catchment area has risen from 2921 people in 2011 to 8112 in 2019.

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The percentage of children aged younger than four years old had risen from 7.7 per cent to 10.8 per cent over that same time.

Couples with children made up just over half of the households in the catchment.

The child care centre will include nine playrooms with three separate outdoor play areas totalling 1246 m2.

The building will have 1008 m2 of floor space with the ground floor to include the reception, a meeting room, kitchen, staffroom laundry, nine classrooms and sleep and bathroom facilities.

Direct access to the outdoor play and car parking areas will be available from the ground floor.

The second storey includes a meeting room and planning room.

“The incidence of couple families with children was significantly higher in the catchment than both Ipswich (local government area) and Queensland,” the application notes.

“This points to a greater likelihood of long day care take-up within the catchment.

“Average labour force participation rates for both males and females were also higher relative to Ipswich LGA and Queensland.

“Given that mothers are traditionally the primary carers of young children, a high female labour force participation rate in the catchment may be indicative of, or contribute to, a higher long day care participation rate in the catchment.”

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The needs assessment found the existing supply of long day care places within the area to be “very new” with other providers operating for less than two years.

“Only one provider (134 places) is situated within close proximity of the catchment (near the northern boundary),” it reads.

“At the time of writing, there were currently two existing long day care centres located within the catchment and one existing long day care centre located surrounding the catchment.

“There was a single long day care centre approved, and four locations where long day care centres are anticipated within concept plans or plans of development.”

In 2019 the Ripley Statistical Area Level 2 had an estimated resident population of 8112 with an average annual growth rate of 13.6 per cent since 2011.

“From 2015 onwards, the share of persons aged 0-4 years has been following an upward trend,” the assessment notes.

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