01 May 2018

Stockland will develop and own childcare centres as part of its residential communities.

Seven are in the pipeline, and the first will be a $3.7 million centre on the Sunshine Coast.

The diversified property group, which releases its quarterly update today, said the first project would include a 952sq m outdoor play area and emphasise the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) approach to early education.

Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert said the group saw the sector’s growth as an opportunity to provide an excellent outcome for residents and the broader business.

“Stockland’s focus on the community- creating benefits of childcare will continue to drive the rollout of facilities across masterplanned communities nationally over the coming years,” Mr Steinert said. Stockland general manager for medium density and retirement Ben Cantwell said it would be the group’s first standalone childcare centre. The group has childcare facilities in some of its shopping centres.

“Approximately 1.3 million children are expected to attend some form of child care service over 2017-18,” Mr Cantwell said.

“With Australia’s birth and population rate consistently on the rise and revenues set to increase by 34.2 per cent to $12.1 billion by 2019-20, we see growth in the sector as a true opportunity.”

The group is planning two childcare centres in its Victorian communities, among others.

Stockland will own the childcare properties, which will be run by a variety of operators.

The first childcare centre at Stockland’s Aura masterplanned community on the Sunshine Coast will be operated by Goodstart Early Learning and offer 132 places from January next year.

It will be opposite the new Baringa Primary School which also offers STEM-focused curriculum as well as a robotics laboratory, recording studio and 3D printers. Stockland said Aura was the largest masterplanned community in the country with 20,000 homes to be built over the next 30 years. The project includes 200km of cycleways, a 700ha environmental protection zone, parks and sporting facilities. There will be two business and enterprise parks. The project could generate up to 20,000 jobs.

30 Apr 2018
The Australian, Australia