One of Guardian’s existing Childcare centres in Sydney’s CBD. Image | Guardian Early Learning Group.

The recent approval of two new childcare centres in Manly, catering for a combined 296 children will delight local parents and is a sign of the strength of childcare as an investment class.

Manly parents have long been forced to travel before work to drop their children at other centres around the northern beaches or close to their work. The late-2017 closure of the St Matts Occasional Care Centre in Darley Rd has exacerbated that issue.

However an approved 110-place childcare centre coming to Sydney Road and a 186-place centre currently being built at the old RTA premises near Harris Farm on Pittwater Road will make life much easier for Manly and Northern Beaches locals.

Director of Pine Property and facilitator of the Sydney Road centre said there is an unmet community need for childcare on the Northern Beaches and strong demand for the right location.

“Parents all over the Northern Beaches struggle to find convenient childcare. As a father of four children under five, I can attest to that.”

“We have been required to travel from Manly to Brookvale and back twice daily as no available childcare facilities exist closer to home.”

“This is very positive for Manly. It makes it an even more desirable place to live and work, adding to its already impressive amenity and lifestyle attributes.”

The new centres are expected to fill quickly and are not likely to meet growing demand. Mr Kelleher said there is a business case to offer northern beaches residents with further childcare options.

Childcare centres excellent tenants

From a landlord’s perspective, childcare centres are great tenants thanks to the long term security of the industry.

Increasing demand for their services is being driven by government childcare incentives and population growth while childcare centre operators are generally happy to commit to initial lease terms of between 10 to 15 years, according to Mr Kelleher.

“Guardian Early Learning Group has committed to a 12-year initial term with a 10-year option at the approved Manly site.”

“Compare that with traditional office leases which you won’t see go much beyond three to five years,” he said, adding that childcare centres are also often willing to pay a premium in highly sought after locations.

Guardian Childcare Manly

One of Guardian’s existing childcare centres in Richmond, Victoria. Image | Guardian Early Learning Group

Specialist requirements an impediment

Asked why, given the business case, there is an unmet need for childcare on the Northern Beaches, Mr Kelleher said centres have specialist requirements which can make finding suitable locations challenging.

The Guardian Early Learning Centre in Manly’s Sydney Road is approximately 1500 square metres which will be spilt over three levels and includes a rooftop outdoor area.

“Childcare centres require large amounts of space – both indoors and outdoors – and operators won’t really consider anything less than 1000sqm. They also typically require car parking,” Mr Kelleher said.

These requirements are set by federal government guidelines which require a minimum of 3.25 square metres of indoor space and seven square metres of outdoor space per child, however local councils also have guidelines.

This means appropriate locations are snapped up quickly, a trend that is likely to continue as populations grow and the government continues to focus on providing Australians with affordable and accessible childcare.

Manly’s two new centres:

Guardian Early Learning Centre
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 6pm
Places: 110
Address: 4-10 Sydney Rd Manly
Expected Open Date: Early 2019

Avenues Early Learning Centre
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 6pm
Places: 186
Address: 239 Pittwater Rd Manly
Expected Open Date: Early 2019