Toys in a childcare centre
11 July 2018

Work has started on a new childcare centre in Keith Street at The University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the project was part of the University’s commitment to supporting the career progression and development of staff and students with families.

“One of the ways we can do that is by helping families access quality child care close to their workplace, supporting them to balance responsibility for caring for young children while pursuing their careers or study, which is particularly challenging for women,” Professor Høj said.

“UQ is setting a new benchmark in child care provision across the higher education sector, recognising the importance of child care in attracting and retaining staff.

“A survey of staff and students last year identified an unmet demand for vacation and before- and after-school care,” he said.

“Our planning for the centre has taken account of the need for ongoing care once children start school, so the new centre will provide 106 child care places and, importantly, provide before-school and after-school places for 60 school-aged students.”

There are currently four childcare centres on the St Lucia campus, independently operated by not-for-profit organisations.

The new facility will supersede the 72-place Playhouse Centre which has operated in the Union Complex since 1976 and is earmarked for closure in 2019.

“The new centre will provide modern facilities including external play areas and will be operated by Playhouse Childcare Centre management and staff following their relocation,” Professor Høj said.

He said UQ’s investment in establishing the new centre would ensure the operator’s fees were competitive.

Work on the new centre follows completion of the Margaret Cribb Early Learning Centre, which has taken the number of child care places offered on the St Lucia campus from 259 to 337.

Professor Høj said UQ was also assessing the need for child care facilities at the Herston campus.

A commercial childcare centre operates on the Gatton campus.

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