From today's adelaidenow:
High-rise child care
MICHAEL OWEN POLITICAL REPORTER
January 13, 2008 10:30pm
A CHILDCARE centre for the first time is to be developed in a major city centre high-rise office tower.
Developers of the $100 million building at 400 King William St say the risky commercial move is aimed at tackling the childcare crisis and designed to tap into growing concerns among workers about improving work-life balance.
The concept has support from Education and City of Adelaide Minister Jane Lomax-Smith.
The Government has included work-life balance targets in the state's strategic plan and also established the Work-Life Balance select committee, chaired by parliamentary secretary Grace Portolesi, to examine the issue.
Yet, despite plans by building owners and major companies over the past decade to include childcare centres in city office buildings, none has been completed because of the lack of financial returns.
Government licensing issues and council red tape also have been obstacles.
In October, 2006, a $1 million childcare centre for the Santos complex in the city was flagged by building manager Knight Frank, but was abandoned.
Advertiser Newspapers Limited has called for registrations of interest in creating a childcare centre.
The company behind the latest bid to incorporate a childcare centre into a city office building says its development is going ahead.
Kyren Group managing director Theo Samaras said the new 11-storey office tower is to be built at the corner of King William and Gilles streets, and is due to open late next year.
Mr Samaras has teamed up with Stepping Stone (SA) Childcare and Early Development Centres, which will offer 150 places in the new centre.
Stepping Stone director George Skrembos said the project was "very exciting".
Mr Skrembos said the childcare centre was leasing about 2000sq m of office space, half of which will be "secure, outdoor, open space" made possible by a special design on level four of the building. He said "in-principle" agreement had been given by the Government, although a licence was yet to be granted.
The centre will have about 30 staff, with places available to the general public, 6.30am-6.30pm. Fees are yet to be set.
The centre needs Adelaide City Council approval.
Central childcare options for city workers would give parents more flexibility and allow breastfeeding mothers to visit during the day, Nat Tozer, 31, from St Marys, said.
The Telstra worker said she thought it was a "brilliant" idea to include a childcare centre in the new high-rise office tower on King William St.
Her son Josh, 3, goes to childcare close to home in Clovelly Park four days a week.