New State environmental planning policy – Early Childhood

The introduction of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017 will ensure greater consistency in the development of quality early childhood education facilities.

Introduced from September 1, the policy has provisions to support child care providers to build new facilities and improve existing ones. It is designed to save time and money by streamlining approval processes and balancing the need to deliver additional educational infrastructure, with a focus on good design.

In an Australian first, this policy aligns NSW planning controls with the National Quality Framework. Through the SEPP a Child Care Planning Guideline will be introduced which notes that the consent authority must consider applicable provisions and the National Quality Framework assessment checklist when determining a development application for a centre based facility.

Planning applications that do not meet the space requirements of the Education and Care Services National Regulations, will need to be referred by Local Councils to the Department of Education for further review.

These changes do not affect the need for early childhood education providers to apply to the department for a Service Approval to operate a service.

More information is available on the DoE website and in the Planning circular, Regulating expansion of schools.

Category:  October 2017,

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