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Drop off zone at child care centre


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#1 Tinkle Splashes

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:23 PM

Someone has lodged a development application to establish a childcare centre directly opposite a laneway that runs along the side of our house.  We have been asked to comment, as the residence most affected.

The childcare carpark will be next to the laneway.  It is designed with 9 car bays and a "drop zone" that runs along the laneway.  Apparently the idea is that parents will be able to pull in and drop their kids, then continue driving the same direction.  They would have to walk through the carpark into the centre to drop the kids off though.

My question is, are drop zones in child care centres a thing now?  I have never noticed them before, and am just trying to understand whether they are common or whether this is a somewhat novel suggestion.

Child care would only be for ages 0 to 6, apparently.

#2 Winterberry

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:30 PM

The drop zone seems kind of pointless given they have to get out of the car regardless.

#3 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:31 PM

I've never seen one. I assume it's the applicants way of making it look like they have adequate parking when in  fact they don't.

Child care centres seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment. I think it's because they are seen as a small business with guaranteed cash flow, because of the Child Care Subsidy.

#4 Mae55

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:34 PM

We had a drive through driveway at our childcare. You could stop and drop / stop and collect. About three cars fitted but it was always a gamble if you stopped behind someone else because they might get stuck with a slow drop off or pick up

#5 Tinkle Splashes

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:37 PM

Yes they have 9 car bays for staff (estimated to be 4 full-time employees) and parents, in a centre designed for 42 children.  Seems a stretch to me.

#6 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:38 PM

I agree “drop zone” seems pointless when you have to sign your child in and out plus wrestle with getting kids in/out of car seats.

I would say that with the “drop zone” being the laneway, if you use the laneway to access parking at the back of your property you would find your access blocked often.



#7 Tinkle Splashes

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:39 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 18 May 2019 - 03:38 PM, said:

I agree “drop zone” seems pointless when you have to sign your child in and out plus wrestle with getting kids in/out of car seats.

I would say that with the “drop zone” being the laneway, if you use the laneway to access parking at the back of your property you would find your access blocked often.

This is a good point.  We don't currently access our property that way very often, but we are planning to build a garage off the laneway in the next few years.

#8 amdirel

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:44 PM

The preschool just down from my place has a 15 minute zone signposted out the front of their place. Could that be what they mean?

#9 BornToLove

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:53 PM

DD’s child care centre had similar numbers, between 40-50 placements. The car park originally had 6 spaces, but expanded to 15 by the time DD went to school. It still wasn’t enough during peak drop off/pick up times.

At one point they tried to enforce a 10 minute parking policy but it didn’t last long. If you have a clingy kid or have more than one kid, it can take a good 20+ minutes to get in and out of the building - then you have to wrangle them into seats etc.

#10 Jersey Caramel

Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:59 PM

I would be very concerned at only 9 car spots for a centre with 42 children. Only allowing for 4 staff doesn't seem enough,  given the ratios for under 2s are I think 4:1, and even for the older children would be something like 8:1. Then the majority of children will be dropped off/ collected in a peak of about 90 minutes - there could be as many as 30-35 cars per hour trying to drop off/ pick up. People get desperate when rushing to get to the centre by closing time and do stupid things like park across resident driveways and double park.

#11 afterlaughter

Posted 18 May 2019 - 04:09 PM

9 spots for parents with a 42 place long daycare is plenty but if they are for staff as well I don’t think it’s sufficient. Parents drop of and pick up and all different times it’s not like preschool that starts and finished at a set time.

#12 EmmDasher

Posted 18 May 2019 - 04:10 PM

We don’t have a drop zone but our Centre has about 10 official car parks for a facility for 80ish kids. There is street parking but it’s metred. Staff aren’t allowed to use the car parks in peak drop off/pick up times. There is street parking though and the first 15mins is free. So, the arrangement doesn’t seem too odd to me but it probably depends what the parking situation is like besides the laneway eg. Could staff conceivably park elsewhere and walk a short distance?

It would be annoy if you needed that laneway for access and it was blocked though.

#13 Wonderstruck

Posted 18 May 2019 - 04:19 PM

Our centre is amongst 5 on a 4.5 acre property on a suburb in a Sydney inner west Street. The street is mostly 2 hour limit. Further down the street is untimed.

There are about 4-6 15 minute spots on the street out the front and another say 12 or so 15 minute spots inside on the property.

Most of the centers have 50-70 kids. Ours is the smallest at 48. Drop off and pick up can be a challenge but the 15 min spots work well unless abused. You can usually get a spot somewhere but might have to walk a bit.  

I presume it would be similar 15 min drop spots otherwise it wouldnt work as you need to get them out and walk them in? I doubt staff would wait outside to receive them?

Edited by Wonderstruck, 18 May 2019 - 04:19 PM.


#14 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:01 PM

I hate to be 'one of those' types but given the chaos that occurs at our school's kiss n drop zones Id think it a very bad idea. Agree with PP I have not heard of one before and it sounds like they dont have enough parking.

#15 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:37 PM

A drop zone wouldn’t work for a child care centre. And 9 parks is not enough for a 42 kid centre, that would be at least 10 staff wouldn’t it?? So ALL the parents would be using this car drop off zone to drop off and pick up 40 kids each day? At roughly the same time each day? 40 kids by ten minutes each drop off. And how many parks in the laneway? Maybe 5? It doesn’t add up.

Nope, lodge a protest/complaint/whatever it is. Get your neighbours to as well.

Child care centre round here never put in enough car parking, it’s alsays an issue when they go to planning and get built.

Edited by ~LemonMyrtle~, 18 May 2019 - 06:08 PM.


#16 WaitForMe

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:00 PM

A drop zone is fine, we have a bit of one, but yeah its a longer drop than a school I think they are 15min spots most would be in and out slightly faster than that. Its nice not needing to pull into a car space, just the side of the road. Cars need to be able to drive past the drop zone though, otherwise it will be blocked.

I reckon they'd need around 10 drop spots for this to work, maybe 8.

9 space car park for staff? Not enough! What is it, 3 rooms? 3 carers per room, plus director, cook. They will be parking on the street.

Our centre is slightly larger, but right next to a train station in an area in which many people walk/cycle, so less car dependent, but also residential so theres already cars taking up space on the road. No way would this work. It is already a contentious issue, parents using the long term park spots to drop off as there is no room on the street so staff can't get a spot close by. Theres at least 10 spots for dropping off, probably more like 15.

ETA: Just reread, sorry its a bit all over the place! I mean, the concept is probably fine, the numbers are off.

Edited by WaitForMe, 18 May 2019 - 06:01 PM.


#17 ERipley

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:11 PM

I think they’re just calling it a “drop zone” so neighbours (you) won’t think of it as the laneway being permanently blocked with people leaving their engines running on hot and cold days while the fumes flow in your windows.

The purpose of a drop zone is for older children who can safely let themselves out of the car, walk through the gates to where a warden is waiting, and the parent keeps driving as soon as the warden is with the child. No way this will happen with a clingy 2yo.

#18 Tinkle Splashes

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:16 PM

View Post~LemonMyrtle~, on 18 May 2019 - 05:37 PM, said:

A drop zone wouldn’t work for a child care centre. And 9 parks is not enough for a 42 kid centre, that would be at least 10 staff wouldn’t it?? So ALL the parents would be using this car drop off zone to drop off and pick up 40 kids each day? At roughly the same time each day? 40 kids by ten minutes each drop off. And how many parks in the laneway? Maybe 5? It doesn’t add up.

There is literally zero other parking available in the lane way. It’s very narrow, no street parking until you get onto one of the streets that is joined by the lane way. That is quite a distance and honestly impractical. It would have to mean cars queueing up in the lane way waiting to get into the car park or the drop off zone. This would block the lane for other traffic.

#19 Future-self

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:17 PM

DDs childcare centre has 70 kids all up and only 8 parking spaces. It’s fone, everyone is in and out at different times so there’s only been a few times that I couldn’t get one and had to go around the block. But  Staff aren’t allowed to park there which probably makes a difference . They have to find parks in surrounding streets. However the street directly outside is a 15 minute zone. It fits about 4 cars so is the equivalent of a drop off zone.

The only actual stop drop and go I know of for a CC centre has been an inner city one in a high rise. You drove to the underground carpark and ; the CC centre had a dedicated entrance and lift. You pulled up; signed in; handed your child to the staff member standing there and they took them up in the dedicated lift. You then drove away.

#20 Caribou

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:38 PM

yea, I'd protest against that explaining it will block your access to the backyard, and noise and all kinds of things. get a meeting with your neighbours and see how they're al feeling about the laneway being used as a 'drop off'

Though, the drop off zone may only be peak between 8-9am and 4-5pm?

#21 Nobodyelse

Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:39 PM

View Postafterlaughter, on 18 May 2019 - 04:09 PM, said:

9 spots for parents with a 42 place long daycare is plenty but if they are for staff as well I don’t think it’s sufficient. Parents drop of and pick up and all different times it’s not like preschool that starts and finished at a set time.

There are busy periods though. Between 3:30-4pm is non-stop as parents do the school then daycare pick up. And again between 5:30-6 as people finish work and pick up on their commute home. Five parent spots (after staff take four) is really not enough. Not by a long shot. Get a maintenance guy in, photographers for photo week, mini maestro or sports visitors, and you're down to only a couple.

#22 Hands Up

Posted 18 May 2019 - 08:38 PM

Gosh our 49 place daycare has 8 spots for parents. There is no way a drop off zone works. A true drop off is five mins. For us, with two kids it takes 15 mins total (including buckling in). Inevitably one kid needs to pee 🙄

Often we park on the street directly outside the centre. But a laneway won’t work!

#23 afterlaughter

Posted 19 May 2019 - 12:11 AM

View PostNobodyelse, on 18 May 2019 - 06:39 PM, said:



There are busy periods though. Between 3:30-4pm is non-stop as parents do the school then daycare pick up. And again between 5:30-6 as people finish work and pick up on their commute home. Five parent spots (after staff take four) is really not enough. Not by a long shot. Get a maintenance guy in, photographers for photo week, mini maestro or sports visitors, and you're down to only a couple.
That is why I said it wouldn’t be enough if staff could park there. I’ve been at a centre with only 3 spots for 30 kids and rarely had to go else where to find a park.

#24 JomoMum

Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:43 AM

Our old daycare centre was licensed for 46 children. There was something like 10 staff there each day (which was amazing for ratios I know). There were 6 car spots.

So everyday, there would be staff parked up on the kerb of nearby properties (rolling kerb), and then there’s the drop off periods which started at 7.30am, and really went to about 9.30, then started again at 3pm, until close at 6.00pm. Dozens of cars parked in front of peoples houses.

Has the application stated that the drop zone has that purpose? As we know, that’s impossible given the children need to be signed in. And for picking up, what do they just call ahead and someone pokes your kid out the front door so you can keep going, drive-through style?

But I understand what they probably mean is that it’s a 5-10 min parking situation where staff cannot park for the entire day. Which again is impractical for most drop offs, and unenforceable.

But then 9 car spots are insufficient for staff, so they will have their cars parked all over the street near your house, possibly up on your kerb, and then there will be parents doing the same, because unless the drop zone allows for 15 cars or so, there won’t be enough space to service everyone at one time, especially during peak drop and pick up times.

It’s reasonable to expect the laneway be blocked, which you have plans to utilise in the near future (though that’s difficult to prove), but also that your regular access to your house be blocked or at least have cars parked there all the time.

Edited by JomoMum, 19 May 2019 - 07:47 AM.


#25 Holidayromp

Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:52 AM

It sounds like a recipe for disaster with the little street parking available.

I would lodge an objection.




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