Day care centres boost retail traffic

By Colin Taylor

Childcare providers are being established in commercial areas.

The newly opened Educare facility at 126 Target Rd, Glenfield.
The newly opened Educare facility at 126 Target Rd, Glenfield.

Daycare centres are becoming anchor tenants in new commercial developments across Auckland with more women returning to work and an increasing population of children.

"The improvement of economic conditions combined with subsidiary drivers such as people working more hours, has resulted in an increased need for day care," says Chris Beasleigh, JLL's national director of retail sales and leasing.

"Our retail team has been working with a number of developments across Auckland, securing anchor tenants which feed the demand for retail offerings and we have noticed, as a wider trend, that day care centres are occurring in a number of retail developments as anchor tenants."

Beasleigh says having day care centres within a commercial development appears to bring more customers to shops and retail outlets in the immediate area.

He cites Statistics NZ figures showing that between the years of 2006 and 2013, Auckland's population of children within the age bracket of newly born to 4 years old rose 8.8 per cent.

"A key driver to this rise in day care centres may not only be due to the fact that the population of young children has risen, but also related to the government 20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE) scheme provided through the Ministry of Education," he says. From July 1, 2010, all 3, 4 and 5-year-old children have been able to go to ECE services six-hours-a-day, 20-hours-a-week, at no charge.

The scheme applies to all teacher-led ECE services including kohanga reo and playcentres.

"This has created an economic incentive for women to go back to work and put their children in day care, thus creating an increased demand for daycare centres," he says.

JLL's success in securing a number of day care centres as anchor tenants has also had the spin-off effect of driving foot traffic to retailers in commercial developments by attracting an increased number of consumers to shops in the vicinity.

"A growing population, improving consumer confidence and stronger retail sales have all boosted future expectations in the retail sector. In turn the financial performance of retailers becomes stronger and the overall financial recovery continues to improve."

Beasleigh says he has been working with day care provider Discoveries Educare over the past year which has been searching to expand its locations to a number of retail developments in Auckland.

Discoveries Educare began in 2009 with a centre at Manurewa and then went on to establish centres in Mangere, Newmarket, Papatoetoe and Mangere.

"JLL has since completed six deals with the rapidly developing day care service, in a variety of expanding residential areas across Auckland.

"Early childhood education providers like Discoveries Educare can draw up to 135 children to their centres per day which is why day-care centres are increasingly becoming anchor tenants.

"To find target locations for Discoveries Educare, I searched for high profile, residential areas, expanding population nodes and areas close to schools.

"Adding a day care centre to a retail development already containing a gym, cafe or food outlet provides a good mix of tenants and that works well to create a good commercial synergy within the centre."

- NZ Herald

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