Update on childcare at ANU

10 Jul 2024

We are writing to share some updates regarding the four community childcare providers on campus.


We have had multiple meetings and positive conversations with all the community providers over the past weeks to assist them to develop their proposals for operating the two purpose-built childcare centres. We are hopeful to receive these soon, so that we can further progress with a goal to reach a positive outcome that honours the unique environment of the centres.


Moving forward, the University will provide more frequent updates about the progress of these discussions, including the continuity of care for children at the centres. We will also offer families the opportunity to tour the first of the newly completed purpose-built buildings over the next two weeks. More information will be provided soon, but please continue to check the ANU webpage for dates.


I also wanted to reiterate why we are changing the current arrangements for community childcare providers.

The heritage-listed cottages that house the current community childcare centres contain potentially unsafe materials, including lead paint and asbestos, and it has become unsustainable for ANU to continue using them for childcare. Built between the 1910s and 1940s, the buildings have aged significantly, and making the necessary modifications to meet sustainable and safe childcare standards would require changes that would breach heritage preservation regulations. In the last year alone, the University has performed more than 240 repair jobs, at a cost of almost $1 million, including the remediation of lead paint. These ongoing repairs disrupt the provision of high-quality childcare.

While risk of contamination is carefully monitored and continuously managed, it is a reality in heritage buildings. The buildings are also showing their age and will in the coming months require closure to carry out hail remediation work that is becoming increasingly necessary.  This is not a viable, long-term option for childcare arrangements on our campus.


Faced with this challenge, ANU had to choose between closing the facilities for good or finding a new, long-term, safe alternative. We are investing $8 million in two brand-new, purpose-built facilities, with one already completed and the second to be constructed in the second half of 2024.  We are excited about being able to offer modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for childcare on campus and we are working to establish the operators for 2025 and beyond. 


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards a solution that ensures the best care and environment for your children.


Warm regards

Jonathan Churchill

Chief Operations Officer (Interim)