Farm out the chil­dren


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jil­lian Mc­Kee

SET on more than 3ha off Mamre Rd, Old MacDon­ald’s Child­care Cen­tre is one of a kind.

A calf, a goat and a herd of sheep are not what you’d ex­pect when drop­ping off the kids, but this cen­tre has ex­actly that.

Lo­cated op­po­site the Ersk­ine Park In­dus­trial Es- tate, Old MacDon­ald’s teaches kids ev­ery­thing from re­cy­cling to look­ing af­ter an­i­mals, as well as read­ing and writ­ing.

From a bike path to a rock­climb­ing wall and mul­ti­ple wa­ter fea­tures, the cen­tre is truly unique, owner Mark Sharp says.

“There is noth­ing else like this in the area. Kids can get out­side and en­joy the out­doors as they of­ten don’t get a chance to oth­er­wise,” Mr Sharp said.

He said idea for the cen­tre came af­ter he re­lo­cated a pre­vi­ous busi­ness off the site.

“I wanted to do some­thing with the prop­erty af­ter we moved and re­alised our DA cer­tifi­cate al­lowed for a home day­care cen­tre, then we put it to coun­cil and went from there,” he said.

“The plan­ning and de­sign­ing of the place took more than three years, but now that’s its open the par­ents and kids just love it.”

Mr Sharp said res­i­dents could ex­pect to see more cen­tres open­ing.

“We def­i­nitely want to open up more cen­tres around western Syd­ney. It is such a big growth area out here with fam­i­lies,” he said.

De­tails: old­mac­don­ald­schild­

Pic­tures: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Owner Mark Sharp, child­care worker Re­becca Rivera and In­dia Wong, 3, with the res­i­dent calf.

Thomas Hig­gins, 4, on the climb­ing wall.

The bike path.

The cen­tre’s in­no­va­tive lay­out.

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