Little Scholars' second Redland Bay centre opens in the face of COVID-19 childcare industry challenges

A NEW Redland Bay childcare centre - complete with a playground and water park - opened on Monday despite coronavirus wreaking havoc on the industry.

Little Scholars Redland Bay South - on the corner of Collins Street and Donald Road - has 132 families already enrolled, with space for more.

"We had about 70 families who started for their first day today, all essential working families," Little Scholars founder and director Jae Fraser said.

It is the ninth Little Scholars campus in Queensland and the second in the Redlands.

Mr Fraser said increasing access to childcare was vital to keeping Australia running.

"I am committed to keeping our doors open to ensure our healthcare and economic systems do not fall apart," he said.

"It's a tough game at the moment but everyone has been working so well together (including) educators, the government and families, so I am staying hopeful."

"COVID-19 has impacted everything, from the building - getting supplies from overseas - to the government's gap free childcare for families and what that looks like for new services," Mr Fraser said.

"Given that the government picked a reference period ... and then were paying 50 per cent of your weekly income, we didn't have bookings at Redland Bay South so what does that look like for us?"

He said many parents who had ended their enrolments due to fear of COVID-19 had come rushing back after the plan was announced, but the centre had to make adjustments to operate on half of its expected income.

"We've been working really closely with our team. Everyone's just taken a little reduction. If we spread it across the whole team we don't need to stand anybody down.

"The difficulty has been for us talking to families about having priority access. The package has been designed for essential workers so we need to give priority to them."

Mr Fraser said the new centre boasted a water park, along with custom sensory play equipment for art and science programs.

"Our focus on outdoor play is a huge component of the learning program, and we dedicate ourselves to creating environments that are specifically designed to enhance children's physical, mental and social development on a daily basis," he said.

Redland Bay South centre manager Danica Woolfe said she had been working to create virtual tours for parents wanting to explore the facility while social distancing measures were in place.

"Choosing the right childcare for your child can be overwhelming, and centre tours play a big part in the decision making process. In light of the recent social distancing measures however, we've had to get a little creative with our centre tours," she said.