A local couple are planning a second early learning centre in Frankton – twice the size of their central Queenstown operation.
Mike Stewart and Nikki Bodle, who opened Zig Zag Zoo in Queenstown’s Henry Street 18 months ago, are awaiting consent for a new Frankton centre to be called Zig Zag Zoo Two.
The new centre – which will be about 500sq m – is being built from scratch on an 1800sq m section of land in part of Remarkables Park’s stage two development.
The first Zig Zag caters for 38 littlies fulltime whilst the new Frankton one will have space for 75.
Stewart: “As soon as we started the first one we always said we wanted to open two, if not three, in the next five to 10 years if demand warranted it. Within six months of being open we knew we needed to.
“We had a waitlist and with the growth out at Frankton it’s getting difficult for parents. It makes a lot of sense.”
Stewart adds: “We’re actually really excited about this centre. The size of the site combined with the location and huge sun hours has allowed us to custom-design a potentially perfect childcare centre set up with everything tailored to the children’s and teachers’ needs and wants.”
The new centre will have separate learning areas and play areas for under-twos, two- to three-year-olds and three- to four-year-olds.
Stewart hopes construction will begin by September/October, with the doors opening in March next year.
Bodle’s mother Robina and partner Jef Desbecker will own the building – the whole project is estimated at $1.6 million.
Zig Zag Zoo general manager Fran MacNamara will also run the second centre and says some teachers will be able to transfer once it’s up and running.
MacNamara says not only will it meet demand, it’ll be great for parents to have more choice – she expects Frankton-based parents with children enrolled at Zig Zag’s Queenstown centre to shift them to the new one.
“It is important to look around and make sure the centre is going to cater for you and your child’s needs.”