FAMILIES have been given another option for childcare thanks to the opening of a new facility in Kelso.
Imagine Childcare is the first business to open at The Gateway, located on Sydney Road opposite Bathurst Supa Centre.
The 103-place childcare centre started serving families on November 9, but had its official opening on Friday with member for Bathurst Paul Toole.
While its commitment is to providing quality early childhood care and education, Imagine has also tried to set itself apart from other centres with some unique features.
These features include a coffee shop for parents, who can get a coffee while dropping off their children between 6.30am and 9am, and a loyalty program that gives back to families.
The program, Nurch, offers one point per dollar spent on childcare, which is used to earn digital gift cards that can be spent with retailers Nurch has partnered with.
Centre director Jamie Lee Ryan said the first few weeks have gone really smoothly.
"The children have all settled so well. It's been great, really," she said.
"We're filling up very quick, so bookings are coming in fast, and parents are enjoying the free coffee in the morning."
There are 11 staff currently employed at Imagine, many having experience working at other local service providers, and the number is expected to grow as more families join the centre.
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The centre has a room each for children aged zero to one and one to two, two toddler rooms, a three to four room and a four to five room.
There are also two yards outdoors where children can play based on their age, with some of the outdoor features being slides, water features and sand pits.
Children are provided with nutritious meals and snacks prepared on site and have access to some of the best toys and play equipment around.
"[The rooms] are all equipped with age-appropriate toys," Ms Ryan said.
"Our three to four and four to five room have interactive whiteboards for the children to engage in educational programs."
To help families, Imagine also provides all nappies, wipes and bedding.
The staff are really excited to have access to a purpose-built facility, and Ms Ryan expects the area will become even better for families as more businesses open at The Gateway.
"I think once they start developing a bit more around here and the area gets known, it will definitely help," she said.
To find out more about Imagine, its services or to enrol, visit www.imagineelc.com.au.
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