Long waiting lists for Auckland daycares

Little girl sitting at the table in a preschool and coloring.

It's no secret Auckland is suffering a severe housing shortage, but now there are concerns about the lack of childcare facilities.

With special housing areas popping up around the city, demand for childcare is on the rise in those suburbs.

But some parents are waiting for weeks just to get their child into a daycare.

East Auckland father Jaber Ali desperately needs to get his son into childcare, but is having no luck.

He's tried five different childcare centres, but all of them were full.

"When I came here they told me still from February, you have to wait until June," Mr Ali says.

He's not the only one.

Beststart Educare is New Zealand's largest private provider of early learning.

It has five centres in East Auckland alone -- but they're all full. And with another 20,000 homes planned for the area, the problem will only get worse.

It's something Deputy CEO Fiona Hughes says is a major issue in areas of Auckland where there's lots of housing growth.

"There's a lot of people coming in, but the services don't seem to be planned for early childhood spaces so any of our facilities we've got in those sorts of areas are generally pretty full."

She says it doesn't help Auckland Council has so much red tape when trying to build new centres to cater to the demand.

The situation's a sad case of déjà vu for Mr Ali -- he went through the same situation with his five-year-old daughter.

He's on the waiting list at Baverstock Beststart, along with 121 other parents.

In a statement, Auckland Council said consents can take time due to neighbours who oppose submissions and the fact childcare facilities do not always comply with residential zoning rules in the district.

Ms Hughes' advice to parents is to just keep trying and get on the waiting list as soon as possible.