NSW Seven Hills

Centro Seven Hills (Coles end) – Cnr Prospect Hwy & Federal Rd, Seven Hills NSW 2147

Overall: Below average. Nappy change, rest, feed (no microwave), play.

Good Points: It’s easy to find. Well sign posted from the moment you enter the shopping centre. Clean change bench with three change bays. Nappy disposal bins at change bench. Separate sink, soap and paper towel for baby change table and food prep bench. Auto-slide push button door. One wall mounted activity centre. Extra powerpoints at food prep bench. Separate waste paper/general rubbish bin. Adult and child size toilets. Locking toilet door. Toilet door big enough to fit a pram.

Bad Points: Very bare. Plastic school chairs for feeding. No privacy in feeding area. No side tables. No additional powerpoints. Difficult to navigate feeding area with a pram. Snug fit in main door for a double side-by-side pram. No microwave or bottle warmer. Lid not sitting properly on the sanitary bin. Tap in the toilet sink is too hard to activate for little kids.

Centro Seven Hills is a nice little shopping centre. All on ground level, easy parking, and no steps to navigate with a pram. It’s just perfect for parents with prams (although I didn’t see any dedicated parents with prams parking spaces. Maybe they are in the undercover parking area?) and it seems like there’s different fun activities for kids during school holidays. On this trip there was a fabulous jumping castle in the middle of the shopping centre for kids. It cost $2 per child for about a 10-15min session, just the thing to help little ones burn off excess energy. It was there for a week during the Easter holidays, and proved very popular with all children (especially mine!). Although it wasn’t a fun task trying to get my little one off the castle when it was time to go. The joys of trying to reason/bribe a toddler.

There’s two parent rooms at Centro Seven Hills. One down the Coles end, and the other up the Woolworths end. The best thing is both are incredibly easy to find. That’s often the biggest hassle for parents, so it’s good to find parent rooms that are well sign posted and a cinch to get to.

This first parent room is at the Coles end of the shopping centre. From the moment you walk into the centre, there’s signs hanging from the ceiling directing you to all the main areas. From parent rooms to Australia post, there’s clear and regular signage so you can’t get lost.
To get to this parent room we headed left past Gloria Jeans and then right down the hallway, between the hairdresser and nail salon. We walked all the way to then end of the hall and found the doorway on the right. It’s a frosted glass auto-slide push button door – my favourite way to start a review. On this occasion, sadly, it ended up being the best feature of the whole parent room.

The doorway is going to be a snug fit for a double side-by-side pram, but once inside there’s loads of room. The website for Centro Seven Hills describes the parent rooms as being ‘pleasant’. Well if quiet and bland equal pleasant, then I guess the description is spot on. It’s a very stark, clinical white room with terrible feeding areas.

The feeding area is disgusting. It’s clean, for sure, but that’s probably because nobody wants to use it. It’s promoted as being a ‘private feeding area’ but it’s not private AT ALL!! First up, there’s no chance of fitting anything more than an umbrella stroller in there as the corners are stupidly tight to get around in order to eventually reach the chairs. Which leads me to the next ridiculous thing – the chairs!!!!!! What a joke!!! Some local school is missing a couple of chairs, because there are two hard plastic school chairs here instead. I remember how uncomfortable and plain old thoughtless!! I don’t know of any parent at all who would want to sit on one of these chairs these things were back when I was at school. I cannot imagine how any parent would be able to comfortably spend any length of time sitting on these to feed a baby. It’s just disgusting. And ‘private’???? It’s not at all private!!!!! There’s not even a single lousy curtain to give privacy, let alone a door. I don’t know how an open area with a plastic chair can be classed as ‘private’. Seriously, is there some parent room template these companies use to just copy-paste a blurb in to fill a gap in their websites. How about checking the information on the website for Centro is actually representative of your facilities?!!!

At least they haven’t said they provide a microwave, because there isn’t one. Inside the room, along the left wall, is an empty bench with a sink, soap unit, paper towel unit and additional powerpoints. Maybe there was a microwave here at some point, but I’m thinking all signs lead to No! So if you need to warm up a bottle or baby food, try your luck with one of the coffee shops in the centre.

Now in the far right side of the room is the change bench and it actually meets my expectations. Yay!! Something that’s finally decent. What a relief. It’s not stunning or anything, but it’s clean, functional and has all the essentials. There’s a couple of change bays, with the sink and soap dispenser at the end of the bench. The nappy disposal bins are placed at either end of the bench, but they’d be much better placed in the cupboards underneath the bays. 
Opposite the change bench is a regular open top rubbish bin for waste other than nappies. And just next to this is an old looking wall mounted activity centre. 

Finally, there’s one more adequate element to this room which is the toilets. The toilet room is big enough to fit a pram, has both adult and child size toilets, and the door can be locked shut. Maybe this is where the centre expects parents to feed if they want privacy (I am so mad about that!!!!). It’s not been overly well maintained, with the lid half falling off the sanitary bin. The tap is one of those smash-the-knob-down which produces water for about 2 seconds before needing another whack. These are hard enough for grown ups to use let alone little children. 

I had pretty good hopes for this Parent Room, but I’m very sad to report it’s unimpressive. It’s definitely better than what Blacktown Hospital has to offer just up the road, but it’s not anywhere near as good as it could and should be. The least Centro should do is make sure its Parent Rooms actually match the description they offer on the website. Big fat FAIL on that part!!!

Bankstown NSW

Centro Bankstown, Level 2 (near RTA) – Rickard Rd, Stacey St, Bankstown NSW

Reviewed by B

Overall: Needs upgrading and cleaning real quick. Nappy change, feed, rest. Great parking for Parents with Prams.

Good Points: Parents with Prams parking spaces; Clearly sign posted Parent Rooms; Private feeding cubicles with lockable doors; Change bays in each feeding cubicle; Clean and working microwave; Big and little loo.

Bad Points: Overflowing nappy bins; Not very well cleaned; No paper towels; One sink for food prep and washing hands; Microwave next to main nappy change bench; Tired, worn out fittings and furniture; Open entrance to Parent Room.

Excellent parking for Parents with Prams – access via Stacey Street entrance

Wide car spaces for Parents with Prams

Bankstown is not one of our regular shopping haunts, mainly because it isn’t close to where we live. But I really do like it! I love the mish mash of cultures at Centro. From beautiful muslim women wearing the burqa, to me…white, short hair, singlet and jeans – all of us mums, regardless of outfit and nationality, shopping with our little ones. 
And of course, the shops and the Parent Rooms. Centro Bankstown has loads of Parent Rooms! I only checked out one on this visit, which needs a lot of work. But I have not yet come across a shopping centre with so many Parent Rooms. Very very happy.

First up, the Parents with Prams car parks. These were in the best possible position. On the top floor of the car park accessible from Stacey Street. The Parents with Prams car spaces are wide, well sign posted, and positioned right next to the entrance to the shopping centre. Perfect!! Just park, get yourself, bub and pram out of the car and walk right in – get on the travelator and head down to the shops.

Follow the signs – just near the RTA

And up the hallway you’ll find the Parents Room

The Parent Room reviewed on this visit is the one located near the RTA, in the older part of Centro. It’s easy to find, just follow the signs. Head down the hallway, turn left, and on the right is the Parent Room. 

The primary change bench – bin is overflowing!
In this room, there’s facilities for feeding, nappy changes and a bit of a rest. But it really does need  a bit of maintenance. I didn’t feel comfortable spending more than a couple of minutes here, and that’s because there isn’t an actual door to the room. I think many mums would prefer the added feeling of privacy of an actual door to the Parent Room.

The main part of the room has a single change bench. Underneath it is the nappy/rubbish bin, which was already overflowing and it was still the first half of the day. The two private feeding cubicles also have change benches (a nice touch!) but the bins in these were also overflowing.

Change bench in one of the feeding cubicles – bin overflowing here too!

The good thing in this Parent Room is the lockable doors on the feeding cubicles. While the feeling of privacy is gone in the main part of the room from the lack of a proper door, being able to lock the door of your feeding cubicle is comforting. There’s a comfy chair in each cubicle, and one in the main part of the Parent Room. I was happily surprised with this! Although like the rest of the room, they need a good clean. Good thing us parents usually have a stash of wipes on hand.

Lockable door to private feeding cubicle

Chair for feeding in each cubicle

For food prep, the clean and working microwave is mounted on the wall next to the main change bench. Hygiene not a huge concern here, by the looks. The only sink, soap and hand dryer is on a wall next to the toilets. I would think the microwave would be better positioned next to the sink. Or have the sink next to the change bench. But definitely not the microwave and change bench next to each other – not nice.

Clean and working microwave

The sink and toilets – just the one sink for food prep and hygiene

I do like the loos. There’s a big one and a little one, so little people can do what they need to without much assistance. There’s loads of space in the toilets. Definitely room for a decent size pram. And the door can be locked from the inside, which is a big plus.

Big and little loo

For a quick stop, this Parent Room is okay. I’m hoping the others in Centro are better than this one though. If you are heading to this room, make sure you have wipes, anti-bacterial gel for your hands, tissues, change mat, and also something to keep little ones entertained. And maybe nappy sacks too, because if the bins were this full during my visit and it wasn’t even midday…….I hate to think what the room is like by the end of the day.

Armidale NSW

Centro Armidale – Cnr Beardy & Jessie Street, Armidale NSW

Nice room. Plenty of space.

Only down side is that they don’t trust people with the microwave – but at least the facility is available.

Side ways change tables have aways mystified me!!

I like that they have a little table and the bin in the privacy area

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