Westpoint Blacktown (Level 2) – 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Overrated. Westpoint Blacktown website promotes its Parent Rooms as being ‘five star’, but it just a veneer and it’d be more accurate to say they are 2 – 3 star. Nappy change, feed, rest, play.

Good Points: Auto-slide push button frosted glass door. Spacious main room. Separate food prep bench with sink, soap, microwave, bottle warmer, and hand dryer. Wide change bench with two change bays, sink and soap dispenser in the middle. Disposable change mat liners. Nappy bins underneath the change bench. Two private feeding cubicles with Play Panels, curtains and armchairs. Adult and child size toilets, with locking door.

Bad Points: Dirty areas everywhere. Corners in entry way are very difficult for larger prams. Grubby main room. No paper towel for drying hands. Toilets used by people who aren’t with little children. Doors to nappy bins are unlocked. Play Panels are missing a few parts. Dirty armchairs and carpet. Curtains instead of doors to feeding cubicles. No side tables in feeding cubicles. Soiled toilet paper on floor in the toilets, no paper towel, and marked/stained fittings. Empty, broken and dangerous toilet paper unit for child toilet (exposed sharp metal teeth). Sink in toilet is too high for little children to reach.

I am getting a little wary with the statements businesses make on their websites about the quality of their Parent Rooms. It’s more than annoying when facilities are well below promoted expectations. And this is what I found during my recent trip to Westpoint Blacktown. 

What a huge let down!!! Westpoint Blacktown says on its website the Parent Rooms are ‘five star’. Well this accolade could only be for overrated, dirty, broken, basic facilities and nothing more. Westpoint needs to get a big fat reality check on what five star Parent Rooms are really like.

The Level 2 Parent Room is just down the corridor next to Big W. There are signs showing you where it is (one good thing). And the hallway leading to the room is wide enough for prams. The door is an auto-slide push-button frosted glass door, which seemed so promising! These doors make getting in and out of the room such a breeze. Inside the doorway, however, the room just goes downhill.

Immediately faced with a wall and a corner to walk around to get to the main area, I was very happy to be pram-free on this particular trip. I watched another mum leave the room later with a pram, and it took some shifting and shoving to get it around the corner and finally out the door again. Not fun!

The main room is pretty spacious and has undergone a makeover since my last visit about 12mth earlier. But it’s basically just a cover over the same crap that’s always been there. The nappy change bench is on the left side of the room. It’s wide, with two change bays, sink and soap dispenser in the middle. At either end of the bench mounted on the walls are rolls of paper to be used for lining the change bays, in case anyone has forgotten to bring change mats with them. Underneath the bench are nappy bins, but the doors to the bins are unlocked. This is not good enough, especially with curious little people about who like to open doors and see what’s inside them. Incredibly unsafe and unhygienic!!

I was happy to see a separate area for food prep. It has a sink, soap dispenser and hand dryer (but no paper towel!) plus microwave and bottle warmer. Now this is probably the only five star feature of the room. Having all these things in a parent room is, sadly, quite rare. But it’s not enough to make me want to spend any more time in here than is absolutely necessary. The rest of the room just doesn’t cut it.

On the right side of the room are two private feeding cubicles. Since my last visit, these have had a coat of paint…….and that’s about it. The carpets are still badly stained. The Play Panels are missing pieces. The armchairs are grubby. And the curtains……well little children still like to whip open curtains to see who is hiding behind it. Not a great experience if you’re a mum trying to feed a baby in private.

And then there’s the toilets. Just like my last visit, these ones are also visited by people who don’t have young children with them. If you don’t have little children with you, why come and use the toilet in the Parents Room? There were a few of us mums waiting with our children, desperately needing the toilet, while it was occupied with adults. This is just rude and not at all appropriate. How about these people help clean up the messes little ones end up making because they can’t get to the toilet in time? That might make them use the regular male/female toilets in future.

Looking at the pictures, I don’t think anyone who works for the centre cares at all about the state or use of the toilets. It’s just disgusting. Even early in the morning, there was soiled toilet paper on the floor. The fittings were marked and broken, and apart from the child size toilet, the rest of the room was not at all suited to small children. The sanitary bin was beginning to overflow. The toilet paper dispenser next to the child toilet was empty, broken and had exposed sharp metal teeth. Extremely dangerous!!
The sink is too high for little ones, and there’s no paper towel (again!!!). There is a hand dryer, but it’s at just the right height to scare the life out of little ones who happen to stand underneath it. Just don’t have one in the toilets! It’s not hygienic, so just get rid of it!

Phew, this one was actually a bit exhausting. I think tomorrow I need to write about a nice lovely parent room. The only challenge with that is finding one.