By Cecilia Chan GSN Managing Editor

Construction of a children’s daycare center is expected to begin in October at the northwest corner of Higley and Germann roads.

Gilbert Planning Commission last Wednesday unanimously approved without comment the site plan for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. The town still needs to approve construction documents.

The 9,590-square-foot facility, which will house just under 150 children, is expected to open for business next summer, said applicant Stephen Brown of Buttry & Brown development company in Texas.

This will be Little Sunshine’s Playhouse’s second location in Gilbert. The private childcare provider, which accepts infants to pre-kindergarten, also has a facility at 1059 N. Val Vista Drive. Its third Arizona location is in Scottsdale.

Little Sunshine’s Playhouse touts a curriculum based on the latest research and trends to help prepare children’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical and language skills for school.

The infill project, featuring Old England Tudor-style architecture, will sit on 1.57 acres and will include two playgrounds flanking the building to the north and south and a treehouse-play structure, according to the staff report.

The project also calls for 32 parking spaces, three passenger-loading spaces, shade canopies, a water feature and other play amenities.

The fully fenced playground areas will abut the Stratland Estates subdivision to the north and west, but will be separated from the homes by streets and landscape areas. The nearest home to the west is about 80 feet away and to the north, about 48 feet.

Staff recommended approval for reasons, including the project conforms to the General Plan, is compatible with adjacent and nearby development and the project design provides for safe and efficient provisions of public services.