DEVASTATING erosion has forced the permanent closure of Stockton's only childcare centre after engineers deemed the building unsafe.
In the latest battering, heavy rain and big swells over the past ten days claimed a further six metres of land in front of the Barrie Crescent facility.
More than 9000 cubic metres, or 1300 truckloads, of sand has been lost in front of the Mission Australia Early Learning Centre in the past eight weeks.
On Tuesday, Mission Australia and Newcastle City Council agreed to permanently close the facility that is the only childcare centre on the peninsula and caters for 44 children a day from dozens of families.
Newcastle City Council chief executive Jeremy Bath said there was no choice but to demolish the building.
Extensive scarping along the coastal strip in recent weeks resulted in engineers deeming the building off limits, with families not allowed to enter the building to collect their children's belongings.
The relentless conditions mean that Barrie Crescent, and its string of beachfront homes, are now within metres of toppling into the sea.
Parents told the Newcastle Herald that the land underneath the childcare centre was unstable and the building was shifting.
Tina Battye, whose son Will attends the centre, said she would be forced to rely on family until he went to school next year.
"There are a lot of other families who will be extremely worried right now and trying to find other options," she said.
"It's really sad. It seems the state government is just going to sit and watch Stockton erode away into the ocean."
Julia Robinson, whose twin two-year-old daughters Stevie and Frankie attend the centre, said she had "no idea" what she was going to do.
The Stockton resident said she was looking at childcare centres in Newcastle and Fern Bay.
"Mission Australia has been great and offered places and bus travel to another one of their centres in Beresfield, but that's not a long-term solution," she said.
"It should never have come to this. Something needs to be done by the NSW government to address the erosion problem that is getting worse all the time.
"Residents have been calling for action on the beach for years and not getting anywhere."
Save Stockton Beach spokesman Simon Jones said it wouldn't be long before the worsening erosion, that has uncovered a rubbish tip on the beach, claimed more infrastructure and threatened homes.
When asked what the NSW government was doing to address the erosion issue, a spokesman said it was working with council to prepare a long-term management plan for the beach.
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- Mission Australia's storm damaged Stockton early learning centre
- Childcare centre's future under cloud in erosion saga
- Childcare centre forced to close temporarily due to beach erosion threat
- Council back to drawing board over long-term solution for Stockton erosion
- Playground of Stockton's Mission Australia early learning centre set to be relocated as a result of erosion threat
- Fears childcare centre could crumble into the sea
- Stockton solution moves forward with meeting
- Garbage tip washing into the sea at Stockton
- State government handballs responsibility for Stockton beach
- 2017: Exposed mine shaft shows Stockton beach's erosion problem needs 'urgent' solution
- 2016: Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes suggests 'underground breakwall'
- 2016: Worst erosion in memory leaves Stockton beach exposed to next storm
- 2014: Dangerous erosion on Stockton Beach
- 2013: Stockton beach erosion | photos, video