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ABC Childcare Centres

By shanefos 27 November 2008 48

With ABC Childcare Centres having gone belly-up and the Federal Government having forked out however-many millions of dollars to keep the centres open, the Canberra Times has a story about the ABC Childcare Centres in the Canberra region that will be “subject to further review”.

ABC Childcare’s webiste has an extended list here.

Given how hard it is already to find childcare places in the ACT, if the listed ABC centres close it is going to cause a world of pain for a lot of families.

And the obvious flow-on – parents having to stay at home to look after their kids – will be just one of the effects.

Businesses will be affected, Public Service productivity will be affected.

The extreme cynic in me can’t help asking though, if all of these parents end up having to give up work to stay at home with the kids, their vacated positions will need to be filled, won’t they? So, won’t that have a (granted, very small) positive impact on the employment/unemployment figures? (i.e. “X-number of new jobs were created this month”).

Anyway, I really feel for any families that will be affected by the (possible) closures of these centres.

Personally, I’ve had to take numerous days off work over the past few months in order to look after the kids. But, luckily, I am in a position where a day here or there isn’t going to lose me my job (I’d hate to work for a less forgiving and less understanding employer!) and my kids don’t go to an ABC Childcare Centre.

Anyone else on RiotACT have any first hand experience of the woes of getting good, ongoing childcare in the ACT?
Anyone personally affected by the ABC debacle?

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shanefos 3:15 pm 10 Dec 08

ABC have announced this afternoon that these ABC Childcare Centres in the ACT will remain open in 2009.
I guess this news will come as a relief to any parents with kids in those few centres in this list that were originally a chance to close.

sepi 8:04 pm 28 Nov 08

update on this – russell, aranda and jerra are all defence centres, which are under review ar defence’s request and unlikely to close.

so we are at status quo chilcare crisis in the ACT, not disaster.

Aeek 9:10 pm 27 Nov 08

High risk? More like Ponzi scheme.

thetruth 8:47 pm 27 Nov 08

tom-tom said :

australia has a long and proud tradition of excellent public schooling from K-12; and its always amazed me that early childcare does’t have as much of an emphasis put on it. (i’m quite aware there are some excellent govt. run childcare centres, i just think there should be more.)

i say the govt buys up ABC’s infrastructure and operates the centres themselves. the kids stay in care, the parents dont quit their jobs and the staff still keep theres. perfect way to spend some of the future fund.

What???????? Why then has there been a thirty year drift to private? Governments cannot close under performing or poorly attended schools without a howl of protest “little johnny will have to go ten minute down the road or make new friends”.

Publoc ownership does not have a good record of success either. It was not private ownership that made this crash it was the high risk business practice of one operator. There are many cases of publically owned organisations that fail because of this type of behaviour too Rhodium for example.

deezagood 8:23 pm 27 Nov 08

In my experience, the places that have the vacancies are probably the centres that you would least like to put your kids into (they have places for a reason). Given the day care shortages in Canberra, I think places that don’t have waiting lists are a bit suspicious.

The Russell Hill closure is an interesting one, given that the waiting lists for that place are very long (presumably due to the ability of parents to salary sacrifice at that centre). It is a big centre too, so this will really hurt numerous DoD workers and of course ABC staff next year. Maybe Defence (who foolishly switched from a non-for-profit provider to ABC a few years ago) can quickly negotiate another contract and keep the Defence centres open?

MWF 7:36 pm 27 Nov 08

“So, won’t that have a (granted, very small) positive impact on the employment/unemployment figures? (i.e. “X-number of new jobs were created this month”).”

Possibly, however if it is married/partnered people who are forced to stay at home and not work then their non-involvement in the workforce will NOT be seen in the unemployment stats. You aren’t really “unemployed” if you have a partner who is working and earning above a certain level – a level high enough for the working partner to NOT be entitled to any Newstart allowance, IIRC.

Whatsup 7:07 pm 27 Nov 08

Jim Jones said :

Scary stuff.

I’ve been booked in since conception (the baby’s not born yet) I’ve been visiting regularly, and still don’t know whether I’ll manage to get a spot.

I don’t know if you will get a spot but hopefully the baby will. 😉

sepi 6:59 pm 27 Nov 08

Julia Gillard has said the govt isn’t in the business of running childcare centres.

Pity.

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