Child care is an important service in the community. Whether it is called child care, kindergarten, preschools, a developmental learning centre, a child development centre, an early childhood learning center, long daycare or one of many other names, they are all providing the important service of caring for our precious children.
Here is a map showing all the ABC centres and their statuses. Click on each icon to get a link to the centre. Double click the map to drill down.
The charity consortium that purchased ABC Learning's viable childcare centres this year says it is on track for a sizeable profit.
570 child care centres have been transferred to the not-for-profit company GoodStart, following the collapse of ABC Learning in 2008.
Goodstart, the charity taking over Australia's biggest childcare chain, ABC Learning, hopes to expand into shopping centres to offer educational daycare with one-stop convenience.
The receiver of collapsed child care group ABC Learning says a sales contract has been signed with the preferred purchaser, the not-for-profit company GoodStart.
ABC receivers McGrathNicol this morning announced it had entered into an "exclusivity period" with the GoodStart consortium, which includes Mission Australia and the Benevolent Society, who have been deemed the preferred purchaser.
The not-for-profit GoodStart syndicate has been announced as the preferred purchaser of 678 of the remaining 705 ABC Learning childcare centres.
Official statement from government on Goodstart non-profit consortium purchase of ABC Learning.
Speculation mounts that a band of charities, including Mission Australia, is in the lead to buy ABC's 705 Australian centres. The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union said it now believed the charity group was preferred to the bid from Archer Capital.
ABC Learning's receivers are poised to announce new owners for the 705 viable child care centres today as a public examination into the child care operator's collapse gets under way in the Federal Court in Brisbane.
ABC Learning's unviable childcare centres are in the hands of new owners but a public account of the salvage operation, which has cost the Government more than $100 million, is being kept under wraps to ensure it will not prejudice the sale of the 700 profitable centres now in its final stages.
The parents of a toddler who suffered cranial fractures and arterial bleeding after he fell off a change table at a childcare centre in Melbourne's west say they feared their son was going to die.
The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), the union for childcare workers, says private equity fund ArcherCapital is frontrunner to buy collapsed childcare operator ABC Learning Centres in a bid worth about $100 million. Both Archer and ABC receivers McGrathNicol declined to comment on these specific claims yesterday. The LHMU since last month publicly opposed Archer's bid, arguing it would just turn around ABC's business quickly and offload it within three years.
Charities bidding to buy the collapsed ABC Learning childcare chain want to rebrand the business as Good Start centres, offering daycare to the disadvantaged.
Small childcare operators have lobbed bids for pieces of the ABC Learning empire, contrasting with impressions that only big players are in the race. A German bilingual kindergarten group and a small NSW-based family owned operator yesterday confirmed interest in some of 705 centres that are up for sale.
A Senate inquiry into childcare delivered a damning report on the deficient supervision at ABC and the role it played in the company's collapse.
The union representing childcare workers is alarmed that a private equity company bidding for up to 705 ABC childcare centres has described itself as an "opportunistic buyer" that intends to sell the centres within two or three years after extracting a profit.
International education provider Navitas Ltd says it has not submitted a bid for the 705 profitable child care centres owned by failed operator ABC Learning.
Top executives at failed childcare chain ABC Learning will take home a $250,000 end-of-year bonus, just weeks before the firesale of the company.
ABC Learning Company secretary Matthew Horton has told The World Today that media reports of bonuses of up to a quarter of a million dollars are wrong. But Mr Horton would not comment on whether or not ABC Learning executives will receive extra payments.
On THE first anniversary of ABC Learning going into receivership, there are calls for the government to step in to ensure the remaining centres are sold to a quality operator.
A company headed by an American billionaire once jailed for white-collar crimes says it would only bid for the failed ABC Learning childcare group with an Australian partner.
A consortium of charities is vying with former American junk bond king Michael Milken to buy Australia's biggest childcare chain, the failed ABC Learning group. Mission Australia has teamed up with the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Benevolent Society and Social Ventures Australia to prepare a bid to take over the remains of Eddy Groves's childcare empire.
THE administrators of ABC Learning are investigating a $1 billion damages claim against the former directors of the collapsed childcare company and $500 million from banks.
The bidders for ABC's 700-plus Australian centres have been shortlisted, sources reveal.
Bundaberg parents have plenty of reasons to smile, with five of the former ABC Learning Childcare Centres reopened as day care facilities.
"The jury remains out as to whether the big corporates could coexist with the non-for-profit sector"
Kate Ellis, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth, recently updated Parliament on the status of the ABC bankruptcy.
The management of failed ABC Learning has warned the Federal Government its plans to increase the quality of child care could drive fees up by as much as $20 a day and put poor parents at a disadvantage.
Ads have been placed in national newspapers today calling for expressions of interest from potential buyers for more than 700 ABC Learning childcare centres.
The receivers for ABC Learning, acting on behalf of banks owed $1 billion following the childcare operator's collapse last year, have formally begun the sale of the 715 viable centres today.
Landlords of ABC child-care centres are opposing an application by the ABC1 administrator to further extend the period when it reports back to its creditors. ABC Learning has already been in administration longer than any other company in Australia's corporate history, a judge has been told.
Rowan Webb, the chief executive officer of ABC Learning, said in a statement the company rejected claims made in yesterday's Daily that staff at ABC Maroochydore had been barred from telling parents of the swine flu case. However, another source came forward yesterday confirming the claims. “We were told in a threatening manner by the director of our centre we were not to say a word to parents about the swine flu case,” she said.
A Maroochydore child care centre has been accused of purposely failing to tell parents a staff member had been diagnosed with swine flu because it would give the centre a “bad name”.
The receiver of ABC Learning Centres has sold the child-care group's UK arm for an undisclosed sum. Busy Bees Group, the UK's largest children's nursery group, will continue to be operated by its existing senior management.
Information released by the receivers, PPB, shows that two Western Australian centres - ABC Dunsborough Lakes and ABC Madora Bay which were a part of the ABC2 entity, have been transferred back to the main ABC Learning Centres group. Presumably this means they will be staying open.
As a number of ABC Learning childcare centres face closure today there are reports some could still be saved as the company's receivers continue last-minute talks with potential buyers.
The Court Appointed Receivers (CAR) for the ABC2 Group, Stephen Parbery and Daniel Bryant of PPB, have today said that the sale and transfer of ABC2 centres to new operators is progressing well, completion for most centres is close, and the CAR remains confident of achieving outcomes
The childcare company B4Kids is to take over the 21 Defence Child Care Centres previously operated by ABC Learning. Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, said he was confident the new contract would provide Defence families with stable, high-quality child care.
Mission Australia paid a token $1 each for several of the 29 ABC Learning centres it bought from the collapsed childcare chain's receiver, PPB, industry sources told The Australian yesterday.
Childcare operators might have to raise fees to squeeze profits out of the 210 ABC Learning centres sold last week, former childcare king Michael Gordon predicts
Rebecca Riley from the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union says there is some nervousness about the announcement that new operators have been found for the region's troubled ABC Learning centres. She says the union is seeking a guarantee that all current workers will be able to keep their jobs.
A new website launched by the embattled child-care provider ABC Learning to help restore its battered image has been swamped with complaints from parents.
The fate of the 176 ABC2 centres is to be revealed today.
Today's announcement from the receivers handling the ABC group tells us that operators have been identified for 210 of the original 241 ABC2 centres, alternative childcare has been identified for children at 19 of the remaining centres and diversity achieved - over 65 different parties will acquire centres.
Austock Property Management has put 18 development sites, once earmarked for ABC Learning Centres, up for sale.
Almost 700 employees at ABC Learning were sacked or resigned in the three months after the child-care operator collapsed owing $1.6 billion, court documents reveal.
The childcare workers' union has warned it expects companies taking over ABC Learning Centres to pay workers' entitlements.
The Federal Government says it needs another $70 million for its scheme that pays entitlements to employees of liquidated or bankrupt companies. The scheme was budgeted $80 million for this financial year, but the Government is planning to almost double it. The majority of the new funding would go to ABC Learning workers, as the receivers of the childcare company say it cannot cover costs such as unpaid annual leave.
Parents of the 20,000 children attending ABC Learning's unprofitable child-care centres will not know for another month which of the 241 centres face closure. The receivers have promised to announce the future of the centres by April 15 and wind up their role one month later.
PPB's Stephen Parbery announced today that contracts are being exchanged on 65 ABC2 centres. The receivers, who have been appointed until the end of this month, have asked to have their appointment extended until May 15 to allow contracts to be finalised for the majority of centres. It is suggested that some may close.
The Minister for Defence has assured Defence families that arrangements to secure a single new provider for the 21 Defence owned and leased centres would be in place in the very near future.
Three of Bundaberg's former ABC Learning Childcare centres are up for grabs, with the empty buildings at Bundaberg South, Bundaberg North and Avoca on the market.
With less than three weeks before ABC2 childcare centre across the country face possible closure, parents are clinging to every hope theat their centre will stay open.
QLD ABC1 centres are seeing sufficient demand that they are hiring staff.
New operators of Brassall ABC Learning Centre are to be announced next week. Uncertainty however still hangs over five other Ipswich operations.
High rents on childcare properties -- some as high as $700,000 a year -- have turned off more than half the 470 parties that lodged expressions of interest in buying centres last month.
Around 180 formal binding offers have been lodged for the 241 ABC Learning Centres previously described as unviable. The court-appointed receivers for the centres, PPB Australia, will now work through each offer.
Binding offers for the 241 ABC2 centres are due on Wednesday, but a representaitve from the government's childcare industry taskforce , which has been monitoring the process, has declined to say whether all 241 centres were likely to be sold.
The fallout from the demise of ABC Learning continues, with 43 sites being tipped on to the market by fund manager Austock Property Management, which expects to pocket more than $40 million.
Almost 400 of the 470 bidding entities have been invited to lodge binding offers for ABC Learning centres that were deemed unviable under the collapsed child-care giant's business model.
Nearly 500 non-binding offers have been received for the Federal Government-supported ABC Learning Centres, but Liberal Senator for New South Wales Marise Payne said the Rudd Government was taking a ``massive leap of faith'' to expect licences for the centres to be processed in ``less than half the normal amount of time''.
The Kingsville Community Childcare group became officially incorporated last week, as they work at lightning speed to re-open the fallen ABC centre in Bishop St.
The future of ABC Learning's childcare centre at Hanwood, near Griffith, is still in doubt, causing anxiety for local parents.
PPB partner Stephen Parbery, the receiver for the 241 ABC centres being sold, today revealed that 470 parties had submitted non-binding offers to buy them. He said a “diverse range” of potential operators hoped to take over the centres.
Sky-high rents may have contributed to the demise of ABC Learning, as one of the bidders for part of the failed giant childcare chain has revealed that $700,000 a year was paid in rent on one property alone.
The receiver for the 241 unviable ABC Learning childcare centres says he is happy with the level of interest in the businesses, after the deadline for non-binding bids closed on Saturday.
Companies watchdog ASIC is examining the contracts of suppliers to collapsed childcare chain ABC Learning. ABC Learning's receiver, McGrathNicol partner Chris Honey, has revealed he is working alongside the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to comb through ABC's business deals.
Receivers controlling the bulk of ABC Learning centres are pitching a "don't worry" message to parents and staff, saying they have reined in a business bent on "out-of-control expansion".
Understaffing forced the ABC Learning Centre in Garran to turn children away yesterday amid fears pressure on Canberra's embattled child-care sector is set to worsen. It is understood at least five child-care workers walked away from the Garran centre last week, leaving it unable to meet the required child-to-staff ratio.
Former Kingsville ABC Learning Centre kids (Victoria) are having trouble adjusting to new child care centres as residents mount a fight to re-open the Bishop St site.
ABC Learning founder Eddy Groves is claiming $3.3 million in unpaid wages, holiday pay and long-service leave from the receiver of his collapsed childcare corporation.
Canadians, Singaporeans and Britons are among bidders for 241 ''unviable'' ABC Learning childcare centres put up for sale by PPB. PPB, which runs the sales process, had received almost 800 initial offers but the field narrowed to 620 with a deposit due last week.
Laconic Mike Gordon is a jackaroo who hit the jackpot. Just four years ago, he amassed a fortune flogging his Peppercorn chain of childcare centres to his rival, Eddy Groves. Today the multi-millionaire grazier - who walked away with $130 million for his 450 centres - is picking over the corpse of his competitor, ABC Learning.
More than 600 childcare operators are vying to take over failed ABC Learning centres, but some want them handed over free. The receiver of 241 unviable centres in the ABC2 Group, PPB partner Stephen Parbery, yesterday said he was pleased with the "number, quality and diversity" of the 620 applicants.
The federal MP for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, has called on the South Australian Government to come up with a temporary licence for the ABC Learning centres in Port Augusta and Port Pirie.
ABC Learning was pocketing at least $6000 a day in profits from a group of childcare centres it shut down after Christmas.
The collapsed childcare company ABC Learning is offering parents a money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the service.
A consortium of charities and community childcare operators has teamed up with a bank to swoop on all 241 failed ABC childcare centres on the market. The group, calling itself Children 21, is led by Community Childcare Co-operative NSW and involves Community Sector Banking, a joint venture of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
The collapse of ABC Learning Centres has opened a window for the federal government to acquire the centres for the public education system, a union says. The Australian Education Union (AEU) says the federal government should work with the states and territories on a strategy to secure the childcare centres.
The Federal Government hopes to turn 241 ABC Learning centres over to non-profit groups to prevent a repeat of the chaos of last November when the care of more than 100,000 children was jeopardised by the collapse of the child-care giant.
241 ABC Learning centres, deemed unviable, but kept afloat with government funds, go up for sale today. Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said more than 300 new inquiries were made on top of the 3300 expressions of interest already received by receivers McGrath Nicol, following the collapse of ABC Learning in November last year.
The Federal Opposition has accused the Government of a licensing bungle involving ABC Learning childcare centres. Opposition childcare spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella says many interested buyers have either not been contacted or are being denied licences to run the centres. "There are risks that these childcare centres will close because those people who are currently interested haven't been handed over the licence by ABC [Learning] and there's only so long that people will keep persisting," she said.
Many of the owners of buildings that housed closed ABC centres are attempting to reopen the businesses.
Childcare centres that are being propped up with taxpayer funds may end up closing, the receiver running 241 unprofitable ABC Learning centres admitted yesterday.
Taxpayers are propping up an "unviable" ABC Learning centre bought by the childcare operator when Eddy Groves's partner was listed as landlord.
Childcare giant ABC Learning Centres has shut the door on 55 centres and toys were carted out while children watched yesterday.
The head of the union representing childcare workers says the crisis that has plagued embattled provider ABC Learning shows the industry can no longer be ignored by policymakers.
Taxpayers will receive proceeds from the sale of 249 failed ABC childcare centres, the new receiver said yesterday. The Supreme Court of NSW yesterday appointed insolvency specialists Stephen Parbery and Daniel Bryant, of PPB Corporate Recovery, to try to sell the centres before $34 million in federal government funding runs dry on March 31. The centres will be sold only to experienced childcare operators who plan to keep them open.
Neighbourhood Early Learning Centres which has links to collapsed giant ABC Learning, will close 14 centres across the eastern states by the end of the year.
The Australian company has around eight percent of the childcare market in New Zealand and is Australia's largest provider. It went into receivership in November, owing more than $1 billion. Expressions of interest are now being sought in the New Zealand centres that cater for 8,000 children a day.
Dozens of jobs have been culled from headquarters at collapsed childcare operator ABC Learning Centres - even among executive ranks. The Courier-Mail understands about 80 jobs (lower than rumours of 150) have gone from a total of 330 at ABC's headquarters in Brisbane's Murarrie. Losses were thought to be in areas including human resources, payroll and finance. The cuts are before another 100 centre staff jobs might go next month when 55 centres close.
2000 potential buyers have flooded ABC Learning's receivers with expressions of interest to take over all or part of the failed childcare chain, but ABC receiver McGrathNicol has yet to contact the interested parties.
A group seeking to take over more than 240 childcare centres deemed unprofitable by ABC Learning's receivers says it is hoping to have control of the businesses by March.
The Community Sector Banking Service - a joint venture between the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd and a consortium of charities and community service agencies - is interested in all of the ABC centres said to be unprofitable.
The 241 ABC Learning child-care centres identified as unviable face closure unless buyers can be found or the Federal Government is prepared to spend more to keep them open. The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, yesterday said many of the centres, if run differently, may be profitable.
Workers facing retrenchment at ABC Learning will face Christmas with only one certainty - nothing more than two weeks' pay. The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) has failed to secure annual leave and retrenchment pay entitlements for 100 workers who may lose their jobs at the troubled childcare provider by January 1.
The union representing childcare workers says 50 South Australians face an uncertain future over the merging of four local ABC Learning centres.
The former head of ABC Learning, Eddy Groves, says he does not believe the 241 centres thought to be unviable actually are, and denies parents are angry with him over the situation. Meanwhile, the union representing the embattled child care company's workers says it has been inundated with calls by employees worried about their jobs.
The receivers for ABC Learning have released a list of the embattled childcare provider's centres due to close and merge with other local centres.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the State Government will lend a hand where it can to ABC Learning clients affected by the closures. "The Queensland Government will be working with every single centre in that circumstance and every family, to identify alternative places in other centres and working to provide alternative care as quickly as possible," she said.
The Rudd Government had no choice but to inject another $34 million into life-support for the ailing ABC Learning group. The only other option - to shut down 241 unprofitable centres - would leave 20,000 children without care after the Christmas holidays, and force many of their parents to give up paid work.
The union representing Canberra's childcare workers says it is relieved that no ABC Learning centres will be closed in the ACT. ACT centres at Aranda and Russell were spared from the closures while the Queanbeyan North centre will stay open with government support.
The Receiver of ABC Learning Centres Ltd., Mr Chris Honey of McGrathNicol, today outlined a plan to provide a childcare place for every ABC child into 2009.
Brisbane's Goodna RSL Services Club says it's ready to step in to save the ABC Learning Centres at Augustine Heights, Collingwood Park, Goodna and Camira from possible closure.
GOLD Coast City Council could finance community childcare centres to take over ailing ABC centres, says a city councillor. Cr Dawn Crichlow said "I would love to see [not-for-profit, community-based childcare centres] put their hands up -- so if they had to finance it, the council could help them out," said Cr Crichlow. "We (council) could still own the land and lease or rent the property to them on a peppercorn rental. I'd be very supportive of that."
ABC Learning's receivers said they are working with the Federal Government on a plan to secure a child-care place for the 30,000 children whose centres face closure. The statement offered the strongest indication yet that the Government will have to announce a costly bail-out of the 386 loss-making centres marked for closure when the plan is released next week.
Parents with children at ABC Learning Centres are expected to find out today if the child-care centres will close next year. In WA, 43 ABC centres are at risk of closing, as well as 343 others around the country.
The Receiver and Manager of ABC Learning Ltd Chris Honey of McGrath Nicol, today announced that a plan to secure a childcare place for every ABC child next year and provide clarity about employment for ABC centre staff would be finalised next week.
The delays in sorting out the future of ABC Learning childcare centres have frustrated the union representing childcare workers.
Ballarat council says it has registered an expression of interest with the ABC Learning administrator. The council's Carolyn Barrie says the council wants to ensure the centres are financially sustainable in the long-term.
Mother-of-two Karen Robinson sends her daughter Sienna, 2, to the ABC Learning Centre at Horningsea Park. She has organised a petition supporting the staff at the centre and, helped by other parents, collected over 100 signatures in 24 hours.
ABC North Sydney's landlord has grown impatient with ABC's receivers, McGrathNicol. Brisbane investor David Whelan, who leases the centre to ABC, yesterday flew to Sydney to inspect the property in the hope of renting it to one of two other childcare operators wanting to take over. Ms Whelan said the lease included a $100,000 bank guarantee, to be paid to the landlord should ABC stop paying its rent.
According to the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, childcare centres that cater for a large number of zero to two-year-olds are being targeted for closure by the receivers of ABC Learning because they are too expensive to run.
The union representing childcare workers is calling on the major banks to financially support the troubled ABC Learning.
Union and industry representations have already been made to Government over what may be the only long-term solution for the unviable ABC centres — remove the significant cost of rent with a capital injection to acquire the land and building. Barbara Romeril, the executive director of Community Child Care Victoria, said a lot of unprofitable ABC centres could be made profitable as community-based centres on this basis.
Listed property trust Austock , ABC Learning's biggest landlord is in rescue talks with rival childcare operators to take over 297 centres it leases to the collapsed company to prevent them closing at the end of the month.
ABC Learning's receivers are expected to whittle down the list of unviable child-care centres on Wednesday from the 386 that were named as "under review" last week.
The Department of Defence has sent a letter to Defence parents explaining that their childcare is not at risk. Defence ABC sites have been listed as part of the 386 requiring further evaluation at the request of the Department of Defence. This is because they are being treated as a single entity, to give a consistent Defence approach. The DOD expects all of their centres to remain open.
Shires and councils have written to Canberra to demand an extension of its $22 million lifeline for ABC Learning childcare centres until April or longer, warning of the "train wreck" that would follow if they close.
The Department of Defence was ABC Learning's single biggest customer and the 41 Defence child-care centres are under a cloud - all are on the list of those with an uncertain future.
The union representing child care workers says the centres under threat in the Illawarra need to be assessed for more than their economic value. Rebecca Riley from the child care union says the wider implications of any closures need to be considered.
The parents of about 30,000 children who attend ABC childcare centres are being told they will have to wait another week to find out if the centres they use will stay open. The receiver has announces that 378 ABC childcare centres could close next year.
The Receiver of ABC Learning Centres Ltd, Mr Chris Honey of McGrathNicol, has written to ABC parents and staff today confirming that a majority of the Group’s child centres will continue operating in 2009. Mr Honey said that he was confident that there was a sustainable business model and as a result some 656 of the centres would continue to trade as normal after 31 December this year.
ABC Learning childcare workers and their union are in Canberra to lobby the Federal Government to guarantee their entitlements.
ABC's business model of renting centres means that in most cases there isn't a business to sell. The only way the ABC Learning "business" can be sold is if a single party buys the whole thing, but there is no entity with the capability or the desire to suddenly operate 1200 centres. There have been frequent suggestions that various profit and community child care operators are willing and waiting to divvy up the ABC empire but, failing a very large federal government intervention, they will be dealing with the landlords of the centres, not the receivers.
A spokeswoman for ABC receivers said a sell-off of centres was just one avenue being investigated. But an industry insider said the sale of centres was "a foregone conclusion" and there would be bargains on offer as early as this week.
The National Party's member for Hinkler, Paul Neville, a coalition backbencher who is owed money by collapsed child-care giant ABC Learning has urged the Federal Government to support the business despite the fact he has a financial interest in it.
Childcare workers' union the LHMU is pressing the Federal Government to ensure workers at collapsed centres get all their entitlements. Childcare workers at ABC Learning centres are owed at least $31 million in entitlements.
A spokesman for ABC Learning yesterday said the staff issues recently experienced had been resolved since ABC regained the ability to place relief staff without using 123 Learning.
Parents with children at ABC Learning Centres should know within a week whether the company plans to close centres from next year.
Minister for Defence, Warren Snowdon, said Defence had a contract with ABC Corporate Care for the management of 18 Defence-owned childcare centres and although administrators had been appointed to the company, families need not worry.
All local commanders have been ordered to allow personnel affected by the ABC Learning childcare crisis more flexible working arrangements.
The administrator of ABC Learning is due to address creditors of the fallen childcare giant for the first time. Insolvency firm Ferrier Hodgson will stage the meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday morning to update creditors on the company's situation.
Don Jones, apparently owner of 15 ABC managed centres and 123 Learning, a company which supplies relief staff to ABC, is threatening to close his centres down unless he receives payments he claims he is owed, as his centres do not have sufficient staff.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has accused the owner of 15 ABC Learning centres of scaremongering, after he threatened to shut the facilities down before Christmas. Ms Gillard, who is responsible for child care as part of her education portfolio, said on Tuesday no childcare centre can legally close without giving at least 30 days notice.
The receivers of ABC Learning have vowed to keep the failed child-care giant alive, in a race against time as more parents pull their children out of ABC centres. At today's meeting of more than 100 of the company's creditors, Chris Honey from receivers McGrathNicol said work was well under way on a business plan to keep open as many centres as possible beyond December 31.
The Municipal Association of Victoria, the peak local government body, will study the viability of ABC Learning Centres across the state with a view to running some of the childcare centres.
The Australian Services Union (ASU) has called on the Federal Government to give priority to councils interested in taking over childcare centres operated by ABC Learning.
ABC Learning staff have appealed for parents to stick with their centres as they await news on their futures into next year
IMF Australia is preparing a potential class-action lawsuit against ABC Learning's receivers, auditors and former directors. John Walker, the managing director of IMF — which organises class-action lawsuits — said he had the backing for the move of 20% of the failed child-care company's shareholders.
Parents at an ABC centre in the Hills District were told by the centre director on Monday to look elsewhere for places - possibly for a closure before Christmas.
A syndicate of ABC Learning's banking creditors has lent the failed company a further $30 million to keep child-care centres open until the end of the year.
Parents with children in ABC Learning centres have a tense wait to know whether their centre will remain open next year. The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Julia Gillard says the Government will not make a statement until December on which centres will close.
The concentration of the child-care industry will be addressed by the Federal Government as part of its long-term plans for the sector.
The Deputy Prime Minister has warned that deciding the future of ABC Learning Centres will be time-consuming because the company's accounts are in such poor shape investigators will have to start from scratch in assessing its records.
Lynda Misso, licensee of Northern Brisbane child care company Sesame Lane, said her centres have only received a few inquiries from parents. "A lot of ABC centres around here are strong." Ms Misso said if the ABC centres collapsed there would be sufficient vacancies across the [Northern Brisbane] region to cover any shortfall.
There are fears ABC Learning centres in regional areas will close due to a lack of willing buyers. The WA State Opposition fears many ABC Learning child care centres in regional areas of Western Australia will close due to a lack of operators willing to buy them.
Julia Gillard has sent forensic accountants into failed childcare group ABC Learning as part of a growing investigation into the company's collapse that includes the corporate watchdog. The Deputy Prime Minister announced accountants from the insolvency and corporate recovery practitioners PPB would be embedded to work with the company's receiver in examining financial data from every ABC childcare centre
Local ABC child care workers and parents are being urged “not to panic” as the government, union representatives and receivers work together to save the embattled child care provider.
Most ABC Learning centres will stay open - even if they have to change their name, Treasury boss Ken Henry says. Dr Henry on Wednesday moved to reassure parents anxious that their local centre may close next year.
The Rudd Government wants stronger regulation and supervision of the childcare industry after the collapse of ABC Learning Centres. Meanwhile, union representatives have been refused information on which centres are unprofitable
ABC Learning may be understaffing its childcare centres, the crippled company's recruitment agency claimed yesterday. The director of 123 Careers, Don Jones -- who claims ABC owes him $10 million -- said yesterday he could supply less than half the 1849 relief staff required today to work in ABC centres across Australia.
The Federal Government says the receivers appointed to ABC Learning are now taking expressions of interest from possible buyers for some of the company's childcare centres.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has stopped proceedings against ABC Learning Centres, after the troubled child care operator fell into administration. The competition regulator filed charges against ABC in June 2008, citing failure to sell Kidz Retreat and Little Buccaneers child care centres in Geraldton, Western Australia. The centres have since been sold by ABC.
The union representing ABC Learning staff will meet with the receivers of the troubled childcare giant to discuss fears of a mass closure of centres next year. Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union secretary Louise Tarrant said 40% of centres being unprofitable "seems like an extraordinary number of ABC centres that arguably don't have a long-term future and we want to know what basis they've made that decision on."
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says the Government owes taxpayers an explanation over how the $22 million to keep ABC Learning centres open will be spent.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended the lack of detail provided by the receivers of ABC Learning on the reasons behind the unprofitability of almost half of its child care centres.
For some time ABC Learning Centres had troubled the child-care experts. The company's baffling balance sheets did not make sense and the labyrinthine company structures were a worry to them.
The parents of the 120,000 children cared for at ABC Learning centres around the nation and the 16,000 staff will welcome the Rudd Government's $22 million lifeline, which will ensure continuity of care and stability of employment until the end of the year. But that is where the financial largesse from the public purse should stop. Neither the Government nor the receivers can guarantee that all centres will remain open next year.
Parents are flooding childcare centres with applications as the Federal Government pledges $22 million to keep ABC Learning alive until the new year.
Lynne Wannan says the community sector should now take over the management of all ABC centres.
Many childcare centres in Australia run stable and financially viable operations, the federal government says.
The receivers of Australia's largest child care company ABC say the doors of its centres will remain open today but the longer term future of the company is unsure. 16,000 workers who are employed there are worried about their entitlements and the parents of more than 100,000 children are also wondering whether they have secure child care.
ABC Learning Centres Ltd., seized by lenders after the credit crisis forced up interest payments, owes Australia's four biggest banks A$762 million ($507 million).
There is some good news for parents with children at ABC Learning centres, with receivers confirming fees will not be increased to offset the company's financial woes.
Corporatised childcare was not a problem in principle. But the company should never have been allowed to build such a dominant stake in the market because the effects of failure were so great.
The not-for-profit child care sector is urging the Federal Government to buy ABC Learning, which has been put into voluntary administration and has revealed it is $1 billion in debt.
The Federal Government will provide up to $22 million to keep ABC Learning Centres open until the end of the year. The rescue funding was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard as she revealed that a preliminary analysis had found 40 per cent of ABC's 1040 centres are not profitable.
ABC Learning Centres could be slowly carved up after being placed in receivership this week. The lack of bulky players in the local childcare industry are potential obstacles to any quick sale of ABC, which was placed in receivership yesterday.
Troubled child care provider ABC Learning has announced it has appointed voluntary administrators and receivers.
Education Minister Julia Gillard has sought to reassure parents that ABC Learning Centres will remain open despite its move into voluntary administration.
Childcare giant ABC Learning Centres cannot guarantee all its centres will remain open long-term, despite pledging there will be no immediate closures.
ABC Learning Centres is continuing talks with its lenders and the Australian government after a media report it was close to appointing outside managers.
Childcare giant ABC Learning says it is continuing to discuss its future with stakeholders, despite reports it would be placed into receivership today. In a statement issued today, the company said it was continuing discussions with stakeholders including banks and the federal government to secure the future of its operations.
The Government is ready to step in to assist families if Australia's largest childcare provider, ABC Learning, goes into receivership today, Education Minister Julia Gillard says.
The union representing childcare workers at centres run by ABC Learning says parents will not be left in the lurch if the troubled company collapses.
Reports of the demise of childcare group ABC Learning appears to have been exaggerated - at least for now - with company saying today it was still working with its banks the Government to avoid collapse.
Governent agencies are monitoring childcare staffing at ABC Learning Centres after ABC told the Queensland Supreme Court that some relief staff did not turn up to work yesterday. 123 Careers director Don Jones yesterday confirmed the staff shortages, claiming ABC had requested double the usual quota of relief staff nationwide.
Tottering childcare centre operator ABC Learning has put off filing its accounts for a third time as new auditors Ernst & Young continue to rake through its books.
Childcare provider ABC Learning Centres has delayed its annual results for fiscal 2008 for the third time this year.
ABC Learning Centres and its staffing agency 123 Careers will battle for control over 8000 staff in Queensland's Supreme Court tomorrow. Thousands of childcare workers have been snared in a legal tug-of-war between the stricken childcare provider and its staffing agency this week. Correspondence obtained by The Australian yesterday suggests that ABC has tried to poach the 8000 casual workers employed by 123 Careers.
Troubled child-care giant ABC learning has sought to allay the fears of parents as speculation continues that the company could go under. Chief executive Rowan Webb has written to parents, appealing for their support and reassuring them the company has a bright future.
ABC Learning has pulled out of its planned $70 million purchase of childcare agency 123 Careers, despite yesterday receiving the competition regulator's consent to go ahead with the deal. Instead, ABC has pledged to employ directly the 4000 or so staff contracted to ABC by 123 Careers.
Childcare jobs are under threat after a staffing agency linked with ABC Learning yesterday refused to guarantee all jobs would be safe. Employees at the Brisbane headquarters of 123 Careers -- the agency being sold to ABC Learning -- were sent home from work early yesterday. One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed staff had been advised to look for new jobs.
For 24 hours, it was the most expensive childcare facility in the country. The only problem was, it actually wasn't. Rather, the ABC Developmental Learning Centre in the western Sydney suburb of Kellyville was a reasonably priced centre thrust into the spotlight following an embarrassing mistake that has left ABC Learning Centres looking mildly incompetent, while calling into question the reliability of the Government's new one-stop-shop website for parents with young children.
Struggling ABC Learning is one of the most expensive childcare providers in Queensland, with one centre charging $132 a day for a child aged under 1.
Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard has urged parents not to panic about a potential collapse of troubled childcare provider ABC Learning. Ms Gillard says the Government is preparing contingency plans in case ABC Learning goes into liquidation. She says she is hopeful those back-up plans will not be needed.
The Queensland Government has set up a task force to develop a contingency plan in case childcare provider ABC Learning collapses.
ABC Learning should not receive Government assistance, instead community-based operators should be allowed to take over its centres if it is indeed in danger of going into liquidation, a community child care advocate says.
Beleaguered childcare group ABC Learning has failed in a desperate approach to the federal Government for funds as it attempts to prop up its 1100-centre network.
The Department of Education is looking at a range of contingency plans in case child care provider ABC Learning collapses, leaving the parents of 100,000 children in the lurch.
Eddy Groves still harbours hopes of buying back into ABC Learning, the crashed childcare conglomerate he founded in Brisbane 20 years ago.
Eddy Groves has been dumped as the head of besieged childcare chain ABC Learning Centres. Both Groves and his estranged wife Le Neve Groves will leave the board and management of the Brisbane-based company,
Australia’s largest child care provider, ABC Learning, also the world’s largest publicly traded child care corporation, stands on the brink of collapse.
The troubled childcare operator ABC Learning has again failed to meet a deadline to release its financial results for 2008.
Struggling child-care company ABC Learning has lost one of its high-profile new directors before it could formalise the appointment. The company, which is suspended on the Australian Securities Exchange and is yet to finalise its full-year results, said Frank Ford had "advised that he no longer wishes to proceed with the appointment".
Struggling childcare group ABC Learning is planning to slash its casual relief staff by 1000 or more in an effort to save up to $26 million each year and stem losses that threaten the company's future.
ABC Learning Centres Ltd has finalised the sale of its UK voucher business, Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers Ltd, to share registry Computershare Ltd for STG90 million ($A190.74 million).
ABC Learning Centres' chief executive, Eddy Groves, says neither the board nor shareholders of the child-care provider have indicated they want him to step down.
ABC Learning Centres has had a disastrous six months, and there is more bad news to come this week with trading in its shares halted pending further revisions of past earnings.
Shares in embattled childcare operator ABC Learning Centres Ltd have been placed in a trading halt at the company's request, pending the release of an announcement.
ABC Learning has finally offloaded one of its British businesses, Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers, as the company unwinds its recent acquisition binge and pays down a $1 billion debt called in by its bankers.
Share prices rose after ABC Learning announced a restructure of its board that includes five new appointments.
ABC Learning Centres will write-down $213 million in its fiscal 2008 accounts, pushing it to a $437 million loss before tax.
Shares in A.B.C. Learning Centres have been placed on a trading halt pending an announcement from the company regarding media speculation on the potential sale of its UK business.
ABC Learning Centres Ltd has competed the sale of 60 per cent of its US child care business to Morgan Stanley Private Equity, delivering the group $448 million in cash proceeds.
Opposition childcare spokesman Tony Abbott yesterday asked The Prime Minister if he was going to do anything about ABC's 11 per cent hike. Mr Rudd replied income tax cuts and the higher childcare rebate coming into force next week would go some way to easing the financial pain for working families.
ABC Learning Centres came under fire from disgruntled parents yesterday as the group announced higher-than-expected fee increases.
Childcare provider ABC Learning said its imminent fee increase is not unreasonable.
Fees at 1200 ABC Learning childcare centres will rise by up to 10 per cent on July 1, costing parents an extra $5.50 a day. Childcare magnate Eddie Groves yesterday confirmed the increase, which will raise fees at his centres to an average of about $60 a day.
Construction on Broken Hill’s newest child care centre will begin in late winter, says a spokesperson acting on behalf of the ABC Learning Centre
ABC Learning is set to raise its fees by up to 10% at some centres as it takes advantage of increased government rebates.
Martin Kemp, formerly in charge of ABC learning's Australian and New Zealand operations, has stepped down from his position.
ABC Learning Centres Ltd boss Eddy Groves says the company lost focus on its local operations while chasing growth in the United States, but conceded its disclosure to the market had been inadequate.
Embattled childcare provider ABC Learning Centres expects a loss this financial year after if finally sealed a deal to sell 60% of its US business to Morgan Stanley Private Equity. It also announced changes to its board.
The troubles of ABC Learning Centres have not impacted on childcare operations in Australia but have prompted a fresh set of industry expectations, parliamentary secretary for childcare Maxine McKew says.
A SEVERELY disabled Melbourne boy is suing ABC Learning for failing to provide him with adequate support while in its care, despite receiving additional Federal Government funding to do so. The case is believed to be the first in Victoria where a child-care centre has faced action over the quality of care for a disabled child.
Eddy Groves has reassured directors the future of ABC Learning is secure despite his being forced to sell nearly all his stake in the childcare giant. Mr Groves was given a standing ovation as he fronted the annual meeting of company directors at Brisbane Convention Centre. He told the meeting the company would continue trading as normal despite recent turmoil which has seen the company's share price plummet.
Eddy Groves, having returned to Australia on Friday after negotiating the sale of 60 per cent of the group's US assets, will address directors of ABC Learning Centres at a company convention in Brisbane today.
ABC Learning Centre has sealed a deal with American company Morgan Stanley Private Equity for a 60 per cent interest in its US childcare business. It will initially receive about $750 million in cash which it will use to pay down debt. Shares have risen sharply, opening at $2.67, moving as high as $2.75 and were up 26 cents or 12.15 per cent to $2.40 by 1003 AEDT on Thursday.
In early trading, ABC Learning's shares rose as much as 29%, or 61 cents, to $2.75 before giving up all of its gains to recently trade at $2.14 - unchanged from its opening.
ABC Learning Centres has requested another day's suspension from trading with founder Eddy Groves in the company's US headquarters in Detroit, negotiating a possible sale of its US assets. The two most likely bidders are US childcare giant Knowledge Universe Corp, and Bright Horizon Family Solutions. An ABC spokeswoman said an announcement might be made in the next day or so, "but there is also a possibility that it may come to nothing".
ABC Learning's sharemarket troubles are unnerving companies that use ABC to provide child care for their employees.
Eddy Groves landed in Los Angeles at the weekend in a last-ditch effort to stave off the banks by trying to find a buyer for his US childcare business, which until recently was touted as the biggest area of future growth for the company. The assets need to be sold because the banks that funded the acquisitions are nervous about Mr Groves's management and want their money back.
TROUBLED ABC Learning Centres is facing class action from angry shareholders who say they've been kept in the dark over the company's financial woes.
Officials from the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations have been seeking assurances that ABC centres are not in jeopardy.
A letter was circulated by ABC to parents assuring families that media speculation had been "largely unwarranted".
ABC Learning may be forced to dismantle its international empire following a sudden collapse in investor confidence and its share price.
Lynne Wannan from the Association of Community-Based Children's Services says she doubts the share crisis involving the ABC Learning Centres will lead to its daycare doors closing in Australia.
FEDERAL Families Minister Jenny Macklin says childcare places must be protected as Australia's biggest provider, ABC Learning Centres, faces financial turmoil. The LHMU Union has voiced support for ABC's stability.
Childcare moguls Eddy and Le Neve Groves have been forced to dump $34 million of stock in their ABC Learning Centres business as the company's share price nosedive triggered margin calls on their loans.
Childcare giant ABC Learning Centres has reported a 42 per cent fall in half-year net profit after analysts had tipped modest improvement.
Childcare provider ABC Learning Centres Ltd has cited seasonality for a sharp decrease in its first half profit and reaffirmed its annual earnings guidance. Net profit for the six months to December 31 fell 42 per cent to $37.1 million.
Receivers for ABC Learning centres are scurrying to apologise over contracts sent to workers that compromised their job security and benefits. The contracts effectively re-started their employment, with workers having to serve three months' probation and the risk of dismissal at a moment's notice.
AN education business in China has touted the name of Brisbane-based ABC Learning Centres to promote a bilingual "5-star" kindergarten venture - despite the childcare giant denying knowledge of the plan.
Childcare giant ABC Learning Centres yesterday distanced itself from Canadian media reports that it was eyeing expansion in that country. This came as it emerged a series of international businesses linked to ABC, which caters for children aged from infants to schoolgoers, have been established.
Private child care providers ABC Learning Centres Limited has succeeded in a bid for a UK nurseries group.
The Rudd Government believes a number of these centres considered unviable by the ABC receivers could be viable under different arrangements. The Government also believes these centres could represent an opportunity to gain greater diversity in the child care market. The Rudd Government will provide up to $34 million of additional funds to keep the 241 child care centres open into the New Year and if necessary until 31 March 2009.
The Gold Coast Council has offered to run the city's troubled ABC Learning childcare centres if the Federal Government purchases the businesses. Cr Clarke will write to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with his proposal, which would see community organisations running the childcare centres.
The childcare sector needs restructuring not a money back guarantee for parents to bring their children back to ABC Learning's failed centres, the Australian Greens say.