Foreign-based company buying B.C. child care centres? Union demands answers from government


Vancouver – The British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) has expressed concern that an Australian-based multinational company is trying to corner the market on child care in the province with an offer to buy for-profit child care centres.

Last week the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. (CCCABC) released information showing that 123-Global is making offers to private operators across the province.

The company is a Canadian subsidiary of A.B.C. Learning Centres, an Australian-based firm that has bought up and now operates child care centres in Australia, U.S., Britain, Hong Kong, Indonesia and other countries. The parent firm earned profits of $123 million Cdn ($143 million Australian) last year and, in the space of one year, purchased 1,100 child care centres in the U.S. It does not currently operate any centres in British Columbia.

Serious questions
“This raises a number of questions. Where is the provincial government headed with its child care policies and are they in conversations with private corporations that would encourage this expansion?” the BCGEU asks.

“The government has pledged ongoing support for families and child care advocates have long argued that public, non-profit child care is the best guarantee for quality, and have urged the provincial government to expand this system.”

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