More Australian child care centres ‘may close’

Susanna Dunkerley, Brisbane Times

Parents who use childcare centres previously run by ABC Learning should brace for closures, the not-for-profit sector warns.

The nation’s largest childcare provider went into receivership …with debts of more than $1 billion.

… The group representing community providers said the process was rushed and had left many new operators locked into unviable business models.

Australian Community Children’s Services said centres had acquired long-term leases at above market rents, a legacy of the ABC business model.

National convenor Prue Warrilow believes the remaining 720 viable ABC Learning centres are in the same situation.

“We are really concerned that there will see many more ABC centres close because the operators are locked into long-term rents,” she told AAP….

Ms Warrilow, who gave evidence at a hearing on Thursday, said childcare could not be effectively run for profit.

The government needed to look at ways to help boost the non-profit sector to ensure a single player could not dominate the market, she said….