Abc Learning Sale Must Ensure Diversity And High-quality

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20th November 2009, 05:23pm - Views: 769
ABC Learning Sale Must Ensure Diversity and High-Quality - Non-Profit Froebel Australia Supports LHMU's Call



One year after ABC Learning went into receivership and amidst the sale process for the remaining 705 ABC Learning childcare centres concerns are raised that McGrathNicol intends to select just one big bidder, potentially a private equity group, to purchase the centres in one package.

"Any such decision would be a disaster and a huge missed opportunity for the Australian childcare sector. It would, in particular, contradict and undermine the current, laudable political efforts to enhance quality and professionalism in childcare in Australia", says Olde Lorenzen, Managing Director of the non-profit FROEBEL Australia that purchased former ABC Learning centres of the unviable ABC2 Group.

Not even a year ago, when the ABC Learning drama peaked, both the Australian government and the ABC2Group receivers set out comprehensive criteria against which offers for the purchase of these centres were to be assessed:

"Contribution to the diversification of long day care provision in Australia, noting the opportunities this will represent for a diverse range of potential organisations of different size and character and the desirability of having one or more not-for-profit organisations operating at an economic scale, and demonstrated commitment to adopt leading-practice employment approaches, [...], commitment to training and staff development" were rightly considered to be important factors in the decision making process of the sale.

Olde Lorenzen calls upon all stakeholders to remember these collective goals which were designed to ensure that (new) high-quality childcare providers enrich the range of childcare options for Australian families such as bilingual childcare that FROEBEL now provides in NSW. "We sincerely hope that Australia will not let this opportunity slip away and that diversity in educational approaches, high-quality in care and professional development of staff remain to be key factors also when it comes to the sale of profitable childcares."

FROEBEL Australia Ltd is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated as Australian subsidiary of the large German non-profit organisation FROEBEL e.V. earlier this year. FROEBEL successfully consolidated former ABC Learning centres in NSW and operates them since May 2009. Profits of the FROEBEL subsidiary are solely reinvested in Australia. FROEBEL provides advanced bilingual, English-German programming and has initiated extensive professional exchange for early childhood practitioners between Germany and Australia.

Contact: Olde Lorenzen, FROEBEL Australia Ltd, 33 Foster St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, [email protected] or (02)80800065,


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