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Defence child care centres business as usual.



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

www.defence.gov.au

Thursday, 6 November 2008 164/2008

DEFENCE CHILD CARE CENTRES BUSINESS AS USUAL

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon today reassured Defence families that ABC Learning Centres will remain open despite the appointment of Administrators of the ABC Group.

Mr Snowdon confirmed the Government’s priority is to ensure working families, including Defence families, who are reliant on ABC Learning, can continue to access child care for their children.

“I am pleased that the receiver of ABC Learning Centres, McGrathNicol, has committed to continue operating the child care centres,” said Mr Snowdon.

The Commonwealth Government has been in discussions with creditors, particularly the banking syndicate of international and Australian banks who have appointed the receiver, to support continuity of service delivery and provide some comfort to parents and employees.

The Child Care Industry Taskforce, in the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, is working closely with the Administrator, Ferrier Hodgson, and the receiver, McGrathNicol.

Defence has a contract with ABC Corporate Care for the management of 18 Defence owned childcare centres and priority access in 20 additional centres.

“Defence is also working closely with DEEWR and looks forward to speaking to the Administrator in due course,” Mr Snowdon said.

“Approximately 1,450 Defence children are enrolled in ABC child care centres, and the Government’s first priority is to make sure that mums and dads are still able to access the child care that they need.

“In the meantime, information for parents and employees about the announcement is available on the mychild.gov.au web site. Parents and employees will also be able to register to receive further information via email as it becomes available.”

The Australian Government has set up a dedicated information hotline on 180 2003 to provide basic information to parents and employees about the announcement.

Defence families can also access information from the Defence Community Organisation and the National Welfare Coordination Centre.

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664