Terri Joy, of Grafton, picks up her son Kobey, 14 months, from daycare.
Terri Joy, of Grafton, picks up her son Kobey, 14 months, from daycare. Grafton Daily Examiner

Parents rejoice as ABC centre saved

AFTER five months of uncertainty, yesterday parents and staff at ABC Grafton North were finally given a lifeline with the news the centre had been bought by regional childcare operator NurtureOne.

The Arthur Street centre was put up for sale along with 240 other ABC Learning Childcare centres after the company went into receivership last year.

Grafton mother Terri Joy was happy to hear the news, but said she was not surprised.

"I never panicked," she said.

"I felt the director kept us informed the whole time ... it's such a viable centre."

Fellow Grafton mother Tristen Davenport said she did not know what she would have done if the centre had closed.

"I'm relieved she'll be able to go there because it's a really good centre," she said.

"There are not many places around, most places have waiting lists."

After five months of negotiations, yesterday PPB, the court appointed receivers for the 241 centres known as ABC2 Group, announced 210 centres would continue to operate under new owners.

PPB representative Stephen Parberry said a further 19 centres would close, with the affected children transferred to alternate local long day care.

"This is an excellent outcome," he said.

He said operators met the key criteria set out by the Federal Government and demonstrated the experience, financial capability and commitment to deliver sustainable, high quality childcare for children.

NurtureOne bought nine ABC2 Group centres across Australia and has been involved in childcare in regional Australia for the past 15 years.

PPB will continue to investigate alternative arrangements for another eight centres, which did not attract suitable operators and operate in locations where alternative long day care places are either insufficient or unavailable.

The Federal Government will continue to support these centres until June while PPB investigates sustainable solutions for this group.

Mr Parberry said he was confident new contracts, licenses and transfers would be in place by May 15, as planned.

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