Groups want federal protection against foreign child care takeover

    OTTAWA, Oct. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Child care advocates warned today that a
foreign corporation is trying to establish a controlling-interest in Canadian
child care. To avert this threat, the advocacy group, Code Blue for Child Care
is asking Prime Minister Harper to give Royal Recommendation to Bill C303, the
Early Learning and Child Care Act. This Act, which discourages expansion of
for-profit child care, returns to the House of Commons for a decisive vote on
November 20.
    123 Busy Beavers Learning Centres has only been in the country a few
months but it is reported that at least 30 centres have already been acquired.
"Despite the home-grown name," says Code Blue spokesperson, Morna Ballantyne,
"123 Busy Beavers is closely linked to the world's largest child care
corporation, ABC Learning Centres of Australia and the 123 group of companies.
The conglomerate operates 2,300 programs worldwide in Australia, the United
States, Britain, New Zealand, China and other countries.
    "Foreign ownership of Canadian child care will kill the dream of a
pan-Canadian child care system," said Jody Dallaire, Chairperson of the Child
Care Advocacy Association of Canada. "Our children and families deserve
quality, accessible, community-based child care not some gigantic off-shore
warehouse operation."
    "In Australia, it is well documented that ABC's financial success and
phenomenal growth has been based upon damaging competition, compromised
quality, spiraling fees for parents and sucking up public funding," said
Ballantyne. "Corporate child care delivers one-size-fits-all, institutional
care. It is not a model Canadians should emulate."
    Bill C303 has the support of all the opposition parties in Parliament,
Code Blue is urging Harper and the Conservative Government to drop their
opposition and proclaim The Child Care Act to ensure that future federal
funding goes to children's early learning and care, not to enrich

For further information:

For further information: Morna Ballantyne, (613) 791-3411; Jody
Dallaire, (506) 878-8666; Sue Colley, (416) 538-1950, cell: (647) 224-4006;

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