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Bank seeks information on child care future

16 December 2008 |Media centre

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank continues to bring its community connections to bear in the search for solutions to the provision of local child care in the wake of the collapse of the ABC Learning Centres.

Managing Director Rob Hunt said that while the bank itself did not plan to invest directly in the sector, it was keen to explore solutions to help community based groups keep their local centres operating.

The bank and its joint venture company Community Sector Banking – which provides banking services to Australia’s not-for-profit sector – were currently assessing whether they could assist any rescue plan or community action that would secure this essential service for their local marketplaces.

“Quality child care is a core community need and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Community Sector Banking are vitally interested in seeing whether we can play a meaningful role or help the community’s response,” Mr Hunt said.

“The most important thing is to develop a sustainable model that secures child care services. We have a track record of developing collaborative and commercial models that address sustainability issues.

“Our community connections both through our Community Bank® network and the not-for-profit sector mean we can bring the right partners to the table to better understand the Government’s objectives and see what alternatives might be available.”

Mr Hunt said the problems created by the ABC Learning Centres collapse were significant and a solution was not immediately apparent for all locations.

“Our role thus far has been to gather information and collaborate with our community partners.

“Once we have all the information we need, we can begin to make an assessment about whether it is in fact possible to develop a business model that might address the challenges that exist for some locations.”

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has connections with more than 200 locally owned companies that operate Community Bank® branches of Bendigo Bank. Around 60 of these companies are interested in discussions about the future of local ABC Learning Centres.

Community Sector Banking is part of a consortium that includes a number of not-for-profit child care providers who are in discussion with Government about its response to the future of ABC Learning Centres in all locations.

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