Mr Honey said that he was confident that there was a sustainable business model and as a result some 656 of the centres would continue to trade as normal after 31 December this year.
“This will be very welcome news for all parents with children at these centres,” Mr Honey said. “As a first step I am pleased to be able to provide certainty to as many parents and staff, as quickly as I can.”
With respect to the remaining centres, Mr Honey said the review process was ongoing. “We expect a number of the remaining centres will also remain open next year; however we need a little more time to examine these centres in more detail, and to ensure that the correct decision on their future is made.
“I have written to parents and staff at these centres to emphasise that this does not mean their centre will necessarily be closed. It simply means we need more time to examine possible performance improvement initiatives. “We are very conscious that this period of continuing uncertainty for some parents and staff is distressing and our Restructuring team is working as quickly as possible to reach an outcome. I expect to be in a position to update remaining parents and staff on the status of these centres within a week.
“In the meantime, I would stress that these centres will continue to be open and provide high quality care until at least 31 December. I again encourage parents to support the team at their local centre and re-enrol their children in the normal way. “We are very grateful to the vast number of parents and staff at ABC Learning centres who continue to support their local centres and staff in these very difficult and uncertain times.
“We continue to work closely and productively with Government on a plan focussed on providing childcare places for ABC families into the New Year.
A full, initial list of those centres that will continue to operate into 2009 and those that remain under review will be posted today on www.childcare.com.au