New concerns have been raised today about the buy-up of Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services by foreign for-profit investors.
There are warnings that as much as 40 per cent of enrolments nationally will be controlled by the hedge fund Bain Capital Boston, should the proposed merger between Camp Australia and Junior Adventure Group proceed.
" Labor is right to have concerns. When they control this much of the sector the gap between the largest player and the next is massive. That makes it very difficult to compete."
[Extend After School Care Chief Executive Darren Stephenson, Financial Review, 5 July 2017]
“Providers are worried that such a large business will have the power to squeeze others out and then increase fees,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development, Kate Ellis, said.
“Taxpayers contribute around two thirds of the cost of early education and care. This investment should be for the benefit children, parents and communities – not foreign hedge funds that just want access to government subsidies.
“Malcolm Turnbull can’t stay silent and hope this goes away. He needs to step up, put children first and make sure community and not-for-profit services are protected.”
Labor has written to the ACCC expressing concern about the proposed merger.