Proposed Merger of Camp Australia with Junior Adventures Group

Network of Community Activities does not support the proposed merger between two of the largest outside school hours care providers in the country.

Camp Australia (783 services) owned by Bain Capital in attempting to purchase the Junior Adventures Club known as OSHClub (263 services) and Helping Hands Network (119 services) , will hold at least 75,000 child care places and occupy 27% of the OSHC market of 4306 services in Australia.

We believe the dominance of one provider in the market leaves the OSHC sector vulnerable to share market fluctuations, competing interests in regards to quality and significantly inhibits competition and diversity in the market.

We believe the merger by Bain Capital will create a vulnerable OSHC sector subject to the instability of the international financial markets.

The primary purpose of a foreign equity firm is to make money for the investors. The primary purpose of an OSHC centre is to invest in our children.

Furthermore, we believe it would amount to gambling with generous taxpayer funded subsidies which we believe has been the reason for the sudden and unparalleled interest by international investors in the OSHC market.

The Australian Government paid out 56 million when the ABC Learning centres collapsed in 2008 holding 20% of the ECEC market. We can think of lots of other ways to spend 56 million and repairing the mistakes of failed venture capitalists is not one of them!

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Network along with our national OSHC peak NOSHSA has prepared a submission to the ACCC on the merger.