View Full Version : ABC Childcare Centres- LONG!!!
I have had a request from a parent to discuss my views on ABC as I managed one for 2 yrs. I will try and keep it as simple as possible but please feel free to PM about anyting I write. ( I'm not going to write which centre I was at also just for personal reasons)
I have worked in Child Care for about 8 yrs. ABC took over my centre and then things went down hill and chaos was caused. The amount of paperwork for my self had tripled which forced me to work 7am-6pm everyday. They would only pay me for 40hrs and all the over time would then convert to time in leui. Firstly there where no staff to cover me and the state manager wouldn't help out and I wasn't allowed to employ a casual staff because they cost too much. I mean think about the children not the money it costs (and the owner of ABC is a millionare!!!) If we were a staff member down which was quiet often because they hated comming to work I wasn't allowed to get anybody I had to cover the absent staff. Way too much pressure/stress on a manager.
The amount of paper work for the staff to fill out each day is astronomical and not needed. Supervision is very important in a large group of children and my staff had to fill in all the paperwork first then supervise the kids. Each staff meeting I held they would always complain about the paper work.
Things that happened when ABC took over(point form)-
- cleaners got taken away and staff had to maintain the cleaning requirements(no time at all to clean)
- the sanitry bin was taken away until we protested it back and WON!!!
- communication boards(white boards) where taken away
- toys were not being replaced
- maintanance was not kept up to date- my husband came in a few times and did stuff
- menu reduced- cost too much too feed the kids
- menu budget covered us for only two weeks and we only just survived the last two weeks
- I worked in the city and had a full centre all the time and they were willing to risk getting more kids in causing the ratio to be over which is illegal
- they send out forms if you are two weeks late with your fees
- written warnings were given for petty reasons- and I was forced to give them out
I was the first person who went on maternity leave in my state and was told I could take over the new centre being built on my street when bub was about 5mths- PERFECT I could walk to work. But no I had to travel back into town 49kms in peak hour with a new born. NO WAY!! So I waited till 2 weeks before my 12ths maternity leave was up and handed in my resignation.
Because they are such a large child care chain they treat their staff like they are just a number on the pay roll but even the state manager in each state has no idea who they employ and what their names are.
I would try and find a centre that is a small private centre or a community centre that they actually know their staff first names and treat them with respect and listen to their opions.
ABC staff have no say at all because most of them are scared to say anything other wise they will get a written warning.
Anyway sorry I have now let out most of my frustration, and please those of you that have children in an ABC centre and you have no problems that's great!!!!! I have just had a bad experience and I wanted to share it with you all so you can look out for the signs.
I work in childcare in Adelaide as well but I have always worked (mostly) within small centres that are usually privately owned, many of our workers have left centres that have been taken over by ABC because of how they are treated and how everything goes downhill once they take over. If you are ever looking for a job then pm me and I'll give you my bosses name as they are great to work for :)
A friend of mine was a Director for an ABC Childcare centre in Sydney for a while. From the horror stories she's told me, ABC Childcare is a Business not a care provider. They don't care about kids, all they care about is $$. They are on the share market for one (I could use some expletives here but I won't).
One of the centres that I had my daughter's name down at was being taken over by ABC and I politely told them to remove my daugther's name from their list as I was after child care not money grubbing theives that they are. (I empathise for your position perriwinkle so please don't think I'm directing at you).
My friend told me that the kids(all age groups) had an art budget for $50 for an ENTIRE mont and that they had to go through an ABC approved supplier ONLY. They are often understaffed and overburdened with kids. Nowadays ABC give the parents an option of a $5000 loan through them to be paid in 2 years or somesuch and if you don't its worse interest than AGC.
I'm just thankful I have my name down (top of list and taking in enrollment forms next week) at the local community child care centre that's been here for 20 years. Parents are encouraged to be a member of the comittee. Its clean and friendly and the kids are well cared for, which is more than I can say for ABC.
Im an E.C teacher and have been in the profession for about eight years I havent had any experience with ABC but I did work for and eventually run a small private centre for about 4 years and have to say that they were just as bad as the BIG companies if not worse :mad: . I now work for the govt in a work based centre (which is BIG) but they really care about the children, families and STAFF :) Which is very important as Happy staff means Happy children :)
I'm also an EC teacher and have worked in child care for over 12 years now and I have only had/heard of bad experiences with ABC centres. If you have a great ABC centre that is fantastic. I don't balme the staff who work in an ABC centre what so ever for the situation that they find themselves in. Child care should ALWAYS be about the children and providing high quality child care. ABC,in my opinion doesn't not adhere to that philosophy.
The new regulations that are currently being introduced were changed to stop some of these practises that ABC employs. They must have correct staff:child ratios, they must have trained staff (before they were allowed to get away with having only trainees or untrained staff) and they must have cleaning contracts. I believe that all these measures can only be good for the staff and children who attend ABC centre.
I must say and defend majority of child care centres. We staff work very hard everyday providing very high quality care to children and families. We have the correct staf:child ratios and the centres are cleaned also to a very high standard. Most centres are clean, stimulating, caring, and wonderful environments for children and families to attend.
I would hate for this to turn into child care bashing and complaining about individual centres. Perriwinkle was only expressing her experiences and we are all just trying to let other families know of experiences and opinions as professionals we feel are important. Please if you are going to post keep it to the topic. TIA.
Just to put my two cents in.
My son goes to an ABC centre. I'm proud to say the one in Hervey Bay and I can't speak highly enough of the level of care that my son receives.
He has learnt so much in his time at the centre. The toys and activities are so diverse. They really suit the multicultural society that we live in. They provide toys and stuff from different cultures.
The centre itself is immaculate. It is very bright and cheery and it is difinately better than any other centre in the area. I don't doubt that the staff have more paperwork than other smaller centres. They run the business very effeciently. Unlike others who seem to skip the smaller details.
So for anyone considering taking their child to an ABC centre, please don't put your tail between your legs and run. Go into to the centre, meet the staff, have a look around and then decide.
Though many people that have spoken on this topic may have "first hand knowledge" on how the centre is actually run, they haven't had the opportunity to experience it from a parent's point of view. They just know how hard they had to work and what they got paid for it. But the fact that they did work so hard and put so much time and effort into their work is testimate to the dedication of the staff. It is the staff that make a centre not the profit margins, hours worked or pay received.
Thanks for listening to my two cents.
To Harrys mum,
I hope you were'nt thinking that I was in any way "child care bashing" I was just simply refering to comments previously made about small private centres being better than large ones. I agree with you that there are GREAT :) cccentres out there but you do need to be picky, no matter if its a big/small, private/community you need to be sure the centres meeting high standards.
I to am a mother of 3 children 10, 7 and 2 and I too am a parent who has used privately owned and large companies for childcare. I can tell many a parent from my experience with all my 3 children that ABC has provided by youngest and middle child with the best child care experience that I have seen and believe me I have seen alot. You can rest assured that a child placed in care with ABC receives the best educational programs, the highest of quality care and staff that are there for a reason not because it is just a job. You can be guaranteed that staff are made to do an exceptional amount of paper work but hey this is the paper work that is required not only by the Government Regualations but also by the National Child Care Accreditation Board this paper work is what makes these centres some of the best centres in Australia and New Zealand.
To give parents of an idea of what goes on in these smaller "family owned" child care centres - are your children being provided with meals? are these meal nutritious and filling or are you finding your child comes home constantly and are hungry. I have seen a centre that provides food but hey that is a quarter of a sandwich for each child, frozen custard but hey they will think its an iceblock was the answer I got and maybe a handful (that is a small child's handful) of fruit.
Equipment provided in smaller centres (and some larger "not ABC") remains to be seen that is if it is not borrowed from another centre because the Department of Families is turning up or broken and never replaced. And as smaller centres work on smaller budgets you can possibly see that the money they get from the profits alot of it is not placed back into their centres - how do small business make an income if they have to give it back? Staff are not trained correctly or are only 17 (I can assure you I would not want a 17yr old looking after my children when they can bearly look after themselves). Supervision I have seen in other centres "what supervision" does that include talking about how you went out on the weekend and got blind while Johnny has just smacked Billy over the head with a spade. But hey that little fiasco will interupt my conversation and theres no blood.
Centre Buses this is another area for concern - did you know that you can just book your child on the centre bus but they dont have to turn up you can just sign them in well I can see the legality nightmare in that one especially if the bus has an accident.
I can assure many parents that I have seen alot of scarey child care centres in my lengthy affiliation with them but I can also assure you that this is not an ABC Centre by any means. I too agree with Alec and Zac's mum take the time have a look at an ABC you can see the difference the minute you walk in take the time to watch, listen and learn. I am sure your experience with ABC can be as good as mine.
Thanks for taking the time to Read
I just want to make my self clear that there are some really good ABC centres out there. They will put a lot more effort into centres that make money than the ones who don't make much money at all. As long as your child is happy there and you are happy as well that's the main thing.
I just wanted to share my experience with what happened with my ABC centre because the parents have no idea what happens with the management side of things. They just see what happens at drop off and pick up times.
Mumof2girls- thanks for the offer but I don't think I will go back into child care again. But thankyou!!!!
Madvoice- YES they only get $50 a month for Art and we had to go thru the ABC supplier which was so expensive. I wasn't allowed to shop around for bargins. And no extra money was given for Xmas time
I work in childcare and work for a small family business and they have been running for 36 years and own two centres. We have to follow exactly the same regulations and guidelines that every centre has to follow in Australia and no-one in our centre is under 20 years old and all of them are studying childcare or early childhood (kindy etc). We run a very proffessional centre and our children are very well taken care of, they have a very nutritional menu and our pre-schoolers cook every 2 weeks as well. Our centre doesn't have budgets, they go on a needs basis if we need something they get it and we have heaps of toys inside and outside to keep the children interested. Our programs are very diverse and fit with the room as a whole and the individual child. I'm not sure where your from but in SA family owned businesses have the same regulations and guidelines as the bigger centres do from the NCCAB there is no difference.
I think that the only way to be happy with a centre is to go in and have a few visits and see what it is all about and whether you and your child feel comfortable (they may take a little more time) and then decide. I wasn't trying to bad mouth ABC all I said is that we have had people move to our centre that haven't been treated well in the ABC centre that they were working at!
I'm not sure what the buses are that you are talking about, most centre's here don't have buses unless they are before/after school care. Also the guy who owns the ABC business also owns a company that childcare centres order toys from so they should have an endless supply of toys if they own the company!
Staff are not trained correctly or are only 17 (I can assure you I would not want a 17yr old looking after my children when they can bearly look after themselves).
I personally take offence for this comment as I am a fully qualified Childcare professional who is 35 and I act in a professional manner at all times and take very good care of the children who are in my care, I treat these children just like I treat my own, very much loved and adored each and everyone of them :mad:
Orlando'smum, No I didn't take offence at all :). I just wanting to remind people that the opinions expressed here are just that....opinions. We all agree that the best way to judge a centre is to go there, spend time talking to the director, talking to the staff and looking around the rooms. All centre's in Aust MUST adhere to the QIAS (Quality Improvment and Accreditation System) if they wish to receive govt funding. This is accreditation at it's highest level and I believe that all staff work very hard to maintain the high quality of care that parents and Govt departments expect. There are also strict state regulations that every centre must adhere to, whether they receive funding or not.
I'm on both sides of the fence, as I work in child care and have my DS in child care. I love the place I work and the centre I have my DS in. They are different centres due to travel distance and other issues.
All staff members who work in child care do it for the love of their job, the enjoyment the child give us and the satisfaction we gain when we send children home happy and excited about their day. We don't do it for the money. We all work extremely hard and often work after hours or take work home to stay on top of everything.
Kerina: You mentioned about the food. If a centre provides food they are required to offer the children their 1/3 daily dietary requirements. If you know of a centre who does not do this then you can always let them know of this requirment. However, the regs stated that it only needs to be offered and we don't make children eat if they don't want to, we can't force feed them.
I hope everyone remembers that this forum is for providing information and experiences. It's great to hear of others experiences and what Professionals in the industry feel but try to keep it to topic and friendly :).
I hope everyone remembers that this forum is for providing information and experiences. It's great to hear of others experiences and what Professionals in the industry feel but try to keep it to topic and friendly :).
Hear hear Karena! :)
My son goes to childcare 2 days a week since I go back to work couple weeks ago and he has fantastic time each time. And obviously the CC is doing their fantastic job because my son is still being a happy and healthy bub as always! They are also very friendly. And all their staff has qualifications most of them have degrees in children physiology. It's not a big issue for us (as long as they are doing their fantastic job), this CC is privately owned.
Sorry to hear that others had to go through bad experiences with their childcare/centres!
But I think we are all should be fair and square about giving out some opinions. Because we are all come from different backgrounds to begin with. And as if we havenít received enough hard time from people who are not very supportive abt the idea of putting our kids into childcare. Thereís a big difference between giving out pure-good-intentional information AND giving out an inflammatory information if you know what I mean, no matter what sort of experience you had.
Just because you have had bad experience with ABCís Centre doesnít make ABC centres are ALL bad. Just because you have had bad experience with privately owned CCs doesnít mean that privately owned centres are ALL bad. Just because there are 17s years old who canít look after themselves doesnít mean that ALL 17s are hopeless! And the list goes onÖ
So be fair. Remember what Woody (from Toy Story) said, play it nice! :D
Whilst I dont mean to offend I can assure that I am using this forum as a means to express my experiences with Child Care in general - I am tired of hearing so many members of the public and workers of child care expressing such negative feelings about a company in which I truly believe upholds the true meaning of Early Education (namely ABC) and not just a mere babysitting service. I have seen the passion that Eddy Groves (CEO of ABC) has for this industry and have come to realise that whilst every business is a means to and income this is not his only aim for ABC. I also do not deny that there are some smaller companies/privately owned that run and maintain excellent records in child care.
Whilst I only generalise about certain ages of staff I can only say that some of the companies within my area in Queensland do only hire young 17 year old girls as wages are cheap on traineeships I merely suggest that if they dont take the time to ensure that these girls are being trained correctly and are left to there own devices how can we be assured of a safe, educational and happy environment for our children.
As for the food area again I am only sharing my knowledge, whilst I understand that children arent to be forced to eat but are to be given the opportunity of self select I also realise that some centres dont have the benefit of having cooks who can provide nutritional and diverse meals for our children - I am only saying parents who are in centres who do provide food beware of some of the tell tale signs of children not getting the meals that parents are well and truly paying for in their fees.
Buses - the buses that i mention in my last posting were those buses that pick up from home and school whilst I realise again that this is not an occurance of all centres I am just stating again my exprenicence with companies that are just in it for the money.
As a concerned parent I hope some of my insight gives other parents the knowledged to go centres armed with the signs of what excellent early childhood education centres should look like, its not the staff that are standing around talking to each other but the staff that are taking the time to interact with the children. Its not the staff that walk away and dont acknowledge your presence, its the staff that take the time to say hello to all parents and children with a big smile. Its the reaction from your child at the end of the day when they cant wait to tell you how their day has been or its the child that cried when you dropped them off but doesnt want to leave when you pick them up.
All I ask is that parents take the time to look around see the environment that they want to entrust the most precious gifts they have been given does it look safe, does it look inviting, is it bright, do the staff have a smile on their face (because then they generally enjoy their jobs) and luckly for me I have found this with my ABC.
Hi I have decided to join this interesting forum as a current Director for ABC I feel I need to express my own experience with ABC, I currently hold an Advance Diploma in Community Services and am also to study my Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood I have been in the child care industry since 1996 and have 3 children of my own. I have also worked for privately owned companies, Hutchison's and ABC and I can say by far that my experiences with ABC have been the most enjoyable todate.
Whilst I agree with the first writer that there is alot of paper work with ABC I would also like to say that it is this paper work is there for a reason not just because people decided that we didnt have enough to do in our day and thought we would like a little more. The paper work that we have in our day to day running of the centre is paper work that is required by Government Departments and NCAC and without this paper work we would not have the means to prove that we should be licenced or accreditated. Or the opportunity to ensure that all centres a maintain a high standard in health, hygiene, safety, programing and the list goes on.
I know from my centre that we currently have one of the best reputations in town and I am proud to say that I work there. I have staff that enjoy coming to work and also wouldnt want to be anywhere else. I also believe that it is my job as a Director to support my staff and to be a strong and dependable role model to them and by doing this I can ensure their dedication, professionalism and support in making our centre run to its optimum.
As I walk through the centre I am at I can also be assured as Kerina said that my staff do interact with the children, they do take the time to say hello or wave to every parent and as I say to them its the little things that count.
I can also rest assured that ABC understand that as I have a family they are more than happy to give me the time that I need to ensure that their health and wellbeing are the first priority in my life.
I am sad to hear of our first readers bad experience but I do ask that people dont judge a company on couple of peoples bad experiences as its not ABC that runs their centres its the Directors and its staff - ABC give us a means to an end and I am happy to say that I wouldnt be a Director anywhere else.
Whilst i could go on for pages I dont feel the need to. As Kerina also said parents take the time to look around you will get the feel when you walk in if a centre is the place for your loved ones.
Thanks - A Happy ABC Director.
Thanks for all your opinions ladies.
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