children playing

Edmonton schools reject for-profit daycare

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
CBC News
Publication Date: 
11 May 2011

Public school trustees are refusing to let for-profit companies from operating daycares in Edmonton schools.

At a board meeting Tuesday night, a company called Edleun made a pitch to rent space in four city schools to run daycares and early education programs.

"We're all about quality," said CEO Leslie Wulf. "We're here to raise the bar of quality."

Edleun, the largest private, for-profit child care company in Canada, is in the process of buying up daycares across country.

Wulf has been involved in several child care chains in Canada, United States and Australia including 123 Busy Beavers, the Canadian arm of the international conglomerate ABC/123.

Wulf painted a picture of Edleun as a company with deep pockets and a commitment to quality.

"I invested $35 million in child care in Alberta last year," he said. "Today I own 22 child care centres most of them in Alberta.

"When I bought them from individuals I invested $3.8 million in upgrading the facilities."

Profits are re-invested, Wulf told the board.

Most trustees however were unconvinced.

Profits can get in the way of providing children proper care and instruction, said trustee Sarah Hoffman.

"I think that's the job, to make sure that corpoaration is profitable," she said. "It's not the job for a corporation to provide services that don't make a profit."

The decision is expected to be finalized at a board meeting later this month.

-reprinted from the CBC News