Daycare centres sold

Three Red Deer daycare centres have been sold to a company with a growing network of child-care facilities.

Three Red Deer daycare centres have been sold to a company with a growing network of child-care facilities.

Tiny Treasures Daycare Centre’s operations at No. 4 Ellenwood Dr., 5432 Kerry Wood Dr. and 86 Osler Dr. were among six Alberta daycares purchased by Edleun Group (TSX-V: EDU). The others are in Edmonton and Calgary.

Tiny Treasures was owned by Wendy and Ryan Hansen, who acquired the first of the three daycares 11 years ago and the last about six years ago. The facilities are licensed for a total of 151 children.

The Hansens will continue to own and operate the Kids in Harmony store, which carries a broad range of teaching materials, games and other resources.

“We really enjoyed our time,” said Wendy Hansen of the years she and her husband ran Tiny Treasures. But, she added, they wanted to spend more time with their own children, who are now six, eight and nine.

“They were raised in daycare.”

A news release issued by Edleun said it paid $7.1 million for the six daycares, which have a combined 467 licensed spaces. It now has 17 daycare centres, all in Alberta, with 1,568 spaces.

Edleun, which is based in Calgary, acquired the 11 other 11 daycares in May. Company CEO Leslie Wulf said further expansion is likely.

“Edleun has identified a considerable number of child care centres across Canada that fit its acquisition and improvement program criteria,” he said.

“We are also actively pursuing development plans for new construction of ‘state-of-the-art’ child-care centres in a number of Calgary and Edmonton residential communities where there are currently no child-care facilities, to provide residents with both quality and choice.”

The Edleun release said all of its centres will “undergo a comprehensive remodelling and upgrading process, which includes the implementation of an educational curriculum and nutritious meal programs.” It added that work is expected to wrap up in the third quarter of 2010.

Hansen said she and Ryan were impressed with Edleun’s commitment to quality and safety.

“I definitely think that this company can take the daycares to the next level.”

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