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Californian’s now facing a pair of wildfires; Also on the Tuesday rundown: Higher education in New Jersey: a racial split; plus food resources still available despite the “public charge” proposal.

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Chicago Rally Today: Profits Shouldn’t be Child’s Play

July 31, 2008

Chicago, IL – Profits shouldn't be "child's play," according to parents and childcare experts who are rallying in Chicago today. They're protesting an investment firm buyout of Bright Horizons, one the country's largest childcare providers.

Faith Arnold, a childcare provider in the Chicago area, explains the protestors want Bain Capital Partners to commit to high quality, not just corporate profits, with their decision to purchase the chain.

"We want to make sure that our children are first priority. Profit is not our concern; our concern is our children."

Arnold says research shows when investment companies take over, there are more layoffs and more location closings than before the deal, and information about changes can be hard to come by.

"When you start making your changes, bring us in on this. We're the ones that do the work. We're the ones that know this industry better than anyone."

Bright Horizons owns dozens of centers in Illinois, and more than 600 nationwide. The companies have promoted the buyout as part of a long-term plan to expand childcare. The local Service Employees International Union is organizing the Chicago protest, to take place in front of Bain's downtown office on Michigan Avenue. Similar actions are being planned around the country.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IL