A SOUTH-WEST welfare agency is a step closer to saving an embattled south-west child-care centre.Warrnambool-based Community Connections is one of about 400 parties which have been invited to lodge binding offers for ABC Learning Centres deemed unviable under the collapsed child-care giant's business model.The social services agency is finalising a bid for Hamilton's 60-place centre.It has until next Wednesday to make the offer. Community Connections chief executive officer Bruce de Vergier said the agency was keen to turn the centre's flagging fortunes around."We have a long history in Hamilton and really want to make this work," Mr de Vergier said."We are committed to strengthening family and children's services in the town."The Federal Government last December committed up to $34 million to prop up 241 unviable ABC centres until March 31.Mr de Vergier anticipated if Community Connections' bid was successful it would take over the Hamilton centre from April 1.Court-appointed receiver PPB is handling the sale of the 241 centres, which were split in December from 720 profitable centres, which included ones in Warrnambool, Dennington and Portland.Education Minister Julia Gillard asked the receiver to look favourably on offers that would inject diversity into the child-care sector, particularly those from non-profit operators, and groups willing to take on the accrued entitlements of ABC workers.Southern Grampians Shire Mayor Marcus Rentsch hoped Community Connections' bid for Hamilton was successful."It's a bit of a worry the highest bidder will take over but I suppose that's how it works," Cr Rentsch said."The beauty about Community Connections, although it's Warrnambool-based, is that is has a long association with Hamilton. It has an office here and also for a while ran Currawong House here."