Entrepreneurs

Lawyer turned childcare innovator: Why Andrea Christie-David is bringing early education into the home

Angela Priestley /

Andrea Christie-David is a human rights lawyer and company director determined to offer new high-quality early childhood education options to families.

Having experienced her early parenting life with three children under three, she personally understands some of the difficulties that can occur navigating the childcare system.

For her, it wasn’t just childcare costs that were a challenge (especially with three in care at one time), but also trying to find good quality centres with availability and excellent early learning options.

Now she’s pooling the best aspects of what she discovered into her new business, Leor In-Home Early Learning, which brings quality early childhood education into the home. The costs can be lower than comparative full-day childcare rates (when the Leor daily rate is divided between three children), with kids conveniently cared for and taught in the home environment, or in a co-op arrangement with another family.

Christie-David recently finished up at not-for-profit legal centre Salvos Legal, where she spent a number of years as director of relationships. Having had responsibility for teams nationally, and for overseeing hundreds of pieces of advice to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals every week, she’s using that experience to manage a network of educators across Australia.

“I don’t do anything I’m not passionate about,” she told Women’s Agenda.

“I’ve worked for a not-for-profit for so long where I really believed in what we were doing, and now I really believe in this model too.”

She formally started Leor on July 1, 2018, just as the new childcare changes were coming into effect across Australia.

Leor aims to provide great opportunities for educators — which is one of the reasons why the business was named a finalist in the Employer Initiative of the Year category at this year’s Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.

Leor enables educators who are also parents of children between six weeks and six years to have their children included in a co-op caring arrangement — keeping them connected to the childcare workforce.

Leor also aims to engage early childhood educators who are seeking flexible and part-time work, and to ensure they have access to quality professional development options regardless of their employment status — something Christie-David says she discovered educators are concerned about should they be working casually or part-time.

Leor also pays above the teacher’s award, enabling those who are diploma-qualified to get paid as if they are degree-qualified.

Christie-David is currently building up a team of educators as interest in the business model grows nationally.

The article was originally published on Women’s Agenda. Read the original article.

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Angela Priestley

Angela Priestley is the publisher and founding editor of Women's Agenda. She's an author, journalist and passionate advocate for workplace gender equality and diversity. Her first book is Women Who Seize the Moment.

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