Andrea Christie-David is a human rights lawyer and company director determined to offer new quality early childhood education options to families.
Having experienced her early parenting life with three children under three, she also personally knows some of the difficulties that can occur navigating the childcare system.
For her, it wasn’t just the challenge of childcare costs that she explored (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 as a COO, responsible for the pro bono firm at Salvos Legal. 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 tells 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 1 July 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 startup was named a finalist in the Employer Initiative of the Year category at this year’s Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.
For one, they enable 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.
Secondly, they aim 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.