Our Team at Leura Child Care Centre & Preschool

A child’s brain is a fire to be ignited, not a pot to be filled
– John Locke, English philosopher and physician


Our team

Preschool room

Lisa Rickard, Educational leader

Working with your child and your family is my passion and love. I adore creating warm, nurturing and natural child care environments. Creative and alive learning environments develop your child and enhance your family’s wellbeing.

Your Blue Mountains community is ours too and, along with our 4 children, my husband and I treasure being here. Several years ago, we fell in love with what is now our beautiful child care site in Leura. It reminded me of the first Child Care Centre I built and directed for 8 years on Sydney’s Northern Beaches at Bilgola Plateau 28 years ago. This article in Practical Parenting covered my child care journey.

Like our Centre at Bilgola Plateau, the site here in Leura has enormous space, bountiful nature and wonderful trees for your child’s enjoyment. Our renovated building is one of Leura’s old school halls, now restored into a spacious home away from home for your child and family.

Your child will be taught and cared for by my team, with years’ of experience between them. Along with my Diploma in Children’s Services, I have almost completed my Bachelor of Teaching, Early Childhood at the University of New England.

Way back in 1997 I wrote the very popular “My Kindy” book, to help parents and children in Australia settle into child care. With real life photos of children going through a typical day in a childcare centre, “My Kindy” guides you and your child through the daily routine in their child care environment. Upon enrolment in Leura Child Care Centre, you will receive a free copy.

My Kindy Book by Lisa RickardOur family-owned and operated Leura Child Care Centre now looks forward to caring for your child and warmly welcoming your family.

Valerie Dukes

Diploma in Children’s Services. Just started studying her Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood (0-5 years).

Valerie has 3 grandchildren and counting! She has 19 years’ experience in centre-based care and a deep understanding of how children learn. She expresses this through a busy program that includes gardening, cooking, art and outdoor play. Val is a wonderful support for our parents and carers.

Lauren Vought

Certificate 3 Children’s Services Educator

Lauren brings vibrance, energy and extensive centre experience to the Pre-school Room. Her love of theatre and music will be a wonderful asset to our programme. She is very excited about creating a ready-for-school programme for our pre-schoolers!

Sue Gorjan

Sue Gorjan

Bachelor of Teaching: Early Childhood (0-8yrs) – Educational Leader

Sue is returning to childcare after raising two boys and living extensively overseas. She has a love for great children’s literature and a keen interest in language development. Sue won’t tell you this, but she won the University Medal for her Early Childhood studies at Charles Sturt University!

Early Learners Room

Jan Eldred

Jan has joined us as full-time leader of the Early Learners team. She has a Diploma in Child Care Studies and has enjoyed a long and rewarding career in the childcare industry over the past three decades. She is a mum to three adult children and “Nanny Jan” to her grandchildren. “I am strongly motivated to help children become happy, healthy and unique individuals and adhere to the philosophy that children learn through play . I look forward to working with all the families at Leura CCC and helping the children have a wonderful early childhood experience.”

Sarah Bowen

Sarah Bowen

Sarah Bowen is our wonderful full-time trainee with the Early Learners and is currently undertaking her Diploma in Child Services. She comes from a large family with lots of nieces and nephews! Sarah feels she has found her niche in childcare and considers herself “lucky to be a part of your children’s early years learning and development”.

Beth Adams

Certificate 3 in Children’s Services Educator (almost completed Diploma in Children’s Services)

Beth is mum to two boys. She brings warmth, maturity and experience to our Early Learner’s room. She has great ideas for promoting children’s love of learning, imagination and incorporating natural materials into our programme.

We are still in the process of carefully selecting 2 more educators for the 0-2s room.

Cathy Luong

Cathy Luong

Cathy Luong is our regular casual, working across both our rooms. She has a Cert 3 in Child Studies and experience in long day care. Cathy is a hard worker and has a warm, sunny and gentle manner with the children. Not to mention her great cooking! Cathy comes from Vietnam and is currently studying English. We love having Cathy as part of the team!

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