The happiness, wellbeing, development and education of your child is always our highest priority.
We’ve worked hard to become an employer of choice in the child care industry. We offer a highly-regarded professional development program and above-award remuneration. We’re proud to say that we attract and retain some of the best educators in the industry. Through strong bonds with familiar and consistent carers, each child has the opportunity to thrive.
Each of our centres is owned and operated by a franchisee, who is qualified and extensively experienced in the child care industry. This unique business model ensures that the operation of each centre is guided by a professional who is committed to providing the highest quality of early childhood education and care. Many of our franchisees have worked with Mother Duck for many years and have helped shape the values of the company.
Our Mother Duck leadership team is passionate and involved, working at a Mother Duck centre every single day.
Karen has been CEO of Mother Duck Child Care since 2010, leading and supporting the enthusiastic team of franchisees and educators. Karen holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and began her career working as an early childhood teacher at a centre in Carindale. When this centre was acquired by Mother Duck Child Care, Karen immediately felt at home. After working as the Early Childhood Teacher at Carindale, Karen went on to become the Franchisee of the Manly centre in 2000.
Karen is passionate about early childhood care, understanding how critical these years are in human development. She’s determined to make a real difference to child care, placing the highest priority on providing the best conditions to enhance children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.
Karen believes that when you support families, you also support the development of children. As a single mother who returned to work when her daughter was seven months old, Karen personally understands the challenges and daily pressures faced by working families.
Dr Deborah Harcourt is the Chief Curriculum Officer at Mother Duck after joining the MD family in 2015 as a consultant, and later Visiting CCO. ‘Dr Deb’ works with and alongside the Educational Leaders, Franchisees and Nominated Supervisors to support and guide high quality early childhood education and practice.
Deborah was the Foundation Professor of Early Childhood at the Australian Catholic University and continues to work with post graduate students. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for the past 30 years in Australia, Singapore (where she was based for 10 years), China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, UAE, UK and Sri Lanka. Beginning her career as a preschool teacher working with 3-5 year old children, she then moved to the tertiary sector where she has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in teacher education, health sciences and within a school of medicine.
Deborah is interested in researching with young children to explore their views and opinions about matters that might concern them. At Mother Duck, she brings a focus to how we might support children in being involved in the everyday life of their centre, and to be active and involved participants in their learning and the learning of others – including their educators!
Founding Mother Duck Child Care in 1990 with his wife Ros, Denis still plays a significant role in the daily operation of the company. He acts as a mentor to the franchisees and educators, maintaining a company culture where staff enjoy maximum job satisfaction and happiness in their roles. Denis firmly believes that if staff are happy in their workplace, then everything else falls into place.
Denis is also the Chief Financial Officer of the group. His primary objective is to ensure that the franchisees operate successful businesses, attending the centres every day to provide advice and support on managing their businesses.
All the operational decisions for Mother Duck Childcare Centres are made by the Mother Duck Management Committee. The Committee is made up of 12 seats, with each seat holding the same vote. There are currently 10 Centres, and each Centre holds one seat, the Board Chairman holds one seat, and the CEO holds one seat.
There is no right of veto on any decisions. The seats held by the Centres are held by the Centre Franchisees who work in the centres as Nominated Supervisors, and also all hold early childhood qualifications with substantial industry experience.