Giggletree is a boutique company that supports childcare centres Australia wide through the provision of consulting, management and new centre setups. We provide services that help existing centres improve their processes, prepare for assessment & rating visits, and effectively manage their centres. We also assist new centres in preparing their centre for opening from providing input and advice to centre design and layout, preparing forms, policies and procedures, assisting with the licensing process, recruitment of staff, management of parent inquiries and waitlists, and the opening and ongoing management of the centre.
Giggletree provides the following services and products
- Childcare Consulting on meeting National Quality Standards & The Education and Care Services National Regulations.
- Childcare Consulting on effective practices on running childcare centres.
- Business development
- Marketing assistance and brand development
- Project Management for building new centres
- Childcare Management of new and existing centres
- Administration Support
- Qikkids Administration
- The complete childcare package
Our Customers can include:
New or existing child care owners / operators
Child Care professionals including centre directors & educators
Meet the team
Samantha Ahearn - CEO
Samantha founded Giggletree over 10 years ago to provide specialised support to Long Day Care and Outside School Hours Care services. She's a passionate entrepreneur who has been working in the industry for over 24 years.
Early in her career she was instrumental in the founding, development, support and training of QikKids, now known as one of the most widely used software packages for child care services in Australia. Samantha maintains her passion for improving the industry through her current involvement as a board member of Micare Global. She's now contributing to the development of an exciting new platform that will invigorate the industry by streamlining the day to day aspects of childcare management and introduce amazing opportunities for learner and family engagement with the early childhood journey.
Samantha knows pretty much all there is to know about Long Day Care and Outside School Hours Care services... from start-up through to all aspects of day to day and strategic management. She is known for her personal service and support to her Centres – understanding that the difference between a good childcare service and an excellent childcare service is knowing that people are the key. People are complex beings and the 'whole' of the person is supported to allow them to provide the magic to their team, their children and their families. Work/Life balance is not just a remote concept for Samantha – but something that she engenders and supports in her centre managers.
Samantha genuinely inspires her team to be a "community of learners" and lives this through her personal commitment to ongoing learning and development. This is demonstrated with her ongoing 'investment' in her own personal and professional growth ranging from participation in a boot camp with "The Commando" (from The Biggest Loser TV show) through to attendance at the 2015 National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA. Samantha is one of those unusual creatures – her work is her hobby – and she loves her hobby as well as her work! We haven't even mentioned that she's the mother of two gorgeous children. Her formal qualifications include: Advanced Diploma and Diploma in Children's Services, Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and she is currently studying her Diploma in Management.
Matthew Ahearn - Commercial Manager
Matthew is a member of the team who brings with him substantial business experience outside of the childcare industry. He has managed accounts in his previous lives 'from end to end'. Working through from sales and marketing to credit management and debt collection.
Matthew is our resident bookkeeping, accounts and administration processes guru who is excelling at ensuring deadlines are met. His detail mindedness and incredible organisation skills ensure that the range of services that Matthew supports are completed in a timely, thorough and professional manner.
Matthew is continuing to extend upon the range of products and services that Giggletree provides, now providing full systems audits, due diligence and BAS completion services.
Matthew is increasingly awed by the intricacies and challenges of the Early Childhood Development field and is gaining the respect of those he supports through his tenacity and ability to quickly understand and deliver to meet complex business needs. His sense of humour is 'irreverent' to say the least! Get to know Matt and you will better appreciate the name Giggletree!
Deb Callahan - Development Manager
Deb has had extensive experience outside of the childcare field. She has worked for large organisations through to small family owned businesses, largely in Human Resource Management and Retail Management roles. Deb has worked both across Australia, the UK and the United States. She brings, therefore, a pragmatic and experienced eye to her role at Giggletree.
Deb made a conscious career change decision to join the Early Childhood Education field around 5 years ago. Since making this shift, she has worked 'from the ground up', rising through the ranks quickly and gaining experience as an Educator, Lead Educator, Educational Leader, Assistant Director and Centre Director. She's managed Centres up to 150 places and supported curriculum approaches including; mixed aged/family grouping, Reggio inspired and the more traditional 'room based' models. She's guided her team to achieve an 'Exceeding' Rating through the Assessment and Rating process – so has a demonstrated ability to implement the National Quality Framework and all that it entails.
With Giggletree, her current focus is on the development of accurate, effective and easy to follow systems for our Centres. This includes documenting and developing policies, procedures, systems and processes for the day to day management of our Centres and as a core to our e-commerce products.
Deb considers Early Childhood Development to be a profession and is passionate about providing the infrastructure and guidance across the industry, to 'set us up to gain the status that we deserve within the broader community'. She believes that unless we treat ourselves as lifelong learners, it will be impossible to engender that philosophy in the lives of the small people who we are responsible for – she attends conferences and Professional Development as frequently as possible.
Deb passionately believes that 'children are magic and incredible, precious little people. We should consider it a privilege to be given the opportunity to have an influence on the bigger people that they will become'. Anyone who has seen Deb with children, knows that she certainly lives this in her interactions. By the time this introduction is on the website, Deb should be a grandmother to her first grandchild – and I'm sure she'll happily share photos and stories about him when you meet her!
Deb's formal qualifications include; Diploma and Cert III in Early Childhood Development, Certificate III in Management. She is also currently studying her Diploma of Management and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Allicia Goodwin - Development Manager
Allicia has worked in the childcare industry for over 18 years and is extremely passionate about early childhood education. She has worked in varying roles in this sector from Assistant Educator to Area Manager. Allicia's extensive, hands on experience enables her to relate to educators in various positions and roles with great understanding. Drawing on her personal experience, Allicia offers practical and sound advice whilst being supportive and empathetic.
Allicia is currently studying her cert IV in workplace training and assessment, holds her Advanced Diploma in Children's Services and has completed 3 years in Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. As best practice is important to Allicia, she proactively keeps current with theory and practice that influence the early childhood sector, through attending professional development as well as personal research.
Allicia loves a challenge which she tackles both enthusiastically and intuitively. Allicia is particularly motivated and passionate about supporting and facilitating services to grow and progress successfully. Enabling such success is Allicia's ability to create a positive and motivated team culture a strength that enables and influences change when required. Allicia has many talents, one of them is her creative ability to design and create children's play spaces incorporating the children's voice promoting a conducive environment for programming and practice . Allicia is warm, outgoing and extremely committed to early childhood education over and above her strong leadership qualities, her key passion lies with the children, always keeping the child's interest and wellbeing at the forefront.
Nikki Miers– Development Manager
Nikki Miers has worked in the Early Learning sector for the past 25 years. Working for large organisations, Nikki started in educator roles and progressed through to Centre Leadership Roles. Embracing opportunities presented to her, Nikki promoted through the organisation and experienced senior management roles such as Area Manager, Manager - Managed centres, State Regional Manager and National Operations Manager. All roles enabled Nikki to build strong stakeholder relationships and mentor teams to deliver quality practices.
Looking for a change of pace, Nikki moved into a Learning and Development role where she helped build capability and confidence in centre leaders to lead teams who deliver high performing, quality early learning services.
NIkki believes that the centre teams are the foundation to delivering the best outcomes for children and families, therefore her passion lies with supporting, coaching and mentoring leaders and teams to create an environment where families and their children can thrive together.
Nikki holds a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education aswell as a Cert IV in Training & Assessment. Nikki is also a Certified Practioner in Change Management which definitely helps in the ever changing and growing sector of Early Learning.
Angela – Development Manager
Angela joined the Giggletree team in 2017 as a Development Manager. Having been in the industry for 13 years, Angela has experienced a variety of roles in early childhood education including centre based roles, and experience as an authorised officer and as an independent consultant. This progression has allowed her to develop a well-rounded, practical approach to her role and interactions with providers, educators, children and families.
Angela's time as an authorised officer in both NSW and QLD ignited her passion for improving quality, engaging in reflective practice and of course, compliance and the assessment & ratings process. This role provided her with opportunities to participate in innovative project work, conduct collaborative first tier reviews, and provide educational support to a range of services. Angela also found her passion for coaching and mentoring, supporting services in their individual journey in applying the National Quality Framework and improving outcomes for children.
Angela strives to always be approachable, and apply a fair and equitable process to all she does. Angela encourages teams to question their practice, engaging critical and reflective thinking practices. Angela has a strong belief that each service is individually reflective of its children, families, educators, management and local community.
Academically, Angela holds a Bachelor of Teaching and a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, and may easily be tempted into further academic studies along her journey.
Shelley Brannigan-harmer- Administration Assistant / Development Manager
Shelley has joined the team in 2016 with Childcare and Administration background.
Shelley began her career in Early Childhood Field in 2001 as an assistant. To extend her career opportunities she studied and progressed her career working in all aspects of the field from Assistant to Operations Manager. Shelley has worked with larger corporations and enjoyed the smaller organisations.
Shelley is very passionate about early education, and the challenges and opportunities that present itself within the field. Seeing the development and progression of the field to where it is now and where it is still heading and seeing the growth and achievements of so many young children.
Shelley made the decision to start a family of her own a few years ago, and since returning to work has worked within administration teams and supporting Childcare Software for clients out in the field until joining the Giggletree team in November 2016.
Working in Administration that is based around and industry that I am so passionate about gives me the opportunity to work alongside so many wonderful services, and build relationships with them to help support them in their journey. It allows me to be actively involved in the development of the industry and have a perfect balance with my young family.
Ashleigh Crouch - Admin Assistant
Ashleigh has worked in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector for 10 years, starting as an assistant educator and have worked my way right through to a nominated supervisor. I believe the early years of a child's life is the most important and I hold great interest in supporting educators and services to deliver an educational and nurturing learning environment to children, families and the wider community. I hold my Diploma in children's services and my Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management. In May 2018, I joined the Giggletree team as Administration Assistant, as I wanted to explore a new area within the sector. I am currently interested in learning more about administrative roles within the sector, however I also want to continue to grow to be able to further support Educators and centres within the Early Childhood Industry.
Robyn Bloomfield - Development Manager NSW/ACT
Robyn has worked in the early education and care sector for a majority of the last 23 years. She has worked as a teacher, director, TAFE teacher, quality manager and area manager.
Outside of education Robyn has worked in managerial roles within the disability sector supporting families with children with a disability. Her specialisation is on the autism spectrum.
She believes that quality education and care is heavily influenced by the quality of the leadership of a service, so her aim is to provide strong coaching and support of the directors of the services she manages.
Besides having a Bachelor of Teaching (EC), Robyn has continued to study over the years, completing post graduate units in inclusive education and a post graduate Diploma in Management. She is currently re-studying a Certificate iv Training and Assessment.
Stacey Dowling - Accounts/Bookkeeper