Mel & Mike Comerford – Owners

As the proud new owners of Arden Early Learning and teachers themselves Mel and Mike are highly passionate about early childhood and ensuring each child has a bright and nurtured early childhood experience.

Mel is the Director and Founder of Astute Early Years Specialists, a boutique early childhood management consultancy in Brisbane. Mel is also an experienced early childhood professional with more than 25 years working in the early years sector and is passionate about and dedicated to the quality of education & care for all children.

Mel has spent 10 years in senior executive roles with Goodstart Early Learning and C&K Association Limited, both large not-for-profit early childhood organisations that together deliver exceptional early childhood education and care to more than 100,000 children nationally.

Mike has been a high school teacher for over 30 years. He has worked in various schools throughout Brisbane and most recently teaches manual arts at Forest State High. When Mike is not teaching, he is a dedicated cyclist and very talented handyman. Mike has spent many years in early childhood centres helping with odd-jobs and handyman tasks.

Mel & Mike are parents to four beautiful children and together and are both very excited to be the new owners of Arden Early Learning.

Our Leadership Team

Pictured from left to right: Kylie, Emma, Jess, Sam.

Arden Early Learning’s Centre Co-Manager Emma is currently her 13th year in the Early Childhood Sector. She hold a dual Bachelor of Education in Primary and Early Childhood. After spending time in both settings, Emma decided pretty quickly that Early Childhood was her passion.

Over her career she has had the opportunity to work across every age group and took on a leadership role very early in her career, working her way up to Director 6 years ago.

She has just moved to the coast after spending 5.5 years in a beautiful and unique little outback community in North West Queensland.

Emma values and seeks those special moments, sometimes small and sometimes big, where a child or one of her team members has those ‘aha’ moments – when they realise what they are capable of, or when they make a connection or a leap, all on their own. She believes her role is to create an environment where the children and the entire Arden team are given the freedom and support to pursue their ideas, thoughts and wonderings.

She enjoys incorporating nature, positive risk taking, questioning, loose and found parts and music in her days! Childhood is so fleeting and Emma enjoys slowing down and appreciating and celebrating the little moments.

Arden Early Learning’s Centre Co-Manager Jess has worked in Early Childhood for over 20 years. Starting as a casual Educator, she quickly discovered Early Childhood Education was going to be her chosen profession.

Throughout her career Jess has had the privilege of working in many roles giving her hands-on experience, knowledge and understanding of all facets of childcare from being an Educator in the nursery, to directing and managing a service.

Early learning and development is a beautiful stage of life and supporting children during these early years is Jess’s passion.

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