Li’l Achievers Early Learning Centre has officially opened its new expansion, which will take it from 79 places to a 127-place centre, making it one of the largest early childhood centres in the north west.

Established six years ago as a 24-place centre, Li’l Achievers has gone from strength to strength, with owners Brooke and Richard Patriquin, director Emma Lyons and the entire team of 32 staff excited by the exponential growth.

The expansion started in July 2021 and was completed in August this year. Despite COVID and wet weather delaying construction, the new rooms are now up and running.
Gunnedah Shire councillors, including mayor Jamie Chaffey, attended the official opening, with Cr Chaffey thanking Mr and Mrs Patriquin for their commitment and investment into Gunnedah. 

“I remember being here for the initial opening of Li’l Achievers and this is a very significant moment for Gunnedah because of the desperate need for childcare facilities,” Cr Chaffey said. 

“On behalf of the Gunnedah community, thank you for your commitment and investment into the town.

“This means that a lot more men and women will be able to go out and fill job vacancies that desperately need to be filled in our community.”
Li’l Achievers director Emma Lyons said the new building has plenty of natural play areas and spaces.

“We have a babies’ room, which houses up to 12 babies with four staff working in it daily,” Ms Lyons said.

“It also has two cot rooms as well, which makes it a lot easier when we have some children who, only sleep for 20 minutes and others who sleep for a lot longer.

“We also have another babies room which will eventually become a room for children from one to two years.

“It can have 16 children at any one point, has five staff in there daily and has two sleeping rooms, which makes life so much easier for the team.

“In the afternoons we have our supper out on the new deck while the parents come and pick up the children, which is really nice as they all get to be in one place together.”

Mr Patriquin said they are hopeful of offering even more services at Li’l Achievers, including before and after school care, and a pick-up and drop-off service to schools.

“Before and after school care is really needed,” he said.

“People will be able to stay at work for longer instead of leaving at 3pm to go and collect their children.

“We also have half an acre of land out the back, which we are developing into a fantastic play area where the children have plenty of space to run around.” 

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