Pipsqueaks early learning centre

Specialist childcare provider to take over Pipsqueaks

Lara early learning centre Pipsqueaks is set to become a Jenny’s Early Learning Centre, with genU selling its only childcare service to the specialist regional provider.

genU announced the sale to staff, families, and the Lara community this week.

The sale follows a genU Executive and Board decision to narrow and deepen our strategic growth focus within our core business of disability, ageing, training, and employment services. Expansion of our single childcare service is not part of this national growth strategy.

In keeping with good business practice, genU has reviewed its operations and structure to identify opportunities to better align functional areas and the work we do. This review process highlighted that Pipsqueaks’ future best sits within a specialist childcare organisation rather than as a standalone childcare service within genU.

In seeking a buyer, genU looked for a specialist provider that would not only bring early learning centre expertise, but who also shares our community focus and commitment to high-quality services.

Most existing staff have been invited to stay on with Jenny’s. There will be changes to the management team impacting the current Centre Director and Administration and Wellbeing Officer roles.

Current families have been assured their place at the centre is secure, and the waiting list for openings will carry over to Jenny’s.

All existing services and programs will continue with Jenny’s. This includes Victorian Government-accredited 3- and 4-year-old kinder, and long day care programs. This also includes existing community outreach programs such as visits to local primary schools and residents at nearby St Laurence Park.

genU CEO Clare Amies said the decision to sell the successful Pipsqueaks Early Learning Centre after three-and-a half years in operation was a strategic business decision that in no way reflected on the excellence and dedication of Pipsqueaks’ staff.

“Since its opening in 2020, Pipsqueaks has grown to become an early learning centre with strong enrolments and a reputation for high quality care, and much of this is due to the commitment and care of staff,” Clare said.

“We are thrilled to have found a buyer with the specialist early learning knowledge and experience to look after the children, families and staff, and lead the centre into a long and bright future.”

Jenny’s is a family-owned business that began in Bendigo in 2008. It has grown to include seven centres across regional Victoria.

Jenny’s Managing Director Darren Reid said his team was looking forward to getting to know staff and families throughout the transition period.

“We will be running a series of drop-in information sessions to make sure we can meet people and answer any questions they might have,” Darren said.

“Jenny’s is also deeply committed to being part of the local communities we work in and will be keeping, strengthening and expanding the centre’s connections within the Lara community.”

Pipsqueaks will officially become Jenny’s Early Learning Centre Lara on Monday 20 November 2023.