About Us

Children are the heart of Guardian. Our people are the soul.

Founded in 2004 with 28 managed Centres, Guardian Childcare and Education has grown to more than 120 owned Centres across Australia. We are a collection, all united under the one vision: To deliver the highest quality of childcare and early learning to Australian families.

Guardian was initially created to provide day-to-day management of privately-owned childcare Centres. But in 2006 the focus shifted to owning and managing our own – allowing us to merge our experience of childcare management with our unique Curriculum expertise. To form a truly holistic childcare experience for families, children and educators.

Growth is at our heart. Growing the minds of our children and the careers of our people. Growing as a business to improve the quality of education and care that we provide. And steadily growing the number of services we own and operate by acquiring and opening more of Australia’s best early learning Centres. We do this based on the needs of local families and communities for high-quality childcare that focuses not just on the care, but also on the importance of early education. It’s all in the name: Guardian Childcare and Education.

With 92% of our Centres meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard, we are proud of our steadfast commitment to the highest-quality education and care. Our Centre Teams partner with our families to deliver the world-class Curriculum – based on the renowned Reggio framework – that has made us a leader in the childcare sector.

We pride ourselves on being a place that families can trust, where our people thrive, and children grow.


Everything we do is underpinned by the Guardian values:

  1. Passion for the role we play in the lives of our children, families and people
  2. Respect for open and honest interactions to guide our decisions and actions
  3. Excellence in all that we do
  4. Partnership with our families to deliver high-quality outcomes for our children
  5. Recognition and celebration for the efforts and achievements of our children and teams

We bring this all together through our commitment to Team Spirit and Leadership.


Our Leadership Team

Guardian’s leadership team is made up of leading early childhood professionals with many years of combined experience in the sector and other industries. This team guides the business and our centres.

Headshot of Warren Bright

Warren Bright

Chief Executive Officer
“We have assembled a team with an enormous amount of experience and talent who are passionate about having a positive impact on the educational journey of our children and the lives of Australian families.”

Warren is a successful senior executive in the early learning sector following six years as COO at Goodstart Early Learning. He has over 15-years’ experience as a senior executive with News Corporation, REA Group, APN and McKinsey and Company. He is a passionate advocate for the importance of early learning and ensuring all children have access to high quality education and care.

Richard Burrows

Chief Financial Officer
“I am constantly in awe of the dedication and passion I see from the people who work for Guardian, the purpose we have as an organisation, and the positive impact we have on the lives of families and on children’s development.”

Richard joined Guardian in early 2016 after spending a decade in private equity, including three years working with Guardian during its first round of private investment. Richard previously worked with EY in Sydney and in the UK.

Kathryn Waugh

Head of Quality and Curriculum
“I had one requirement, I needed to find an organisation that was uncompromising in their early childhood quality standards. Research into early years teaching and learning has evolved and it was important that I joined an organisation that was brave and would encourage innovative thinking.”

Kathryn joined Guardian in 2014 and has more than 25 years early childhood experience in Australia and the UK. Her experience, knowledge and passion drive the development of Guardian’s quality, curriculum, sustainability and professional learning initiatives – a cornerstone of what makes Guardian stand out from the crowd.

Louisa Rinaldi headshot

Louisa Rinaldi

Chief People and Culture Officer
“Working to help families and children is incredibly humbling. Knowing we have such a purpose in their lives and seeing the work our educators do to impact and enhance the lives of children and families is incredibly rewarding.”

Louisa has worked in HR for over 18 years. At Guardian she drives initiatives to support employee engagement, retention and professional development. She is passionate about ensuring Guardian is a great place to work for all, knowing that this delivers even better outcomes for children and families.

Sharon Whiteman

Chief Network Officer
“The first five years are critical in a child’s life, what we also need to remember is the first five years can be extremely hard on new families. Our role is to support and guide families and children through that time.”

Sharon has spent the last 13 years in senior executive roles in the childcare sector and is a passionate advocate for childcare professionals and the important work they do. Her role at Guardian is about uniting and aligning the centres under the one mission to provide the highest quality care and education outcomes for children.

Julia Wilson

Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer
“The entire team at Guardian are so incredibly focused on the children and the community and how we can best enrich their lives. It is both motivating and satisfying to be part of a business that is truly driven by the greater good in all that they do.”

Julia has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, spanning multiple industries including retail, telecommunications and tourism. She leads a team of data driven marketers, designers and customer relationship managers. She is passionate about creating an awesome customer experience for Guardian families, every time they walk into a Centre or interact with the team.

James McCarthy

Head of Strategy and Planning
“I wake every morning excited by the opportunity to have positive impact on the lives of those families who entrust Guardian to not only care for their children, but to show their children the joy and wonder of learning.”

James was self-employed for 30 years as a business coach and consultant, working with business owners, boards and executive teams to create fresh thinking that supports sustainable growth and ongoing innovation. He bid farewell to self-employment when he joined Guardian in 2019 after being impressed by the vision and leadership of the business.