Cuddle Bugs Kindergarten and Pre-Prep owners Nicole James and Andrea Juillerat have celebrated the 10th anniversary of caring for hundreds of Bundaberg youngsters.
The pair say they are passionate about making sure children as young as two years of age get the best start to life before they head to school.
Nicole said the past 10 years had been a labour of love as she described the history of the Boundary Street building from 2009.
“Andrea and I started the business from scratch – we bought the building when it was offices and a 10-day renovation transformed it into the kindy it is now,” she said.
“Originally it was a church, then it was the Brethren school, then Brett Kleidon had it as offices and we bought it from him.
“It’s amazing to stand here 10 years later. We have been through so much from flooding and ups and downs of business, but we love it.”
Cuddle Bugs Kindergarten grows from small beginnings
“I met Andrea when I was her eldest daughter’s kindy teacher and we sort of clicked and had an idea of owning our own kindy one day and here we are,” Nicole said.
“Two years of research and business plans took place before 2009 and this was the sixth building we had looked at; we were very passionate about getting it right.”
Nicole said looking back, they were always determined to make the business succeed and said there wasn’t only one reason why they had done so.
“We pride ourselves on qualified, experienced educators and Andrea’s daughter Sarah who I taught many years ago is a trainee here now,” she said.
Andrea is also a midwife at the Bundaberg Hospital and has always had a desire to look after children after their birth.
Andrea said she started working with children in 1992 and seeing a smile on the children’s faces made every minute worth it.
“For me it’s the loyalty to the service, and here we have a lot of staff who have been here a long time and that’s important to us,” Andrea said.
Inspiring children to believe at Cuddle Bugs Kindergarten
Looking through albums of memories Nicole said their small start grew with support from others in the Bundaberg Region.
“It’s nice to look back at where we came from,” Nicole said.
Andrea said there were certain people who believed in them at the beginning, and with that support their dream came true.
“We had Tim from Synergy who helped us find this building, and then there was Glen from Westpac Business, he was the one who believed in us and was an inspiration for us,” she said.
“He understood what we were about, he never thought we were just two crazy mums who wanted to start a business, and that was important.
“It’s something we pass on and embed in the children here every day.”