Robert Hughes departs Busy Bees Australia after five years in CEO role
The Sector > Provider > General News > Robert Hughes departs Busy Bees Australia after five years in CEO role

Robert Hughes departs Busy Bees Australia after five years in CEO role

by Jason Roberts

May 19, 2023

Busy Bees Australia CEO Robert Hughes has departed the organisation after nearly five years as Busy Bees Australia Chief Executive Officer, and six years as a senior leader in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in Australia. 


Mr Hughes joined Foundation Early Learning as CEO in March 2017 and fifteen months later, when Foundation had 32 centres and was acquired by UK-based global provider Busy Bees Childcare, he transitioned with the business and assumed the role of CEO of Busy Bees Australia. 


Over the course of the following five years under Mr Hughes’ leadership, Busy Bees Australia grew rapidly with substantial acquisitions and greenfield projects in Australia and New Zealand transforming the business into one of the largest providers of early learning and care in Australasia. 


“Rob was instrumental in establishing and growing the UK-founded Busy Bees brand in Australia and New Zealand,” said Cheryl Creaser, Group Chief Operating Officer.


Globally, Busy Bees has a 40-year history of giving every child the best start in life, and Mr Hughes “delivered and led this vision across Australia and New Zealand to tens of thousands of children and families for which we are grateful,” she added. 


Mr Hughes’ commitment to quality and workforce were also evident during his tenure with Busy Bees Australia with 92 per cent of all centres meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard and Busy Bees being the first large corporate provider to offer a 95 per cent parent discount policy for Busy Bees team members.


More recently, Mr Hughes was appointed alongside Kay Turner, CEO of SDN Children’s Services, to the co-chair position of leading peak body the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA), having spent the previous five years as a director on its board. 


“It has been a tremendous privilege to have been afforded the opportunity to lead and transform an organisation as special as Busy Bees here in Australia over the last five years,” Mr Hughes said. 


“I am grateful for all of the support I have received along the way and wish the Group all the very best for the future.”

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