Mission Statement & Vision

i9 Education is a wholly Australian-owned family business; its origins can be traced back to Melbourne in 2005 when founders Ahsan and Ayesha noticed a gap in the market for wholesome and responsive education solution for Children and Adults alike.

i9 Education is the organisation behind some of the leading companies servicing the early childhood and adult education industries. i9 Education is fundamentally engrossed in the education and care sector by constantly researching proven and tested modern learning techniques and methods.
i9 Education’s unique approach to education, coupled with our strong and diversified customer network, underpin our position as a market leading supplier of education.

i9 Education was founded to fill a void felt by the founding members, being parents themselves and other parents seeking a facility where the nurturing environment provided for their children is loving, educative and adherent towards each child’s personal requirements to ensure they grow up as free thinking, conscious individuals who make positive contribution towards our society.

Our commitment extends towards our adult education sector as its values resonates with our philosophy of striving to provide an enriching educational experience unlike anything that’s currently unavailable in the market. Primarily targeting niche areas in childcare education and specialised professional fields.
i9 Education has facilities throughout Victoria and are expanding at a rapid rate due to our unique and wholesome approach to education and care.

Corporate Philosophy


  1. Our team, Our family (Employee)
    a. We believe our team is part of our extended family. With them we share the growth, meet challenges & rejoice at the success we achieve together.
  2. Children are our future (Care)
    a. Children are capable learners, endowed with tremendous potentials & leaders of the future. We are committed to provide them every possible opportunity to unlock and unleash divine capabilities.
  3. We call Australia home (Community)
    Australia is a living haven and we are dedicated to build, grow and prosper alongside the local and international community.
  4. Endeavour to Deliver (Quality)
    Quality is not a destination; it is a journey and with every passing moment it is unwrapping its challenges and potentials for improvements.


i9 Education is a physical embodiment of a dream, a vision of providing a childcare facility where the nurturing environment from the child’s home is carried over into their early learning education experience. It is then perfected in care by constructing the childcare ideology that is embedded in all our employees which live and breathe a nurturing and customised learning environment. We enable the young eager minds attending our childcares centres to broaden their horizons exponentially, unlocking their hidden talents to have the best chance of reaching their full potential. In view of our vision, we have dedicated all our efforts and our industry leading staff ensures our vision is translated in providing the best possible early childhood education to help the kids be a positive and productive part of the community in future.

Much like our early childhood centres the idea for an adult learning environment was developed for teaching professional courses which embodies the same nurturing environment. EduNex is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) based in Caroline Springs, where we are Serious About Your Dreams and provide an unmatched learning experience with our highly trained staff that are not only industry qualified, but industry tested as well; with decades of experience under their belt.

We deliver our courses using a blended mode of delivery comprising of trainer led face-to-face teaching in a classroom setting, combined with hands-on skills training, self-paced study and workplace visits.

I9 Education was founded under the leadership of CEO, Mr. Ahsan M Zafar, founding director of Al-Ishraaq, masterfully leading it for two decades before incorporating i9 Education. At i9, he has refined the vision and redefined the standard of a quality built childcare centre in Australia with his centres leading the market across Melbourne. As a family run business, he understands the value and the huge role a childcare centre plays in defining the formative years of a person’s life. The occupancy results of the childcare centres only reaffirm his successes in the business world, with all the centres running at over a ninety percent occupancy with new centres opening more rapidly than ever.

Journey of i9 Education

i9 Education, more widely recognised by its sub-brands (EduNex, The Hive, Community Kids Haven, The Fern) has emerged as a paramount industry leader in the early childhood care and education market.


The idea to provide the community with a childcare centre where the environment resonates with what a child experiences at home. This idea was born out of a necessity after finding a lack of an ethical and caring childcare learning centre in Melbourne.


After many failed attempts in locating an early learning centre where the staff would reciprocate the love and attention felt at home in their day care environment. The owners of i9 Education, being full time working parents, it became a constant burden to find new early childhood learning centres and having to relocate their children multiple times. The lack of a proper enriching and educational curriculum at the past centres became apparent of the gap in the market. It was at this point in time, the owners became very active in locating centres to buy or start researching buying a location to bring their vision to life.


A childcare centre in Melton South, running at low occupancy, experiencing financial losses and had developed a bad reputation in the area was deserted by its director overnight. Al-Ishraaq (i9 Education) was given an opportunity to work on the arduous task to recuperate it. The major breakthrough was achieved when the i9 Education were able to turn it around and increase its occupancy to more than 90% in just under two years.


Kingsville was an old ABC site, deserted and shut off. i9 Education took on the challenge and turned the whole place around in record time and turned it in to a successful business model.


Greensborough was another old ABC centre, abandoned in wake of their bankruptcy mayhem. It was taken over by our establishment and remodelled and set up for business once again. An overwhelming response by the local community saw it running at full occupancy in a very short time period.


Hillside was another struggling venture operated by a banker with no experience in childcare. Our company was given the offer to relieve it of its current management. i9 education’s highly professional team took over, turned the early learning centre into a profitable business, serving the parents with a sweet haven for the children to enjoy whilst serving its current customers.


Carrum Downs was another challenge, seeing it through determinedly, ensured i9 education garnered respect as both a seasoned and visionary childcare learning centre brand. The old ELC was not only abandoned but the building was also brutally vandalised. It resumed public operation under our command in under a year, running at occupancy levels greater than ninety percent.


To serve the families of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Knoxfield was opened to allow parents to be at complete peace and focus at their work, knowing their loved ones are being taken care of in an environment surpassing the attention even provided at home.


In line with our morals and ethics we decided instead of demolishing an ex-heritage site in Geelong, to renovate it to incorporate all the necessities of a modern childcare centre whilst keeping true to its original roots, architecture and legacy. The centre was awarded the best Hive ELC in the latter part of the decade.


Original branding was very colourful and juvenile inspired. However, brand strategist incorporated more trust, simplicity and contemporary approach in rebranding.


Beautifully designed and purpose built centre left community in shock and heart broken when previous operator decided to shut their operations abruptly. We came in and held the falling flag and started regaining confidence of the community by offering quality service at a cost effective fee.


Fairfield and Sunshine locations opened with the same amount of professional care and kindness for the eager young minds.

2020+ – THE FERN

A few projects to name that are in the pipeline, include opening of more than five new centres in Ashburton, Keilor Park, Redan, Rowville and Hampton Park.
Al-Ishraaq Pty Ltd was incorporated in May 2010 with Mr. Ahsan M Zafar as its sole director with the vision to establish a series of childcare centres where the children attending would have the best chance of reaching their full potential through our dedicated guided efforts in caring for the children to enable them to become a positive and productive part of community in the future.

Al-Ishraaq Pty Ltd acquired its first centre, Dickory Dock Kids Child Care Centre in Sept. 2010 in Melton South and turned the struggling centre with less than 50% occupancy to a childcare centre with almost 90% occupancy in under a year. From there on, a number of closed or centres seriously lacking in performances were acquired and turned around into highly profitable and sustainable development projects spread all across Melbourne. Al-Ishraaq evolved into i9 education over the decade and today our wide range of centres operate all across Melbourne offering a place of nurturing and growth for the young kids in a safe and educative environment that the children and their parents have come to love and adore.

Management Team


Ahsan Zafar

Ahsan is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of managerial experience with multifarious exposure of education, retail, telecommunication and consulting industries.

He is highly organized, pro-active, and exceptionally quick learner with established analytical skills. Ahsan possesses a natural ability of paying attention to details, problem solving and leadership.

Director Operations 

Ayesha Ahsan

Ayesha Ahsan is the Co-Founder & Director of Operations at i9 Education and is a mum of three beautiful kids. Ayesha has 17 years of hands on experience in Early Childhood Sector. Following her Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Ayesha completed her MBA majoring in Marketing and Finance. Ayesha’s qualifications and experiences enabled her to ensure effective running of their childcare and training Organisation operations.

As a professional Early Childhood Education (ECE) leader, Ayesha has strong skills in promoting positive outcomes by creating an environment and culture built on mutual respect and trust. Ayesha believes in Leading and inspiring others to challenge themselves and understands growth is key to business success and a positive staff morale will ensure that. She personally thrives on learning, challenges and personal growth opportunities. She is motivated to develop and support centres to achieve outstanding outcomes within inspiring environments whilst exceeding the quality expectations. All aspects of Early childhood regulation and Frameworks are thoroughly understood by her. Ayesha endeavours to offer educational success through to business success.

Ayesha believes as a company, they are committed to advocate for child protection, safety and wellbeing. The safety and well-being of children will always be i9 Educations our priority and we believe that all of our team members embrace this shared commitment.

Operations Manager 

Rebecca Harding

Rebecca started her journey in Early Education in August 2004 as an untrained assistant. Rebecca then completed her Certificate 3 in Children’s Services in 2005, her Diploma in Children’s Services in 2005 and her Advanced Diploma in 2006 while working in various roles with children aged 6 weeks until 6 years.

In 2007 Rebecca commenced her role as Centre Director until 2014 when Rebecca was appointed as an Area Manager. Rebecca completed her Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management and her Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management in 2016. Rebecca joined i9 Education in June 2017 as the Area Manager before moving up as the Operations Manager role in July 2019.

Rebecca is married with 2 children (Jacob 18 and Aimee 16) and is passionate about providing quality Early Education and Care for all children and looks forward to helping guide and support our Educators through professional development opportunities, understanding of the National Quality Standards and guiding our curriculum into the future.

Area Manger 

Nicole Parsons

Nicole commenced her early childhood education career by completing the Diploma of Community Services (Child Care) 1997-1999.  Nicole started her career by working as a room leader at various childcare centres around Melbourne before moving overseas and spending 18 months in hospitality manager roles.  On returning to Australia in 2003 Nicole commenced working as a Room Leader in Brisbane, Queensland and then moving into a Director role at the Centre.

In 2008 Nicole and her family returned to Melbourne to take up a Director position in a newly built centre, where she remained until commencing maternity leave at the end of 2009.  Nicole’s journey started in 2011 with i9 Education as a Director at Dickory Dock Kids Childcare Centre in Melton and remained in this position before being promoted to an Area Manager in 2013.

Nicole returned to Melton to act as the centre Director in 2017 to aid its progression and improve the performance and its occupancy, before returning to i9 Education’s head office as an Administration Coordinator in 2018.  2019 saw Nicole resuming her responsibilities as an Area Manager to facilitate the company’s operations.

Nicole is married with 2 children, Cooper 15 and Charli 9.  Nicole has a passion for the early childhood sector, in which she has seen many changes during the last 20 years and looks forward to being part of the industry as it continues to move forward and provide children and families with opportunities for quality early childhood care.

Assistant Area Manager 

Jem Aldemir: Area Coordinator

Jem first started her journey at i9 education as a Centre Director in one of the Centres located in Hillside holding an Advance Diploma in Early Childhood Care. After many years of dedication and running and growing Hillside into the success Centre it is today Jem was promoted to the Area Educational Leader. After helping assist the Centres and their Directors in development of the educational programs in the Centres throughout the businesses Jem was promoted to the Area Coordinator.

Over the past few years, Jem has helped the business develop internally and systematically by continuously improving the quality of education and play spaces provided for the children to develop, learn, and grow as individuals and as a group. Jem wishes to continue providing children with enriching opportunities which begin early in their educational journey.

Account Manager 

Dani (Yordanka) Zlateva

Dani has thirty-three years of experience in the Financial Services sector and has a Masters Degree in Accounting and Finance along with a Master’s Degree in Finance Education. Dani’s two bachelor’s Degrees are in Economics and Finance.

Dani has been in Australia for the past 7 years, originating from Bulgaria. The highlight of her career was her time as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of one of the largest banks in Bulgaria and was a member of the Board of Directors. Under her leadership, the bank was able to sign a contract with the World Bank out of 22 other banks in Bulgaria. She worked extensively with the World Bank and had exposure to worldwide talent.

Following her time in the bank, Dani led an Insurance Company. Dani managed to improve the branch performance significantly as visible through its ranking, taking it from 41st place (out of total of 42 branches) to 3rd within 5 years.

In Australia, Dani started working in a Tax Office and for the past 5 years worked for i9 Education dealing with all matters related to Accounting. In addition to the standard responsibilities that come with Dani’s role, she always strives to be pro-active and provides the necessary information and analysis for an informed decision making process. Dani stays on top of all deadlines and to ensure i9 Education has a proper working relationship with the financial institutions such as the ATO, SRO etc.

Dani strongly believes in the firm’s leadership team and sees a very bright future for i9 Education. Dani anticipates that in 5 years we i9 Education will grow to have 3 times more childcare centres across Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra employing more than thousand educators.

Dani is deeply committed to i9 Education and is looking forward to continuing to contribute to its success.