East Ivanhoe Preschool
Presidents Report – Term 2, 2017
July 4th, 2017.
Apologies for the slight delay with my report to conclude term 2. The reason is a positive one! At literally the 11th hour, after months of research, reports, reviews, quotes, more quotes, calling in and on favours, applications, council permits, building permits and more applications, we were finally issued with our building permit late Friday evening granting our much anticipated and long promised office extension as well as the green light to fully replace the damaged outside stairs and upgrade the surrounding play area! It seems ridiculous the amount of background Hoop jumping that was required to ultimately upgrade a building that is not even ours (council property!) and is fully at our cost (will find out in August if our grant application has been approved to subsidise cost) but regardless, I have no doubt the combined effort by so many involved will be worth it when our kids get to enjoy a superior outdoor play area and our teachers finally get an adequate working space to facilitate their needs. There are many people to thank and I certainly will recognise all individuals properly in due course but for now, I would like to just make mention of our extremely patient local builder and past family of our kinder, Tim Redin (Eave Pty. Ltd.) who I have practically stalked and hounded the last few weeks to ensure we could get this job completed during the holidays. Not only has he been incredibly patient but due to his association with the community and kinder, has gone above and beyond to make it happen in a short time frame so a massive thank you – cannot wait to see the results at the start of term 3!
I mentioned in my last report that the Government have changed guidelines regarding Cluster Management/Early Years Management from this year, allowing a year’s transition period. While our kindergarten in its long and respected history has always been an Independent, incorporated, non-for-profit entity, it has since 2003 engaged the services of an outside ‘Cluster Management’/’Early Years Management’ company to assist the committee with the running of the kinder, primarily holding the “licence”, managing and supporting staff and being responsible for all legal obligations and requirements – in other words, a vital addition to the safe and successful running of our kindergarten. Effective from 2018, the Government will require kindergartens to be either fully self-managed (yet they strongly discourage this option due to immense responsibility this would place on an ever transient committee) or fully managed by an Early Years Management company (EYM). This has put a significant responsibility on our current committee to ensure all research and due diligence is done when selecting the most suitable EYM Company available to us.
We immediately made it our priority to keep our much respected staff involved and included in this process with transparency being a priority. We established a sub-committee to ensure we perused every avenue and option available to us as a kinder to ensure when we make a decision as to what’s the best way forward based on these new Government legislations, it will be supported by lots of research, time invested in process and communication. Both the staff and committee in general felt that self-management was not a preference or even viable option based on immense legal responsibility of being a fully self-managed entity – the risk for our children, our staff and the new “licence holder” (likely incoming Committee President) was simply deemed too greatso after reviewing this in great detail, our focus has become about sourcing an EYM company that allows us to retain our corporation status (Independence) and whose values and vision are aligned with ours.
We have had multiple interviews and appointments and while the final decision has not been made, we are very confident in our progress with an intention of engaging the services of a new EYM company by the end of term 3, enabling a smooth transition period before we end our tenor as the 2017 committee. I would like to take the opportunity to specifically thank the sub-committee that was formed to dedicate additional time and resources into researching the most suitable alternative to ‘cluster management’. This committee is represented by myself, our VP (Stewart Oldmeadow), our Treasurer (Jo Pearce), our fellow committee member (Emily Simkiss – who has really driven this sub-committee) and our staff representative (Liz Lynch). I don’t think there is a parent I know in this day and age that is not chronically “time poor” yet everyone on our subcommittee put their hand up to provide extra assistance with the process demonstrating not only the amazing community we are part of but how much this kinder means to us all, whether we teach at it, are parents in it or actually attended it once ourselves, like both Stewart and Emily! Let me confidentially reassure you, all time and effort is being taken to find the best outcome for our kinder, one which will always include a committee/Parental Advisory Group, ensuring we retain a voice and a role to play.
I would like to conclude by thanking all our committee in general for their continued efforts and commitments in their individual roles from fundraising to grant applications to enrolment liaisons to communications to name a few. I make no apologies in acknowledging I really had no idea what I was undertaking in my role as “President” this year, just recognised someone had to do it or we risked a lock in at our AGM! However, the opportunity to work with such a friendly and genuinely invested staff along with an incredible bunch of people making up our full committee has really made this role in general (taking note of building applications and council hoop jumping!!) a joy!! Thankyou everyone for your continued effort and time.
I wish everyone a fabulous term break and safe travels if you are going away. If anyone would like more information regarding EYM, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on 0438847787 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, while I have no doubt Tim and his team will do amazing things over the next two weeks, please be patient and understanding if all is not quite “perfect” by Monday 17th – I can promise you though that it will be safe and very close to if not quite perfect.