KU Annual Report 2007 - Page 4

Chairman’s report Penny Le Couteur Chairman, Board of Directors 2007 Highlights Within KU 2007 was a year of major change and during that time early childhood education and care was placed at the forefront of federal government policy. In May, Antoinette le Marchant retired after 13 years as CEO of KU. Antoinette was regarded with enormous respect by the early childhood education and care community. She introduced a wide range of improvements to KU’s operations during her tenure, including the expansion of corporate long day care centres and family programs, and improved working conditions for staff. On behalf of the Board I would like to acknowledge Antoinette’s many achievements over her long and distinguished service with KU. In June we welcomed Sheridan Dudley as our new CEO. Sheridan brings to KU extensive experience as a CEO in the not-for-profit sector and local government, and senior executive experience in the public sector including community and children’s services. KU opened a new Joey Club for Qantas in Melbourne in January with Air Services Australia joining the partnership in November. There are plans for a new Joey Club in Brisbane in 2008. Negotiations regarding a new work-based child care centre are well advanced and preparations are under way to transfer 2 community-based child care centres to KU in 2008. Board Activities In July the Board commenced work on developing a clear strategic direction for KU to guide our future planning. Following an organisational review by the CEO, the Board and KU’s Senior Management Team engaged in a strategic planning process. This innovative, outcomes-focused process enabled us to clearly articulate a Five- Year Vision for KU and identify our Key Objectives and Strategies to achieve it. In August the Draft Plan was sent to all KU centres and programs for consultation. It was gratifying to see the active engagement in this process both by centres and individual staff. Many of their comments and suggestions considerably strengthened the Plan. In September 2007 the Board adopted the Strategic Plan: Making “the KU Difference” and I formally launched it at the Annual Seminar in October. At the same time, the Board undertook a review of the purpose, terms of reference and membership of Board Committees. This resulted in clarifying their status as governance or advisory committees, terms of reference more clearly aligned to our strategic direction and the establishment of a separate Audit and Risk Committee to complement the Finance Committee. Board Committees have continued to play an active and important role in the governance of KU during the year. The Strategic Plan process clearly identified the need for the KU brand to achieve greater recognition as “the best there is” in early childhood education and care and the Marketing Committee recommended to the Board that greater emphasis be placed on marketing. Additionally it was recommended that a rebranding project be undertaken. The Board accepted these recommendations and Principals was appointed to undertake the rebranding project which commenced in November. Interviews, workshops and focus 4 KU’s 112 Annual Report 2007 th groups were held with the Board, senior management, a broad cross-section of Central Office and centre-based staff, parents, government officials, partners and stakeholders. The Board is committed to a major focus on marketing and has approved funds in the 2008 Budget for the establishment of a Marketing Department and the implementation of the new brand. The Committee also discussed specific marketing support for centres identified with lower than anticipated utilisation and as a result a Marketing Co-ordinator was employed in September 2007. The Strategic Plan also identified the need for KU to continue to increase the quality of its early childhood education and care services. The Education Committee oversighted the development and publication of two major new KU resources: Guiding Children’s Behaviour, and Framework for Curriculum Planning and Documentation of Children’s Learning. Work continued on identifying the criteria for quality in KU services with a goal of making recommendations to the Board on key areas to be addressed early in 2008. The Finance Committee continued to oversight KU’s financial performance and it was again pleasing to see that overall KU’s utilisation and performance against budget continued to be satisfactory. A number of improvements were made to the Budget process with a formal Budget Strategy being d WfVVB@&V6VFVBFFR&&BF&Vf&R66FW&FbFR#'VFvWBF22V&VBRFgVǒƖvG0'VFvWBvFFR7G&FVv2#r66r6R"6vW2vfW&VBƖ7&FB7FFR@fVFW&WfVख5rFR7FFRVV7F6rFP&WGW&bFR&"vfW&VB@G26FVVB6֗FVBFFRW@7FvW2bFR&W66fW7FVB