KU Annual Report 2007 - Page 5

Reform Plan (PIRP) through its allocation of $17.6 million viability funding to 539 community based preschools. This additional funding was to assist with operational costs, fee relief, one-off capital improvement and service analysis and business development support. KU continued to be actively involved in a wi de variety of Sta te - ba se d organisations, forums, working parties and Government committees as part of our advocacy work. At the Federal level the change of Government has seen a renewed focus on early childhood education and care with a commitment to fund 15 hours per week of preschool for all 4 year old, building 260 additional centres and introduction of quality standards for accreditation. The focus on early childhood education and care and its importance has been evidenced through the move of this portfolio from Families and Community Services to Education and Training and the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary for Early Education and Care. KU welcomes both these initiatives and looks forward to the implementation of the commitments. KU’s End of Year Results were again pleasing. KU is in a sound financial position with a surplus to budget. The reported surplus after including movements in reserves was $1,764,008 and turnover increased to $63,815,171, an increase of 11% over last year. Preschools performed outstandingly overall. Long day care centres performance improved in the second half of the year to complete the year above budget. However there are still some under performing centres that will be a focus in 2008. Growth in Family and Brokered programs during the year was pleasing and the work-based centres that KU manages for corporate clients contributed to our result with growth being achieved in this area. KU’s investment in managed funds was impacted in the last quarter of the year by significant falls in the share market and whilst the return was still significantly positive, it was below budget. Further falls are being experienced in early 2008 however the Board is of the view that its investment strategy is for the long term and should remain in place. Costs within Central Office were well controlled and technological advances were achieved during the year. Considerable money was spent from reserves in upgrading a number of centres and the Board is committed to continuing this in 2008 as part of improving the quality of all KU centres. Conclusion 2007 has been a year of transition for KU. During 2008 the Board will be focused on making significant progress in implementing the 5 year Strategic Plan: Making ”the KU Difference”, with its three key objectives: 1. Become the most preferred provider of early childhood education and care services 2. Become the most trusted and respected adviser to families, communities, educators, the media and policy makers on early childhood education and care 3. Become the “employer of choice” in early childhood education and care. The Board looks forward to a challenging and rewarding year ahead. Penny Le Couteur Chairman KU’s 112 Annual Report 2007 th 5