KU Annual Report 2007 - Page 7

KU Services KU’s Places in 2007 * Licensed and other places Preschools : 87 Work Based Child Care : 16 Community Based Long Day Care : 14 Family Programs : 11 Mobile Preschools : 8 AMEP : 7 Occasional Care : 5 Out of School Hours (OOSH) : 2 Vacation Care : 1 was down 4% from the previous year. This is a pleasing result in a very competitive employment market. KU has a good industrial relations record and negotiated a union collective agreement for its clerical staff employed in centres, which provided for the ability to permanently appoint clerical staff to positions in preschools. As well, the union collective agreement that has the coverage for the employment of Advanced Child Care Workers Qualified, Child Care Workers and Cooks was varied to provide for salary increases as a result of the Australian Fair Pay Commission decision and to ensure that KU employees’ salaries did not fall behind the sector. Professional Development A key element of making “the KU Difference” is professional development. Well-trained staff are an essential component of high quality early childhood education and care and one of KU’s strengths is our excellent Professional Development Program which provides a range of professional development opportunities available to all staff. In 2007 KU held 151 professional development sessions and learning opportunities with a total attendance of 2,880. This included: • Professional Development Program: 1284 staff attended 66 workshops. • Additional requested sessions: 250 staff attended 8 sessions. • Orientation sessions: 164 staff attended 8 sessions. • KU Annual Seminar: 400 participants. • Regional meetings: approximately 775 staff at 34 meetings. Preschools : 2 957 Work Based Child Care : 811 Community Based Long Day Care : 673 Family Programs : 675 Mobiles : 155 AMEP : 223 Occasional Care (OCC) : 110 Out of School Hours (OOSH) : 90 Vacation Care : 20 Property Management In visiting our centres it was apparent to me that in some instances the quality of our premises and equipment was impacting on the ability of the staff to deliver services at a high quality level. This was especially so in preschools and in some of our older buildings. The burden of managing a myriad of property matters has always fallen on our centre Directors and Children’s Services Coordinators. Not only is this not their area of expertise, but it takes them away from their key role of working with the children. To address this we have appointed a Property Manager and the Board has supported a major new initiative to ensure all KU centres meet or exceed our standards as soon as possible. This has had an immediate impact and over $1.5 million of works in 30 centres commenced in December 2007, to be completed by February 2008. Capital works and maintenance plans have been commenced for every centre. Finance A number of initiatives have been put in place to improve the timeliness of our reporting, reduce the administrative burden on centres and improve the efficiency of our financial systems. In particular we have focused on reducing the number of cash and cheque transactions. We have installed EFTPOS facilities for fee payment, including an upgrade of equipment, commenced the rollout of internet banking for fee payment, commenced the introduction of credit cards for centres and are making wider use of electronic payments. We have also undertaken an upgrade of the General Ledger System and improved its integration with the centre invoicing and payment system. Reporting and changes to comply with International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) were incorporated into the 2006 Annual Accounts and applied to 2007. Information Technology In 2007 KU migrated to the Micropay Meridian Payroll Management System. The major benefits were improved payroll workflow and accuracy, as well as comprehensive reporting, analysis and fast responses to every day and challenging queries. Paper based reporting was largely eliminated, resulting in monetary savings as well as helping the environment. A major improvement to internet accessibility was implemented with all existing ADSL broadband plans at the Centres upgraded to 1.5Mbps download speed at minimal cost. This was a 6 fold improvement on previous speeds, and greatly improved th e time taken to download forms and documents from our Intranet. Farewells The year was saddened by the deaths of two long-serving and much loved KU staff. Marcia Burgess was the Manager of Special Education with KU and had retired in October 2006. Robin Hallberg was KU Consultant for AMEP. Both passed away in June and KU and the world of early childhood education and care are richer for their enormous contributions and poorer for their passing. Sheridan Dudley Chief Executive Officer KU’s 112 Annual Report 2007 th 7