Making the KU Difference For communities Keiran Castle & Kerri Robbins Director and Child Care Worker, KU Liverpool Preschool Kieran and Kerri have worked tirelessly at KU Liverpool Preschool for many years, and unusual circumstances over a period of 18 months have seen them truly demonstrate the KU Difference on a daily basis. When the decision was made to co-locate KU’s new Autism Centre on the site of the existing KU Liverpool Preschool, this meant that their much loved but dilapidated preschool building had to be demolished and rebuilt. Whilst the new centre would represent a valuable asset for the local community, the disruption created a time of tremendous change and challenges for the preschool. Keiran and Kerri remained consistently positive as they packed up their equipment, said goodbye to their old building and arranged to split the equipment, children and staff between two nearby KU centres whilst their new centre was being built. Throughout the entire process Keiran and Kerri ensured the highest quality education and care was provided for children, and that families and the community were kept informed of the new centre’s progress. Once it was complete, together they managed a smooth transition back into their new preschool home and re- established their community connections. This process could have been a difficult time for the children, families and the Liverpool community, however Keiran and Kerri made the transitions and adjustments in a selfless, professional manner, with good humour and patience. It is not surprising that we received multiple award nominations for them both. 8 KU Children’s Services Supporting the community KU Solutions is an initiative which aims to proactively support other community based, not-for-profit early childhood education providers by offering them the opportunity to benefit from KU’s wealth of experience and expertise KU Solutions provides them access to the services, resources and support available to KU centres. In 2010, KU provided advice and guidance to 21 early childhood services across NSW and Victoria on a consultancy basis. Beyond KU KU delivers support to early childhood education and care services right across Australia, through a variety of Commonwealth and NSW Government funded programs designed to promote the inclusion of children with ongoing high support needs, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Indigenous children. As the National Inclusion Support Subsidy (ISS) Provider, KU distributed $52m in funding nationally, assessed 14,532 applications and paid 33,832 claims. KU’s seven Inclusion Support Agency regions, KU assisted more than 2,200 services develop 3,146 Service Support Plans and complete 2,085 ISS applications. Through the Supporting Children with Additional Needs (SCAN) program, KU supported the inclusion of 304 children with additional needs in 76 preschool in the Northern Sydney Region.