Early Years (or previously known as ‘Cluster’) Management was first introduced in 2003 to reduce the administrative burden on kindergarten on volunteer parent committees, strengthen the management and delivery of community-based kindergarten programs and provide kindergarten educators with professional employment arrangements.
The role of Early Years Management is to:
- Reduce the administrative pressures and responsibility for volunteer committees in the delivery of early childhood education services
- Enhance and improve the recruitment, retention, professional development, peer support, career path and security of entitlements for educators
- Increase the long-term sustainability and viability of services, by encouraging local planning and appropriate consolidation
- Actively encourage and strengthen links between family services at a local and regional level
- Engaging with families in the early childhood programs
Early Years Management was funded by the Victorian state government in response to many volunteer committees of management feeling burdened by the increasing administration, financial accountability and employer responsibilities. With these pressures reduced, families and educators are able to invest their time and energy into providing a quality educational experience for children while at kindergarten.
Why Early Years Management is Important?
The Department of Education endorse Early Years Management Groups, stating the following:
“As we understand more about the importance of a child’s early years, early childhood education and care services are required to do more and more. It can be difficult for parent volunteer committees to comply with the many legal requirements of running a service, or to lead the service in improving teaching quality. When a service run by a parent volunteer committee joins an EYM organisation, all the legal, financial and professional responsibilities that come with being the approved provider of a kindergarten services are transferred to the EYM organisation. The EYM organisation maintains a strong relationships so that the service continues to meet the needs of families in the local community. The new EYM Policy Framework and EYM Kindergarten Operating Guidelines clarify the roles and responsibilities for parent groups and EYM organisations; so that parents know what they can expect from their EYM organisation and how they can contribute to the educational program at the service.” (Fact Sheet – Information for Kindergarten Communities. 2016)