The Process of Joining
The decision to move into EYM arrangements should be based on improving the future quality and viability of the service. Parent volunteer Committees of Management will lead this process on behalf of the incorporated association, and in close consultation with parents and the local community, including local government. Often, committees only consider EYM arrangements when the service is in crisis, but it is a good idea if committees consider joining EYM periodically so that the transition can be planned with the least disruption for families. EYM organisations operate different models and committees should understand what is available in their area and to know what is right for the service.
An EYM partnership is a long-term arrangement between an EYM organisation and a kindergarten service. It is driven by the opportunity to improve outcomes for children and for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders and the community. It is entered into after the suitability (opportunities and implications) for all parties have been thoroughly assessed, communicated, and understood.
For both the transitioning service and the EYM, the following steps are critical as part of the process:
- Assessing a potential partnership (which includes consulting with local government and the Department of Education)
- Negotiating the partnership arrangement
- Gaining approval from the Department of Education
- Transitioning the service
Each step can be complex and lengthy. The prospect of change can also be challenging for staff and families. Communication is critical throughout the entire process, to ensure that questions are answered and that the voice of key stakeholders are heard and acknowledged. The Early Learning Association of Australia (ELAA) can also provide advice for Committees of Management throughout the transition process.
Experience of Joining
When deciding to join an EYM, we looked at a few providers and aside from just generally liking the Glen Education team, feeling supported and the level of services Glen Education could provide to the kindergarten. The thing that was really important to us was feeling like we could retain the community feel. Glen Education knew the area, families, council, local community groups, local businesses and schools, and had these wonderful relationships that could extend our little community into a much bigger community. Glen Education took the time to really listen, get to know us and work to improve on what we had and provided so many opportunities we wouldn’t have had without the Glen Education team. I like to think that we grew and evolved and not so much as changed.
(former Committee of Management President at Glen Education Centre Road Kindergarten)