As part of this focus, KU Ashmont Preschool and Family Centre was opened in August 2020. After the closure of Ashmont Preschool in June 2018, KU Children’s Services became the new lease holders after Wagga Wagga City Council opened the site to expressions of interest. The building underwent a renovation over several months, with the renovations and upgrades made possible through a capital grant from the NSW Department of Education Early Childhood Directorate and an investment by KU.
KU Ashmont Preschool and Family Centre provides a high-quality preschool program for children aged 3-6 years, as well as a range of preschool age-specific Allied Health and NDIS services that will be rolled out based on community needs. Having run four preschools in Wagga for close to 15 years, KU has an established presence in Wagga, and KU Ashmont will provide an important and valuable service to the community.
Our growth strategy in Victoria is on track with KU’s Victorian team working hard throughout 2020 to ensure progress has continued on the three new KU owned services currently being built. KU’s Heidelberg and Newport services continue to progress, and our service in Maidstone is on schedule for opening in June 2021. The service will cater for 65 children and have two Allied Health rooms integrated into its design. KU’s profile in Victoria is increasing with representation on sector forums and Government committees, and with these new services coming on board, will only continue to increase.
In addition, part of investing in KU’s strategic priorities included upgrading KU’s Central Office at 129 York Street, Sydney with a complete refurbishment and new fit out. Given the unpredictable situation and uncertainty relating to COVID-19, these works were put on hold in March following the completion of the Ground Floor and Level 1. With KU’s commitment to supporting the halt of the spread of COVID-19, the decision was made in September 2020 to not plan for office-based staff to return to their KU office workplaces in 2020. Instead, the KU Board requested that the refurbishment of the building at 129 York Street be continued on Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 to ensure that KU’s assets were being appropriately managed. As the building was largely empty due to COVID-19, with the majority of staff working from home and only a small number of Central Office staff working in CO part of the time, the time frame for completion of the works was reduced, with a target date for completion in April 2021.