In the Summer 2020 edition of KU Alumni Connect, we said that 2021 would be a year of celebration for KU. Having postponed our 125 years anniversary celebrations in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, we made it through the year and are looking forward to celebrating this significant milestone with children, families, staff and friends.
This year KU services will be taking part in a range of COVID-safe activities and events to celebrate 125 years of KU and early childhood education in Australia. The key theme of the celebrations is ‘making a difference through 125 years of early education and social impact’.
Throughout 2021, each KU service and program will be hosting their own COVID-safe event. Services might choose to celebrate with a morning or afternoon tea, a cultural sharing day, a community garden working bee, taking part in tree planting ceremonies, and more.
Each service will choose an event suited to their community, and it will provide a wonderful opportunity for children, families, staff and the service community to come together and celebrate this unique occasion.
Many services will be taking part in 125-years related activities including creating a page for the commemorative KU 125 Years’ storybook, titled ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’. The story book will be designed to elevate the ‘voices’ of children as their thoughts are represented in this context through their words and pictures. Creation and curation of the book has now begun across all KU services.
‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, along with a range of historical items exploring the rich tapestry of KU’s 125-year history, will be featured at KU’s organisation-wide 125 years celebration events later in the year.
Keep your eye on your inbox next month as we will be sharing a special video message from Christine Legg, our CEO, as she talks about KU’s 125 years and what it means for KU as we move into the future.
If you would like to know more, visit the 125 years page on the KU website where you will find information about our history as well as stories from KU Alumni.
In addition to the 125 year celebration events that will be taking place throughout 2021, a number of KU services will soon be celebrating their own anniversary milestones once COVID restrictions have eased:
If you attended or worked at one of the above KU services, feel free to get in touch with us. We would love to hear more about your KU experience.
One of the four strategic priorities of KU’s Strategic Plan 2020-2022 is that we are financially sustainable and scalable.
We aim to build the infrastructure, systems and services to support us through the next phase; be in a solid financial position; and continue providing KU, the children, and the families we work with, with security and opportunities for the future.
125 years after the Kindergarten Union opened the first Free Kindergarten in Australia with just three children attending, KU has continued to adapt to meet the needs of the community. We now employ over 2,000 staff, and almost 130 services provide high quality early education and care to approximately 11,000 children and their families.
This growth has continued, with KU recently purchasing property in Maidstone, Newport and Heidelberg in Victoria, to build three custom designed services offering high quality long day care, kindergarten and early intervention services for local families. The first of these services, KU Maidstone, is set to open mid-year, with building works having commenced at the other two sites.
In addition, KU successfully opened KU Ashmont Preschool and Family Centre in Wagga Wagga in 2020 which provides a unique, high quality preschool program and a range of age-specific Allied Health and NDIS services to children and families in the local community.
The inclusion of specialist Allied Health services at KU services is not new. KU Starting Points Macarthur and KU Penrith have had specialist Allied Health professionals working with families in their homes for many years. The increasing demand for services to support children with additional needs has led to the expansion of KU’s early intervention services, and the establishment of a dedicated KU Allied Health team. Over the past year KU has been offering clinic-based and telehealth sessions in Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) to children with additional needs at KU Sutherland and KU Ashmont, with plans to roll out these types of services to other services this year.
If you’re interested in helping KU to continue supporting and delivering programs that have a positive social impact, to more children and families with complex needs, visit the KU Marcia Burgess Foundation page.
Another area KU is looking to expand over the coming years is this KU Alumni network. What makes KU special is the relationships between our children, families, staff and communities. We’d like to maintain these close connections after families leave KU and welcome them into the KU Alumni group, in order to continue to foster a greater and even more connected KU community.