Welcome to the Inaugural KU Alumni Connect created specially for KU Alumni.

It is most fitting that we launch the KU Alumni Program in this our 125th anniversary year.

KU Alumni are valued members of the KU family and have contributed significantly to our long and rich history.

While the global pandemic has seen the world in lock down, devastating loss of lives and livelihood, significant changes to the way we live our lives and work and much uncertainty, it has been a time where people have reached out and connected with loved ones and networks more than ever. The connectedness and connections have been a tremendous support, sparked memories and generated hope.

Thank you for re-connecting with your KU family.

We are thrilled with the responses we have received from past parents, children, grandparents and staff to our survey inviting you to reconnect. The stories you have shared are appreciated and add a wonderfully real and personal contribution to the KU story. We look forward to sharing some of the stories through our social media channels and in future editions of KU Alumni Connect.

2020 marks 125 years since KU was founded and early childhood education in Australia began.

It also marks 125 years of social impact and making a difference to the lives of children and families through our high quality early childhood education and care programs.

KU has adapted, leveraged and grown through significant events, change and challenging times, always contributing to our vision.

Every young child experiences excellence in early education and care, inspiring learning for life.

A vision that KU Alumni shared in or benefited from during their time at KU.

KU prides itself on being the first provider of early childhood education in Australia.

Today, we enrich more than 13,000 children’s lives every year. We partner with families and communities, and value children as citizens who create, think and do.

Our longstanding commitment to the inclusion of all children and social justice demonstrated in our service provision, practices of reconciliation and ongoing relationships with children, their families and communities ensures our work is even more impactful.

KU invests in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples utilising priority of access opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families, supporting educators to create culturally safe and respectful environments. We acknowledge the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in particular to the education of young children, and recognise their existence long before our story began in 1895.

Together with our partner organisations, we manage a range of government brokered inclusion support services including day care, family day care, out of school hours care services. Our Education Support Team supports centres with the inclusion of children with additional and complex needs – children with diagnosed disabilities, challenging behaviour or social and emotional difficulties, as well as supporting families and educators.

KU opened Australia’s first preschool aimed at providing education to the community’s most disadvantaged children – and in that moment, early education in Australia was born.

Today KU is one of Australia’s largest and leading providers of preschools, childcare and other early education services, and remains proudly not for profit.

We play an important role in shaping the lives of generations of young Australians; a significant, and unmatched, milestone in Australian history.

Much has changed in Australian early education in the 125 years – the buildings and playgrounds, regulations and standards, funding to support children with additional needs and research have all come a long way. The more recent impact of technology on the education and care of young children is significant.

Many of the stories shared by KU Alumni highlight these changes as well.

However, many things have not changed at all. At its core, KU and the early education sector have always been driven by the values and knowledge that the early years is a crucial period in children’s learning and development and provides a strong foundation for future success in learning and citizenship. From our beginnings, KU has believed in the value of play for young children and the importance of having specialised early childhood teachers and educators working with children and their families in the context of their communities.

“We have survived the Spanish Flu, Two World Wars and the Great Depression amongst other historical events, and we will survive and come out the other side of COVID-19 stronger than ever and well-equipped to take KU well into the future.” Christine Legg, KU Chief Executive Officer

KU has confidently navigated our way through the challenges of 2020, providing an essential service by keeping KU centres open throughout lockdowns and restrictions to ensure essential workers and their children and vulnerable children and families had access to early childhood education.

We will continue to grow and touch the lives of children, families and communities for many years to come.

In a year of COVID-19, KU has not had the opportunity to celebrate our 125 year anniversary in 2020 and we look forward to our postponed celebration in 2021.

We hope you will stay connected with your KU Alumni family and join us in celebrating in 2021.