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Early Years Committees

Preschool Cluster Management is changing soon

The State Government has announced significant changes to the role of Council as an Early Years Management (EYM) organisation and Approved Provider of our 28 4-year old preschool locations in relation to how Council works and engages volunteer preschool committees.

Committees have made a great contribution to preschools in Knox. We have engaged with parents and carers, committee representatives and staff of preschool-aged children to understand how parents/carers could be involved in preschools in the future.

From early 2019, committees in cluster-managed preschools will no longer be responsible for tasks such as managing funding and applying for grants, purchasing equipment, supporting playground development, paying the bills and maintaining the gardens. These will become the role of Council.

There will still be many ways for parents to be involved with their child's preschool experience. We have really valued the feedback we have received from parent focus groups and the online survey, as well as staff focus groups and the associated survey.

Your input will be considered with the research presented to Council as part of the project to transition Council's preschools to the Early Years Management framework from 2019.

2018 - Business as usual

2018 is a year of transition and planning so that we will be ready to implement the new framework in 2019. Initially, there will be little noticeable difference to the way things operate however more changes will start to become evident as we get closer to the year end.

Committees will continue to be supported to operate as they always have, however Council will, from time to time, seek to consult with past and present committee members and staff in order to gain input about the design of meaningful parent group roles.

Towards the end of 2018, Council will work closely with outgoing committees to prepare for the implementation of the new parent group model in 2019.

New parent group model

From 2019 Knox Council will operate under the new Early Years Management Framework and committees will transition to a parent group model.

The new parent group model will provide parents will greater opportunities to become involved in the care and education of their children with opportunities to:

  • participate at their local preschool
  • connect with families at other preschools in their local area, and
  • support Council in municipal-wide objectives for children and families.

Guiding principles:

  • Identity and sense of place with local preschools/neighbourhoods
  • Inclusion, through parent-to-parent support
  • Developing skills and capacity in individuals
  • Contribution to the preschool program
  • Advocacy and representation – parents/families to educators and vice-versa
  • Equitable access to preschool for children
  • Building local connections
  • Consistency with the EYM Policy

The proposed model looks like this:

Proposed parent advisory group structure

Preschool level

Parents will be able to be involved at their local preschool through program support, fundraising and social events.

Local working groups

These will provide opportunities to participate in joint projects, community capacity building and inclusion and building local partnerships. They will promote equitable access and inclusion across a cluster group.

Early Years Management Advisory Group

This group will facilitate two way communication between Council and Parent Groups. A representative from each preschool level group will be involved and the focus will be on access, participation, integration and service system improvements to meet EYM objectives,

In late 2017, Council officers visited 4 year old preschool AGMs to introduce this new model and help to explain some of the changes that will be taking place during 2018 and into 2019.

Pop up consultations - thanks for your feedback

Thank you to everyone that attended one of our pop up consultations and gave feedback on the proposed structure for the new parent groups.
We had a great response and have gathered lots of good feedback which we have now collated into a report.

View the report

More information

If you would like to be kept up to date on this project, register your email address for updates.

If you have a specific question, please contact us via email early.years@knox.vic.gov.au.

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