This year, ECMS celebrates 21 years of serving the Victorian community. In 1996, ECMS was created by Kindergarten Parents Victoria (now known as ELAA) with a mission to help communities manage local high-quality early learning services. 

Over the past few weeks, we have been diving into the archives and talking to team members who have been with us over the past 21 years. The children they educated in 1996 are now young adults who have finished their formal education, are graduating from university and forging their careers and lives. Our long serving team members share a great sense of achievement, knowing that they have provided these young people with strong learning foundations which contribute to their future success.

A lot has happened in the past 21 years. Our services look different, our service reach has increased, and they are all responding in new ways to the needs of today’s local communities. Our team members spoke with pride of the many changes we have embraced to improve outcomes for children, families and communities. It has been interesting to hear their stories and reflections on how they have seen new communities emerge from large population growth, established communities changing, and how we are now responding to the needs of a more diverse and multicultural Victoria.

Although much has changed over the years, some things remain constant. That is the joy and wonder experienced by children in our services each day and the passion and commitment of our team to creating opportunities for the children, families, and communities to discover and realise their potential. 

In recent weeks, we have been seeking feedback from parents through our parent survey. We thank all the families who completed this important survey. They have affirmed that the most important attribute of our services is our people – genuine people with a deep commitment and passion for their child’s care and learning. This admirable quality has been a consistent theme in our years of service and will remain our focus well into the future.

We will celebrate our 21-year milestone at the next Annual General Meeting in May, where we will acknowledge the efforts of our amazing teams and thank our staff who have contributed to this achievement.

While reflections and achievements are important, we are also mindful of the current changes taking place in the early childhood sector. In the last couple of weeks, the Federal Government passed a suite of changes to childcare and early learning subsidies to commence in July 2018. These changes will benefit many working families, making access to childcare and early learning more affordable. However, many low-income families will, unfortunately, experience reduced access to early learning. ECMS will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of all families to ensure every child has access to suitable, high-quality early learning.