During the busy festive season, I encourage you to take a minute to reflect on the year that's been for your child and family. Think about how much your child has learned and developed in the past 12 months, and the lasting friendships and happy memories they have made. It’s amazing how much a child can achieve in just one year.
We feel privileged to have supported your child’s learning and development this year. In fact, helping children discover and realise their potential is why we continue to do what we do.
2016 has also been a year of change and development for ECMS as we’ve embarked upon the first stage of our new strategic plan – Expect Great Things. We’ve been making changes to our systems, processes, and service offering that will enhance our customer and employee experience. I’d like to thank all families who have shared feedback about their ECMS experience throughout the year. Your feedback has been invaluable in helping us shape these improvements.
For families, this year we've made all our child health, safety, wellbeing and program policies and procedures easily viewable via our website. By mid-2017, all ECMS services will be using the Storypark ePortfolio software to document children’s learning. Storypark enables parents to enjoy insights into their child’s learning throughout the day. Parents can also share information about their child and family with educators at every available opportunity.
At a sector level, we are continuing to advocate to governments for policy changes that will lead to improved outcomes for all Australian children, families and communities – particularly for the most vulnerable.
Last week in Canberra, I addressed the Parliamentary Friends of Early Childhood (PFEC) Group. I posed the question: ‘Are we on the right track in the path we are taking on early learning and child care assistance reforms?’
My short answer is, YES, we are on the right track. We have a reform package that is good for working families. But we must improve on the reforms before Parliament to ensure disadvantaged and vulnerable children can access two days early learning before school. And we must get on with implementing the reforms without further delay.
The Jobs for Families Child Care Package will have a profound impact on 1.1 million families now, and the many families in the years to come. In 2017, ECMS will continue to use our voice as an early years sector leader to help shape a positive early years system for all Australians.
Whether your child is moving to the next room or age group in 2017, or progressing to school, I wish your family all the best for the exciting journey ahead of you. Thank you for choosing ECMS to contribute to your child’s early learning experience. It’s been a privilege working with you.