Kindergarten cluster management strengthens the delivery of universal kindergarten services across Victoria.
The kindergarten cluster management initiative provides parents with more flexible options for participating in kindergarten programs and creates a more consistent and professional employment model for kindergarten staff while facilitating strong local partnerships.
A Review of Kindergarten Cluster Management was undertaken in 2007 to determine the status of the kindergarten cluster management initiative. The review found that parents are benefiting as a result of the reduced pressure on them to manage services and that kindergarten staff are benefiting through a more stable and supportive management model.
Building a stronger kindergarten system
The Department provides funding to support service providers in transitioning to, and operating under, the kindergarten cluster management model. This model brings together a group of community-based kindergartens under the management of a single service provider.
Kindergarten cluster management is a key strategy to build a stronger and more responsive and effective kindergarten system across the state, which:
- reduces the administrative and management burden on kindergarten parent volunteer committees
- strengthens the management, planning and delivery of community-based kindergarten programs
- provides kindergarten staff with professional employment arrangements, including professional development and networking opportunities
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CLUSTER MANAGEMENT:
How long will it take to join a Cluster?
After the initial application to the Department of Education and Training, it can take several months to fully transition the kindergarten into the Cluster.
What happens with all our money?Any assets including cash are transferred to the Cluster of which the kinder is now a part. Provisions for Staff entitlements are held in trust as with the Cluster’s current staff entitlements. Centre furniture and equipment while being owned by the cluster remain at the centre. Remaining Cash holdings will be transferred to be held as:
- fundraising for use by the centre
- capital investment
What if we want to leave the Cluster?
A lot of work goes into the induction and continuous support of member centres, staff and families so the anticipation is that our kinder communities will want to remain. Nevertheless, if an approach was made to the Board for a change of cluster manager, comprehensive negotiations would be undertaken in conjunction with the Dept. of Education & Training, ELAA, management, teaching staff and kinder families.
An outgoing member centre would leave with all physical assets they came with and cash assets equivalent to what was transferred originally minus any significant expenditure since joining the cluster: i.e. variations in leave entitlements, monies spent on refurbishments and/or capital improvements and equipment. All funding and fees income derived from a kinder during its membership of the cluster will have been used in its operation during that time.
How will it affect our staff?Our expectation is that Staff will continue to concentrate on devising and delivering their quality preschool program at your centre. As part of a Cluster, administrative tasks, fees collection, enrolment organisation, etc. will be the responsibility of the Management office, lightening the load for Staff and Committees. Staff will be expected to attend a Staff Liaison Meeting once a term and can expect regular communication with the Management Office. Yarra Ranges Kindergartens Inc. highly values resource and equipment sharing, ensuring the Cluster remains a close community.
How It Works
- Records Maintenance
- Entitlements (Sick Leave & Long Service Leave)
- Professional Development
- Departmental Liaison
- Financial Accountability Requirements (FAR)
- Data Collection
- Funding Applications
- Licensing & Renewals
- Accounts Payable & Receivable
- BAS and IAS Preparation
- Parent Enquiries
- Policy Development and Implementation
- Bulk Supply Ordering (non-program)
- Credit Control
- Asset management
- Central Enrolment
- Financial Reporting
- Complaints Handling
- Advertising & Publicity
- Contract Tendering and Renewing