SDN Children’s Services to run UNSW long day care services after agreement is reached
SDN Children’s Services and the University of NSW (UNSW) have signed an agreement for SDN to manage three of the university’s long day care centres on their behalf.
This follows a May announcement by David Ward, Vice President of Human Resources at UNSW, that Kanga’s House would close and three other UNSW childcare services would be transitioned to other arrangements as a result of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial position of the University.
A letter sent by Mr Ward to parents of Kanga’s House indicated that even before the onset of COVID-19, the university’s Early Years centres were operating at a loss, with deficits of more than $560,000 budgeted for 2020 and $600,000 for 2021.
The three services which have been transitioned to SDN management are all located around the university campus, and cater for children of university staff and students as well as the local community, and have high quality ratings against the National Quality Standard.
Originally established to enable staff and students at UNSW to achieve their career and study aspirations, this agreement “demonstrates the university’s commitment to supporting children and families to continue to access these important services,” an SDN spokesperson said.
SDN CEO Kay Turner explained the role of SDN, an experienced not-for-profit provider of early childhood services, with a focus on the wellbeing, learning and development of children in inclusive environments, moving forward.
“Our aim is to make this transition as smooth as we can for the children, families and centre staff, without compromising quality,” she said.
“This is a great opportunity for SDN to work together with the university, our staff and families, and I’m looking forward to progressing our partnership over the coming years.”
Mr Ward expressed the position of UNSW, saying the University is pleased that the tender was awarded to a not-for-profit provider with a strong reputation for providing high-quality early childhood education and care, saying the University “looks forward to working with SDN and ensuring children, families, staff and students continue their positive UNSW campus experience”.
The agreement follows an extensive tender and shortlisting process. SDN was announced as preferred provider in August and the agreement is expected to start managing the services from January 2021, subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals.
SDN was established in 1905, and currently operates 24 long day care and pre-school services across NSW and the ACT, as well as therapies for children from birth to transition to high school, including services provided under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and family support services that help children thrive by promoting strong, functional and well-supported families.
Further information about SDN Children’s Services is available here.