Resilience and professionalism helped KU Bulli Preschool navigate challenging time
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > Resilience and professionalism helped KU Bulli Preschool navigate challenging time

Resilience and professionalism helped KU Bulli Preschool navigate challenging time

by Freya Lucas

November 04, 2022

How do you hold a team together and manage the transfer of a service, and the 100 children it cares for to a vacant space, not set up for early childhood education and care (ECEC) at the start of a new year, when children and staff are settling in?


These were questions Michelle Lashbrook, Director of KU Bulli Preschool, was grappling with at the start of the year when the service relocated the 100 children in its care for Term 1, 2022 to a vacant hall space within KU Figtree Preschool, due to the scheduled replacement of KU Bulli’s roof. 


To prepare for the relocation, the KU Bulli team met with KU Children’s Services Executive Team and engaged in collaborative decision-making which involved management, educators and staff deciding what would be important in their new play spaces and how this would impact their programs and practices.


“We discussed things like the importance of having plants and greenery in the space to reflect our connection to nature, and the value of having well-designed and well-defined play spaces to support the children,” Ms Lashbrook shared.


“The team engaged in many conversations every step of the way, which involved critical thinking, collaboration, reflection and planning, as well as a lot of trial and error.”


Even in times of uncertainty and vulnerability, MIchelle said staff demonstrated exceptional professionalism and were able to support each other from a place of empathy, care, experience and knowledge.


These qualities were particularly important when the service was faced with another challenge. Just after starting the move back to their original location, they discovered a major weather event had caused significant damage, requiring a return to their temporary setup.


“During this period, our team demonstrated remarkable resilience,” Ms Lashbrook said.


“While initially daunting, the entire experience presented us with time, space and motivation to reflect more deeply on our program, physical environments, intentional teaching and relationships.”


Each conversation, she continued, offered “such a positive exchange of ideas being driven by our collective ideas, values, philosophy and in-depth knowledge of our service.”


“From this critical reflection, we decided to make some significant changes to the physical play spaces back at KU Bulli and to the organisation of the day upon our return.”


The genuine engagement, teamwork and professional collaboration that contributed to the development of the service’s updated program has enhanced the children’s experience.


“The transition back to KU Bulli was seamless,” Ms Lashbrook said.


“The children and families returned excited and enthusiastic about their new place to play.”


As the service moves forward, the team will continue to use the lessons of resilience and collaborative connection to continue to deliver the “calm, predictable, and quality education and care program we offer children and their families every day,” she added. 

Learn more about KU Bulli Preschool

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