ECEC Provider in Focus: Windermere
The Sector > Provider > General News > ECEC Provider in Focus: Windermere

ECEC Provider in Focus: Windermere

by Freya Lucas

November 03, 2023

Windermere is an independent, not-for-profit community service organisation which operates in Victoria, established in 1992. 


The provider aims to work with local communities to deliver a number of services in partnership with the government that ‘get in early’ to help children, families and individuals find the best solutions for their varied and complex needs. 


These solutions take many forms, including: 


  1. Family wellbeing by promoting positive behavioural changes, providing parenting supports and responding to violence and/or neglect to achieve safety and stability
  2. Disability support by providing assistance to identify the right supports and goals that matter most to enable people of all abilities to actively participate in their communities
  3. Development and early childhood education by delivering accredited quality early childhood and care services and specialist early intervention services to help children reach their full potential  
  4. Victims assistance by providing timely and ongoing practical and emotional support for victims of trauma, assault and/or violent crime
  5. Community strengthening by mobilising support services to respond quickly to emergencies, disasters and emergent needs.

Windermere offers long day care, family day care and outside school hours care services as part of its developmental and early childhood education offering, along with an educator resource centre and family resource centre.  


What is the history of Windermere?


Windermere was established in 1992, and currently has seven early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings in Victoria. 


What is the Windermere vision and approach to learning?


Windermere states that its purpose is to “get in early to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families” and to create a stronger, more connected and more supported community. 


The provider believes that children’s interests drive learning and discovery through the provision of open ended experiences and natural materials. Children are encouraged to explore, invent and create and have the opportunity to experiment and take supported risks. 


Allowing children to develop the long lived skills and strengths needed to support them as they grow as happy, self-confident and capable people is also a core focus, along with believing that families should feel supported in their journey in educating and caring for their child and feel that Windermere is an extension of their home and community.


What is the Windermere approach to employee benefits? 


Windermere believes that ‘everyone is someone’ in a community, and that this is reflected not only in those they work with, but also in those who work for Windermere. 


The provider looks for “talented individuals who share our values,” striving to be an employer of choice by providing a work-life balance built on a culture of flexibility, support and wellbeing.


Windermere offers:


  • Flexible work arrangements 
  • 9-day fortnight for full-time employees
  • Salary packaging arrangements
  • 17.5 per cent annual leave loading
  • Professional development opportunities including education and study leave
  • Structured performance and one-on-one development check-ins and secondment opportunities


Windermere’s employees have the option to apply for Salary Packaging through an external provider (AccessPay) of up to $15,900 as tax-free salary. A further $2,650 as tax-free income can be claimed for meals and entertainment.


Access to a range of exclusive discounts, such as Perkbox, commercial pricing for The Good Guys and United Petroleum. Corporate discounts for private health insurance are also available through HCF and Medibank Private.


Staff also have the option to take a rostered day off (RDO) of one day every four weeks or a set work pattern of nine days per fortnight.


The Flexible Leave Scheme enables employees to accrue an additional one or two weeks of leave entitlement on top of their four weeks of annual leave each year.


In addition to four weeks of annual leave, all staff will receive an additional 17.5 per cent leave loading on annual leave (this equates to 1.35 per cent on top of the annual salary).


Are there any unique aspects to the Windermere offer?


Windermere has a number of arms to its offering in the community, which aim to help individuals and families to find solutions to ‘very complex’ situations. 


Each year Windermere assists over 20,000 people through support and guidance in the areas of: 


  • Family and parenting
  • Homelessness
  • Disability services
  • Early childhood intervention
  • Early childhood education
  • Support for victims of crime, assault and trauma
  • Community strengthening.


Learn more about Windermere and how the organisation supports people here. 

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