ECMS will add 10 services to its portfolio in 2024
With more than 60 services spread across established and new high-growth suburbs, Early Childhood Management Services (ECMS) is already Victoria’s largest provider of sessional kindergarten, and will grow again in 2024, adding 10 new services to its network.
In 2024, ECMS will operate a total of 70 centres across Greater Melbourne’s established and high-growth suburbs.
“There’s a connection between quality, scale, reform, and access. As our state’s largest not-for-profit early learning and care provider we have what it takes to respond to a robust reform agenda,” said ECMS’ Director of Education Rebecca Hand.
Growing its network builds on the success of the provider, who in 2023 won the prestigious 2023 Emeritus Professor Collette Tayler Excellence in Educational Leadership Award at the Victorian Early Years Awards ceremony.
Since the inception of its ground-breaking internal practice coaching program in 2019, ECMS has modeled a way of being and doing through intentional deep listening, a cohesive leadership capability approach, and cycle of reflection and review.
This approach is having an impact across the network of ECMS services, with a ‘significant increase’ in National Quality Standard (NQS) ratings, rising from 48 per cent of ECMS services rated as Exceeding the NQS in 2019 to 71 per cent in 2023.
ECMS CEO Andrew Hume believes this is a direct result of the Early Childhood Education team’s in-house multi- disciplinary practice coaching program.
“A wonderful example is our Oakhill Children’s Centre which, through a place-based targeted and responsive approach, has over 18 months transitioned from meeting to exceeding all 7 areas of the NQS,” he said.
For Ms Hand, there is a direct link between high quality leadership and high-quality early learning for children.
“We put teams at the centre of their growth and development and our job is to meet educational and service leaders where they are at, using relationship-centred coaching,” she said.
Their success also reflects ECMS’s investment in multi-disciplinary and academic partnerships with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Melbourne City Mission, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne University’s First Nation’s Ngarrngga project, and acclaimed educational leaders in infant and toddler practice, Dr Katherine Bussey and an Anti-Bias Approach with Dr Red Ruby Scarlet.
“We need to grow and adapt to the needs of families and children who might need support, particularly expertise in trauma-informed practice, as well as growing other capacity and capability. Constantly looking at quality, scale and need while we grow is our secret ingredient,” Ms Hand said.
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