The Management Committee consists of seven Co-operative members elected by members of the Co-operative to take responsibility on their behalf for management decisions relating to the Centre. The Centre Co-ordinator is an ex-officio member of the Management Committee and reports directly to the Committee about the day-to-day operations of the Centre.
Members of the Management Committee are elected at the Annual General Meeting, usually for a two-year appointment. The Management Committee meets monthly to consider all aspects of Centre operation, including:
- development and review of policies
- financial management
- budget planning (including setting of fees)
- social and fundraising activities
The Centre Co-ordinator ensures the efficient, effective functioning of the Centre; welcomes new families and ensures the Centre is responsive to the changing needs of families; oversees the welfare of all children; appoints, supports and supervises educators; ensures compliance with the requirements of regulatory and funding bodies; implements the decisions of the Management Committee; oversees the budget; carries out administrative functions; and promotes the Centre as a community service.
The Educator Team
Clarendon Children’s Centre has been successful in creating a positive workplace culture which reflects a high level of respect and regard for the skills and professionalism of educators. As a result, children benefit from a highly skilled, qualified, motivated and consistent team of educators comprising both full-time and part-time educators and including permanent staff who are rostered to cover planned and unplanned educator absences (thus maintaining consistency for children, educators and families and minimising the use of agency staff).
A high educator to child ratio allows educators to enjoy their work and achieve their professional goals. Each year commences with higher ratios of 4:11 in the Nippers Room (children aged 0-2 years) and this is maintained until all children, educators and families are comfortable with the environment and routines. Similarly, in the Adventure Playroom (children aged 2-3 years) and the Magic Room (children aged 3-5 years), ratios of 3:11 and 3:17 respectively ensure that educators can spend focused and unrushed time with all children and take pleasure in their daily routines and interactions.
Ongoing professional learning is encouraged and supported, resulting in educator qualifications well in excess of those required under the National Quality Standards.
There is a culture of mutual, professional respect and many opportunities for individual educators to take on leadership roles. For example, as well as room leader positions, individual educators have taken the lead role as OH&S representative, sustainability leader, representatives at professional forums and facilitators of specific learning experiences. Leadership positions are supported and recognised by the provision of allocated non-contact time, specific training opportunities, rostered time to attend meetings and/or increased pay rates.
In accordance with our service agreement, general maintenance services are provided to the Centre by the City of Port Phillip, as required. In addition, families may contribute to the running of our Centre by undertaking specific maintenance tasks.
Gardeners employed by the City of Port Phillip provide services to the Centre as required.
Permanent staff are entitled to 5 weeks paid annual leave and are encouraged to take personal leave if they are unwell. On the rare occasions when absences cannot be covered by other members of the educator team, casual educators (or, more rarely, agency staff) are employed to ensure that correct educator/child ratios are maintained at all times.
The Centre employs contract cleaners who are responsible for nightly cleaning of the premises as well as scheduled window cleaning, carpet cleaning and other cleaning work.
The Centre employs a part-time cook who plans and prepares morning and afternoon tea and a two-course lunch for the children each day. In addition, the Cook plans and displays the weekly menu, is responsible for purchasing all food supplies and works closely with the Centre Co-ordinator to ensure that food safety standards are consistently maintained. The Cook is recognised as a member of the Centre’s educator team and, in collaboration with others, ensures that children have many opportunities to be actively involved in aspects of menu planning, shopping and meal preparation.