The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit is open for business and we’ve been greeting new children and getting to know their families. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of those who’ve joined us and are now part of our workplace community.
Staff have been working incredibly hard to make the transition as smooth as possible. Over the coming weeks we’ll be welcoming more than one thousand children into nineteen services.
While the services have been shut over Christmas, some services have had some maintenance work, repairs and renovations undertaken. There’s new signage in grey and orange which are the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit colours.
Many staff members have moved across from Mission Australia Early Learning, so children will recognise some familiar faces.
Our new Melbourne office team has been established to support services. This includes the fees and enrolments team that can help with booking and payments. All our educators have just completed a comprehensive induction.
The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit aims to deliver a first-class service. We encourage two-way communication and welcome feedback.
Family members can access Storypark to see what their children are learning.
We know everyone leads busy lives, but we encourage parents to spend time with us at the service. They may want to share an interest, participate in an excursion or read stories.
We look forward to the future and getting to know staff and families and building strong relationships on this new journey.
Our Melbourne office is getting ready to open the One Tree Community Services Defence Childcare Unit (Defence Childcare Unit) and to welcome families and parents to their services.
It’s been a busy time for staff at our office in Sunshine West. The Defence Childcare Unit will employ 380 people. 89% of staff have decided to transfer from the previous provider Mission Australia Early Learning (MAEL).
Our enrolments team have been transitioning children across from MAEL with a total of 1,000 children being expected to enrol into services over the next month or so.
Introducing the Defence Childcare Unit team
At the helm of the Defence Childcare Unit is our executive manager Coral Callan who has been with One Tree Community Services for seven years. She moved over to Melbourne from Perth four months ago and has been regularly meeting with Defence to ensure services reach the high standards expected of them.
Tania Iezzi, General Manager Corporate will be looking after our assets. This includes our most important asset, our staff. She is overseeing the transition process for employees, ensuring everyone has received adequate training through a comprehensive induction program.
Our human resources team also includes Sam Twaddle and Annette Crawford. They are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, training and employee relations.
Many people will know Claire McManus, who is now a general manager for services. She started out as a director at One Tree in Karratha (Western Australia), moving from South Africa. Claire is very familiar with the One Tree community and her job covers everything from producing the parent and staff handbooks, to establishing new links and relationships with the Defence community.
Brad Miller and Ruth Goga, both long-term One Tree employees have slotted into roles as regional manager co-ordinators for the Defence Childcare Unit.
Our regional managers report to Brad and Ruth. These new additions include two new staff members – Lydia Hatzedemetrakis and Jenn Jenkins. Jessa Madison was formerly a One Tree director in the Northern Territory and Keryn Lewis has been a regional manager for One Tree for nearly five years.
Sally Campbell, who previously worked in the Perth central office has moved with her family to Melbourne and is now the individual case manager and enrolments team leader. As part of her job, she’ll be assisting Defence families to secure childcare places.
Other members of the enrolments team include Marian Hennan, Ashlee Scott and Lauren McWaters.
Finance General Manager, Lorensz Senn comes to us with vast experience in the not-for-profit sector. Lorensz is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Debra Kilford joins him as the payroll team leader having worked at the Perth central office for many years.
Raydel Prado is our administrator and information technology officer and will meet and greet guests who visit us at the Melbourne office.
As parents and families arrive at the new Defence Childcare Unit services they will notice different signs and uniforms, but there will be many familiar faces. Our directors and educators look forward to greeting everyone.
As we welcome in 2019, the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit officially opens its services to children of Defence families.
The creation of the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit will see our organisation double in size. From 2019 we will accommodate an extra thousand children at childcare services nationwide. It’s a milestone for us. We’re exceptionally proud of the team who’ve worked hard to ensure we’ve reached this point successfully.
Individual case management
Under the One Tree Defence Childcare Unit, we will be operating an individual case management service for Defence families. This service can be accessed for free, as General Manager Claire McManus explains.
“Defence families can be posted anywhere across Australia and may not be familiar with different locations. We’ve invested in new software, so we can develop an up-to-date, informative database of childcare centres to help families select a place.”
“We can check availability, find out what facilities they offer and their quality ratings. We’ll then support families through the enrolment process,” adds Claire.
Heading up this department is Sally Campbell. Sally has worked with One Tree Community Services for two years in enrolments and human resources. Both Sally and Claire have been getting to know more about Defence families and their specific needs and requirements at Defence community networking events.
Sense of belonging
Defence families face unique challenges. Frequent postings can mean regular disruption to their everyday lives, so there’s plenty of support to those employed in the military.
“Children can have long stretches of time without one of their parents, which means as childcare providers we want to give them a sense of belonging in a community which they will enjoy. At the same time, we are fully aware that the likelihood is that they won’t be staying very long at our service,” explains Claire.
“We want to offer them as much support as possible because they may not have close family around them,” she says.
Potential training opportunities
The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit also offers opportunities to family members who may want to train and become educators.
“As well as providing childcare, One Tree Community Services is a registered training organisation. This means we have provision to train people in early childhood education and care, and for them to receive on the job experience,” Claire explains.
The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit has already had enquiries from people keen to take up training opportunities. As services open for the very first time under our management, we look forward to getting to know our families and establishing new relationships and becoming part of the wider Defence community.