Staff resilience and professionalism help KU Bulli Preschool navigate challenging experiences

At KU Bulli Preschool, located on Dharawal country, staff relied on their collaboration and professionalism to support each other through the temporary relocation of their service earlier this year.

Image: Staff at KU Bulli Preschool

Michelle Lashbrook, Director of KU Bulli Preschool, shared her reflections on the resilience of her team during this period.

“In October 2021, we were informed we needed to relocate our 100 children for Term 1, 2022 to a vacant hall space within KU Figtree Preschool, due to the scheduled replacement of our roof,” Michelle said.

“Following meetings with KU Children’s Services Executive Team and our own staff, the large, mostly unused hall was modified to become our new temporary preschool home.”

Through collaborative decision-making with management, educators and staff (Element 4.2.1), the KU Bulli team was able to decide 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,” Michelle 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,” Michelle 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 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,” said Michelle.

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

“Moving forward, we will continue to review and consider our journey of continuous improvement, being supported and reinforced by our excellent staff, who deliver the calm, predictable, and quality education and care program we offer children and their families every day.”

Image: Children playing with toys at KU Bulli Preschool
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