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Celebrating 120 Years

In 2015, Australia's founding provider of early childhood education, KU Children's Services (KU) celebrated its 120th Anniversary.

"120 years of preschool education is a significant, and unmatched, milestone in Australian history," said Christine Legg, KU's Chief Executive Officer. "KU has played an important role in shaping the lives of generations of young Australians, and we are thrilled to have shared such a momentous birthday with current KU children and families, as well as the wider community," said Ms. Legg.

In 1895, KU began life in some of Sydney's poorest areas as ‘The Kindergarten Union of NSW'. This was an innovative solution focused on using education and welfare to harness social reform and to address widespread poverty and destitution.

Over the years, KU has remained progressive and today has evolved to operate over 150 early education centres, primarily preschools and long day care centres, Australia-wide.

KU has built a solid reputation for leading the field in the provision of early childhood quality education and care, enriching the lives of generations of young children and providing some of the highest quality programs in the country.

To learn more about the history of early education in Australia, visit

KU 120 Year Celebrations Week

From 5 - 11 September 2015, more than 120 KU services held celebrations with the help of their communities and families to mark KU's 120 years.

Activities included traditional children's games such as hoopla, sack races or egg and spoon races; time capsule planting; photo and story sharing; period dress-ups; tree planting and the creation of artworks and displays, with many services using traditional materials.

"It's wonderful to see such a wide range of exciting, creative events and activities coming to life across our services for the KU 120 Year Celebrations Week," said Ms Legg. "Our staff, children and families have really embraced the opportunity to both reflect on what has changed (and hasn't) in early education over the past 120 years, and also to recognise and celebrate the high quality education programs we deliver today."

Watch the video below to see some of the highlights from KU 120 Year Celebrations Week.


KU 120 Year Photographic Exhibition

One of the highlights of the KU 120 Year Celebrations is the KU 120 Year Photographic Exhibition.

This exhibition includes collections of photographs and narratives showcasing early education over the past 120 years. Utilising multi-platform storytelling, the exhibition links to mobile accessible web-based content, providing opportunities to engage with and share the story of early education in Australia.

120 Year panel

In 2016, the interactive exhibition will tour a variety of sites around the country. For more information about upcoming tour locations, visit or contact

KU 120 Year Merchandise

As part of the KU 120 Years Celebrations, we have developed a range of celebratory merchandise including:

 120 year front cover  

As the Twig Bends: 120 Years of Early Education
This hard cover, commemorative coffee table book charts both the evolution of early education in Australia, and the journey and impact of KU Children's Services during that time through a beautifully presented, pictorial history.

Each book comes complete with a set of 120 Year Commemorative Postcards.

 120 Year lapel pin  

Limited Edition KU 120 Years Lapel Pin Set
At various times throughout KU's history, staff and students have sold badges to raise funds. Many of these badges have
now become collectors' items. This  Limited Edition boxed set includes an original badge from the 1960s, alongside a specially minted 120 Years Commemorative Lapel Pin. Your chance to own a rare piece of KU history.

$20 from each Lapel Set purchase will be donated to the KU Marcia Burgess Foundation, helping to support the inclusion of children with additional needs in KU services and programs.

 120 Year postcards   120 Years Commemorative Postcard Set
This gift set includes a selection of 10 postcards, beautifully showcasing a collection of photographs from across KU's 120 year history.

To purchase any KU 120 Year Memorabilia items, complete the order form or visit

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries in relation to KU's 120 Year Celebrations, please contact the KU Marketing and Communications team at or 0437 030 273.


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