Delivering a responsive vacation care program

Located on Dharug country, Wesley Mission Out of School Hours Care (Wesley OOSH) at Quakers Hill shares how they have been delivering a responsive educational program during the April school holidays.

Image: Educator and students take part in vacation care program at Wesley Mission’s Out of School Hours Care Quakers Hill

Like many out of school hours care services across NSW, Wesley OOSH Quakers Hill has been busy over the past few weeks delivering a quality vacation care program during the school holidays.

Quakers Hill Wesley OOSH centre coordinator Claudia Lopez shared that the service starts preparing their vacation care program months prior, with ongoing input provided by the children.

“Our educators are working to provide a responsive educational program with daily experiences that consider the skills, interests and needs of the children, offered through a variety of arts, crafts, indoor and outdoor play.”

“During term one, our team of educators facilitated numerous group sessions and used a suggestion book with the children to learn about their current interests,” Claudia said.

“Using these two methods, our team put together a vacation care program that included some of the suggestions we received.”

The educators had noticed the building excitement amongst children with the approach of Easter, so made sure to plan Easter projects including painting and craft.

The vacation care program also included a ‘Brick Worx’ workshop, as many children had expressed a strong interest and enjoyment in completing Lego activities throughout the term.

“We know that scheduling responsive activities fosters the child’s sense of identity as they’re able to openly express their ideas during a creative activity. Working on these programmed activities with their peers, educators and external facilitators also strengthens their connection to community.”

“This also facilitates the children’s confidence and wellbeing, as they have seen their ideas turn into a full day programmed activity in their chosen interest area,” Claudia said.

In line with element 1.3.3 (information for families), Wesley OOSH Quakers Hill builds and strengthens their relationship with families by keeping them informed about the vacation care program and their child’s progress.

“A calendar of events is made available on our website in advance, and this assists families to decide which activities their child might most enjoy,” Claudia said.

Families are also provided with information regarding their child’s progress either verbally or through the service’s daybook, which uses photos and observations to highlight what the children have achieved each day.

“It is important to us that our families are able to provide their feedback on their child’s experience at vacation care, either verbally or by a survey, as it allows us to take on board suggestions for the next program,” Claudia said.

“Due to recent family feedback, we are now looking into digital applications to allow us to better keep the families informed and engaged with our program. As a service we are excited about the opportunities this will bring!”

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