Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) Educators
Information on professional learning, sector research and support resources for OSHC educators.
Supporting inclusion in NSW OSHC services
OSHC resources for educators – IncludED@OSHC
New South Wales recently took part in the development of a series of resources and learning modules to support you in ensuring children who may have complex disabilities are able to engage in high quality education and care at your Outside School Hours Care service.
You play a crucial role in ensuring children with complex disabilities are included at your service.
Our aim in providing these resources is to build your knowledge and understanding, develop your confidence and encourage your ongoing commitment to delivering high quality, inclusive care to all children, including children with complex disabilities.
The resource package is called IncludED@OSHC. It consists of 9 self-paced learning modules. Each module is free, there is no time limit in which to work through the modules
These modules will help you to:
- plan and adjust your program and spaces so a child with a complex disability can take part just like the other children and staff can develop inclusivity skills
- help meet the social, physical and emotional needs of a child with a complex disability and work with them, their family and support team
- create a culture at your service that respects all children's abilities and needs
- navigate access to specialised equipment, support and funds.
Getting started is as simple as registering as a user to gain access to the modules. The modules are housed on the Victorian Government’s website, but educators anywhere are encouraged to access them.
We recommend that to start, you complete the Service Assessment Tool. It is the first step of the IncludED@OSHC process to help you identify how inclusive the current practices of your service are.
It will take around 30 minutes to answer the 40 questions in this tool. This will help identify your services strengths and areas of need.
Following this, we recommend developing a Risk Management Plan that aims to support children with complex disabilities at your service.
If you don’t currently have children with complex disabilities at your service, this is still a good step in showing proactiveness in your inclusive practices and will ensure families feel safe and supported in accessing your service.
The content in these learning modules is also designed to support your quality improvement as a service, with close links to the seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard, along with several additional resources, tools and templates to support your learning journey.
Thank you for your commitment to ensuring all children can be included at your service, including those with complex disabilities.
For further information you can contact the Information and Enquiries team on 1800 619 113 or at email@example.com.
IncludED@OSHC is a series of resources and self-paced learning modules developed to support you in ensuring children who may have complex disabilities are able to engage in high quality education and care at your Outside School Hours Care service.
These resources are aimed to build your knowledge and understanding. The modules will help you to meet the social, physical and emotional needs of a child with a complex disability and to support staff in developing inclusivity skills.
The modules are on the Victorian Government’s website, but educators anywhere are encouraged to access them.
OSHC Quality Development Program
The OSHC Quality Development Program was created by Early Childhood Australia, Network of Community Activities and the NSW Department of Education in 2019.
The Program provides a number of resources and video presentations across the National Quality Standard Quality Areas.
The Department is currently refreshing the resources of the QDP and once complete, will be made available on our website free for all to access.
- support children’s learning achievement, engagement and wellbeing
- provide developmental play opportunities in a multi-age environment
- support families to work or study outside school hours
There are many initiatives and practices that services can undertake to bring benefits for children and their families.
In the documents below, three different services share their unique practices and experiences of operating an OSHC in NSW.
You can read their stories here:
Services are assessed and rated by Authorised Officers from the Department of Education. Every approved service is assessed against the National Quality Standard which includes ensuring compliance with the National Law and Regulations. Read more about how the NSW Department of Education regulates services.
OSHC services are also required to meet learning outcomes outlined in the My Time, Our Place – a Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
OSHC services must operate in accordance with the Education and Care National Law and Regulations. OSHC is delivered by providers approved to operate by the Quality Assurance and Regulatory Services team within the Department of Education who are the NSW Regulatory Authority.
Approved provider/persons with management or control
An approved provider may be an individual, body corporate, association, partnership or prescribed entity. If an approved provider is not an individual, they will be listed as persons with management or control (PMC). This includes volunteer groups of parents from the school community who form an incorporated association in order to operate a service. The Approved Provider is responsible for all governance and financial management of the service. Types of Approved Providers include:
- parents in a school – Not for Profit service operated by a specifically formed Parent Management Committee or through the school’s P&C committee
- a Not for Profit Organisation or Charity
- private approved providers which can be a small business owner or a large company.
The Nominated Supervisor is an approved person with adequate knowledge and understanding of the National Quality Standard and relevant legislation, and the ability to effectively supervise and manage an education and care service.
An appropriately experienced individual to lead the development and implementation of the educational program. OSHC services are required to apply the teaching principles outlined in the My Time, Our Place – a Framework for School Age Care in Australia meet educational outcomes for children.
Responsible person in day-to-day charge
A responsible person is an individual who is physically present and responsible for the operation of the OSHC service for an agreed period of time. This person is the point of contact for parents and staff, and there must be a responsible person present at all times that the service operates.
Educators at an OSHC service provide education and care to children in a way that:
- encourages children to express themselves and their opinions
- allows children to develop self-reliance and self-esteem
- maintains children’s dignity and rights
- gives each child positive guidance and encouragement
- respects family and cultural values and the individual development and abilities of each child.
OSHC services in NSW operate on a staff to child ratio of 1:15. In order to be included in ratio, educators must be actively supervising and engaging with children. There are currently no minimum qualifications for any educator in a NSW OSHC service, however educators typically access a wide variety of professional development opportunities.
In late 2020, the Department engaged leading academic researchers Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel and Dr Ian Bruce Hurst from Griffith University to conduct a literature review of the sector.
Throughout the development of the review, national and international research was considered along with feedback from stakeholders in the OSHC sector.
We encourage you to take the time to read the literature review here (PDF 396KB).
What the research tells us about equitable access to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)
The NSW Department of Education welcomes the Literature Review, ‘More than “Just Convenient Care”: what the research tells us about equitable access to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)’, provided by request from Griffith University.
Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) is an important and growing area. It supports children’s development and wellbeing, while also allowing parents to work beyond school hours.
Providing inclusive, beneficial OSHC services that meet the expectations of children, families and the wider community is complicated, not the least because there is limited research available that examines best practice. The department acknowledges the importance of this Literature Review in providing a comprehensive overview of available research. The department also appreciates that specific priority groups have unique complexities that make ‘easy’ answers regarding access, inclusion and participation particularly elusive – and extremely worthwhile.
The department is committed to supporting the NSW OSHC sector to deliver best practice in equitable and inclusive, high quality services. The department is looking forward to continuing its work with the OSHC sector, and making sure the recommendations provided within the Review support a foundation firm in its commitment towards securing successful OSHC access and participation for all children.
This Literature Review was provided by request for the department by Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel and Dr Bruce Hurst, Griffith University in early 2021. The Literature Review examines what available research tells us about equitable access practices by OSHC services (school age child care services that operate before and after school (BASC) and during vacation periods).
The researchers scoped Australian and international literature. Their aim was to compare national and international approaches towards encouraging access and participation in OSHC. The researchers sought to highlight best practice and innovative approaches in supporting and encouraging inclusive access for children irrespective of cultural or socioeconomic background, ability or location.
Associate Professor Cartmel and Dr Hurst have gathered together evidence that suggests that quality OSHC provision for children is an interplay between the following elements:
1. the benefits of OSHC to stakeholders
2. the image of OSHC
3. the partnership between OSHC and schools
4. the workforce delivering OSHC service.
The researchers’ recommendations include more research about the OSHC as a site for children’s development, emphasising the vital opportunity in play-based learning for school-aged care. In addition, the review outlines the important role played by partnerships between OSHC, schools and families. Finally, the Review also finds that a deeper understanding about the value of OSHC will enhance community perceptions and commitment to the utilisation of services to contribute to children’s wellbeing and development.
- Outside School Hours Care Servies
- Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) - Information for parents and carers
- What is outside school hours care OSHC - A guide for families in NSW
- A Guide to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) - For NSW School Principals
- Before and After School Care (BASC) Commitment – how we’re providing more OSHC places in more schools
- Find a before and after school care provider
- Find vacation care providers
- Become_an_early_childhood_education_and_care_professional.pdf (acecqa.gov.au)
- Children's (Education and Care Services) National Law and National Regulations
- Guide to the National Quality Framework Information on operational requirements for OSHC services
- NSW Department of Education - Early Childhood Education (Regulatory Authority)
For more information on:
- regulation, assessment and rating
- the role of the NSW Regulatory Authority
- investigation processes
- child safety
- giving feedback or making a complaint
- Schools infrastructure
- Sharing school facilities procedures
- Expanding access to Before and After School Care
- ACECQA National Registers to find out more about a service's rating
- NSW BASC and Vacation Care finders to find where OSHC services are located
- NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency to find out more about inclusion in OSHC services
- My Time Our Place - Approved Learning Framework for School Age Care