Simpler processes for out-of-school-hours care licences

A departmental review has identified ways in which licencing agreements can be improved.

Clearer and simpler processes will support quality providers to operate Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services, following a Department of Education review and streamlining of OSHC licence agreements.

The changes allow the Department to more transparently select high-quality providers that best meet the needs of schools and most benefit students, while supporting existing providers of OSHC services to make a smooth transition to new arrangements.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said on Saturday the Department’s review of licence agreements identified areas of improvement were needed, including simplification of the licence categories and associated tender processes.

“We are committed to providing before- and after-school care services for families who need it in NSW, and we want these services to be as high quality and affordable as possible,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Changes to the licensing approach are needed to ensure the Department is following best-practice administrative law and direct negotiations guidelines, and to ensure that students and families have access to the best-possible OSHC services.”

The Department is simplifying the licensing process by making Category A licences available only to P&C Associations.

Parent-run providers in this category who are not currently run by the P&C Association will be supported to transition to be incorporated under their P&C. Alternatively, providers can change to the not-for-profit Category B. Affected providers will have until at least December 2022 to finalise their transition process.

“We know how important parent-run services are to our school communities. That is why we want to work with and support them through this transition process,” Ms Mitchell said.

Government tendering guidelines require Category B and C providers to go to tender once their current licence expires.

The Department of Education will work with affected services to provide support and ensure a smooth transition into their new category.

To ensure more access to before- and after-school care in NSW, the NSW Government has committed $120 million to deliver a range of funded innovative solutions for the sector.

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