NSW OSHC services invited to have their say about big Berejiklian election promise

by Freya Lucas

July 10

One of the core election promises proposed by New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian in the lead up to the recent state elections was that before and after school care (otherwise known as OSHC) will be made available to all parents with children enrolled in public primary schools by 2021. The Coalition Government is moving ahead on solidifying this commitment, urging parents and service providers to have their say via a survey on the Service NSW website.

 

Local news source, About Regional, quotes Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, as saying “(we) know how important it is for families in our local communities to have access to flexible, affordable and convenient childcare services, which is why we are rapidly rolling out this initiative”.

 

NSW Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell highlighted that grant applications designed to assist OSHC services to set up or expand their offerings, by offsetting the costs of new facilities and equipment. 

 

This Government’s $120 million investment in before and after school care includes $50 million for new equipment and facilities; $40 million for rental subsidies to reduce costs to parents and $20 million to help schools where a standalone service may not be viable, including smaller schools and rural and remote communities,” Ms Mitchell said.

 

“We will work closely with our schools, P&Cs, principals and parents – as well as the before and after school care sector – to develop flexible and creative solutions that offer parents support and choice, as well as ensuring schools have the equipment and resourcing they need to deliver these wonderful services.”

 

Speaking with About Regional, Member for Monaro John Barilaro encouraged local parents to get involved in the parents and carers survey, saying it would “help us understand your needs, give us rich insights into where there are gaps in service delivery and help us to ensure the extra places and new services go to where they will make the most difference first.”

 

Currently approximately 720 schools in New South Wales offer OSHC services, many of which also provide vacation care programs. 

 

Responses were sought from all interested parties, but especially so from parents and carers of primary school age children who are interested in accessing before and after school care services or school holidays care, including those whose children are:

 

  • Currently on waiting lists;

 

  • Attending schools where there is currently no access to services, or whose needs for care are not being met by existing services;

 

  • Starting at a government primary school in 2020 and who may not be able to find a suitable place.

 

The survey is available on the Service NSW website, and may be accessed here.

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