NSW OSHC services encouraged to access their share of $50m infrastructure fund
Outside school hours care (OSHC) services located in New South Wales are encouraged to apply to access their share of the $50 million in funding that has been allocated by the State’s Government to improve the number of places available for children and families needing to access services.
The funding is available to existing OSHC services located on site at NSW Government schools, government schools looking to create new services, and other approved P&C associations and not-for-profit providers/services for government primary school children. The proposed additional places applied for must be for parents of government primary school children.
Up to $30,000 in funding can be accessed per service, with applications completed by the existing service, or by the approved provider. An important element of the funding which is of note for non-government OSHC providers is that funding is available for any service providing care to children attending government schools. This may include school programs in non-government schools (such as in the Catholic or independent system) who make their programs available to others in the community, or to non-school based providers.
The funding forms part of a commitment made by the NSW Government prior to last year’s NSW state election, in which Premier Gladys Berejiklian pledged that OSHC would be available “to all parents with children at public primary schools by 2021”.
In speaking about the infrastructure funding, a spokesperson said “We are building on the solid foundations of the existing services across the state as well as the many others that provide care offsite.”
The aim, the Government noted, is that suitable OSHC places are available in all public primary schools in Sydney, Newcastle, Illawarra and the Central Coast, as well as in major regional centres, providing before and after school care and school holiday care programs from 7 am to 6 pm.
Included in the broader funding to support the provision of more OSHC places in NSW is $8 million over four years for a team of specialists to help coordinate services and resources on an area or regional basis.
The specialist team, the NSW Government noted, will “provide proactive and on the ground assistance for set up, contract management and service transition”.
Applications for the Before and After School Care Infrastructure Fund, to buy new equipment and expand facilities to create more licenced places, opened 1 July 2019. A further $20 million is available for communities where a standalone service may not be viable, such as for smaller schools, or in rural and remote communities.
For more information on the funding, or to apply, please review the links found here.