Hubs help NSW schools meet increasing demand for out of school hours care places
An innovative scheme initiated by the New South Wales Government is delivering buildings custom designed for before and after school care.as part of its Before and After School Care election commitment.
47 schools across the State will open outside school hours care (OSHC) hubs by June with Premier Gladys Berejiklian hoping the $20 million program will be beneficial for families.
Speaking at the opening of the Camden Public School facility, Ms Berejiklian said the new hubs will support more than 2,400 students across the state.
“We know families are concerned about the cost of living following the pandemic, and I want to ensure affordable and convenient before and after school care is available to everyone who needs it and at a location that is convenient.”
Since July 2019, the NSW Government has created more than 11,000 after-school care places and these new hubs will add to this capacity. The Hub program will deliver modular buildings custom designed for Out of School Hours Care services, aiming to cut waiting times and allow more families to access before and after school care services.
Rental subsidy of the hubs will “ensure affordable care is available,” the Premier said.
The State’s Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell, said she was “delighted” to be involved in launching the program, which she believes will make life easier for families.
“It will allow more students to have safe, fun environments before and after school and during vacation periods, and for their parents to have the flexibility to participate in the workforce,” she said.
The initiative was also welcomed by the Outside School Hours Council of Australia (OSHCA) who said “We have continued to work collaboratively with state and federal governments to ensure they understand the unique challenges and opportunities for OSHC in Australia and can provide tailored support. The Out of School Hours Care Hub Program is an extremely positive development in that regard.”
Regional areas have been prioritised in the program which aims to “fill gaps” in access to services across the State, as well as to clear waiting lists in areas of high demand.
Each Out of School Hours Care hub will have facilities for student activities as well as administration and storage areas.
For more information about the Out of School Hours Care hub initiative, please see here.