OSHC is more than just convenient care, and now the research backs it up
Outside school hours care (OSHC) is an element of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector which is often misunderstood by both the general public, and also those working in different arms of the ECEC sector, such as early childhood education.
Those misconceptions have been challenged by a new literature review, which not only positions OSHC as an important and growing area, but also outlines 13 recommendations which the New South Wales Department of Education will use to help inform policy work moving forward, including the provision of better practice resources and better collaboration with schools to better support OSHC services and providers.
The literature review began in late 2020, when the Department engaged leading academic researchers Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel and Dr Ian Bruce Hurst from Griffith University to conduct a review of the OSHC sector.
Throughout the development of the review, the researchers linked in with national and international research about the OSHC sector, as well as seeking feedback from stakeholders.
‘More than “Just Convenient Care”: what the research tells us about equitable access to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)’ showcases the OSHC sector as one which supports children’s development and wellbeing and enables parents the flexibility to work beyond school hours.
The Review focuses particularly on disadvantaged or vulnerable students and provides an innovative appraisal of current and emerging approaches to improve access, identifying forward-thinking ways to assist the OSHC sector.
Included in its 13 recommendations is the need for those in the OSHC sector and the Department to promote a deeper understanding within the community around the positive role of OSHC as a contributor to a child’s development.
“We encourage you to consider ways in which the Literature Review findings may impact your work, and share with us your ideas or feedback by participating in our upcoming OSHC webinars and future stakeholder engagement events,” a Departmental spokesperson said.
To access the literature review, please see here.
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