ECEC Provider in Focus - Hunter Kids OSHC
The Sector > Practice > Outside School Hours Care > ECEC Provider in Focus – Hunter Kids OSHC

ECEC Provider in Focus – Hunter Kids OSHC

by Freya Lucas

February 17, 2023

Hunter Kids Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) is a network of four services for school aged children in the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast regions of New South Wales, offering outside school hours care (OSHC) and vacation care. 


The network includes services at Coal Point, Northlakes, Patterson and Umina Beach, each with their own philosophy and structure, connecting children with their community and supporting them to grow and thrive. 


What is the history of Hunter Kids? 


Hunter Kids is led by Founder and Director Elaine McCourt, who created the Hunter Kids brand in 2020 after the franchise OSHC model she previously operated services under, Sherpa Kids, folded its Australian operations. 


Hunter Kids was designed to provide a safe environment for children to feel secure, supported and recognised and to always represent my desire to support families and children in need,” Ms McCourt explained. 


“I believe the key to a successful service is to create opportunities for all children to be leaders, to allow them the space to build friendships and encourage community involvement.”


What is Hunter Kids vision and approach to OSHC?


Hunter Kids exists to educate and care for children in a safe, caring, secure and stimulating environment, allowing them to grow, learn and prosper.


Educators and leaders at Hunter Kids are guided by eight values which represent all areas of its programs in order to provide quality learning outcomes for happy children, namely: 


Commitment – we are committed to the vision, mission and goals of the Hunter Kids, team, families and stakeholders at all times.


Integrity – we always speak the truth and only ever make agreements that we intend to keep.


Excellence – we always look to reflect, grow and improve and add value to our programs.


Communication – we communicate positively to all stakeholders and at all times. We do not use sarcasm, profanity or listen or react to gossip.


Education – we reflect and learn from our mistakes, we gain practical knowledge and provide solutions.


Teamwork – we cooperate, work collaboratively with all stakeholders and seek outcomes and resolutions.


Systems – we work to our systems and guidelines if a problem arises. We follow regulations and strive for continuous improvement.


Consistency – we are consistent in our actions and ensure comfort and respect for all stakeholders.


 In terms of children, Hunter Kids programs are guided by the following principles:


  • To ensure children’s learning and development is facilitated and their individual interests and abilities are encouraged and needs are met
  • To provide challenging and interesting age appropriate activities using a variety of resources and suitable equipment to engage and stimulate children’s physical, intellectual, social and creative abilities
  • To plan for a range of daily indoor and outdoor activities taking into account the health and development guidelines for the age group
  • To enable children to participate in quiet/active activities, as well as group/small group or individual activities
  • To encourage children to feel part of the school and wider community
  • To be evaluated regularly by children, families and educators using a variety of assessments and strategies.


Are there any unique aspects to the Hunter Kids offer?


Hunter Kids is independently owned and operated, and Ms McCourt is supported by Operations Manager Madeline Johnstone.  


Each of the four services has its own philosophy which sits under the broader vision and values of the Hunter Kids brand. 


What is Hunter Kids’ approach to educator professional learning?


All Hunter Kids educators undergo a recruitment and training process that may involve first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training and any other training as required by national or state regulatory bodies. 


Educators also participate in training which introduces Hunter Kids’ systems and performance reviews. Depending on their position in the service, educator members must also hold valid children services qualifications, be currently studying acceptable children services qualifications or enrol to study in appropriate children services qualifications within six months of commencing employment with Hunter Kids. 


To learn more about Hunter Kids, visit the website or the Facebook page for current updates. 


If you are an ECEC approved provider and would like to see your organisation or service profiled in the Jobs Roundup newsletter, please click this link and fill out the form.

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