ECEC Provider in Focus: Sydney Catholic Early Childhood Services
Sydney Catholic Early Childhood Services (SCECS) operates outside school hours care (OSHC) and early childhood services at several Catholic schools and Parishes within the Sydney Archdiocese.
What is the history of SCECS?
SCECS was founded in 2017 as an unincorporated body at the request of His Grace Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP. SCECS became an approved provider, with three employees at Head Office, and two staff members in the first SCECS service.
In 2018, the Head Office staff grew to six members, and seven OSHC services were in operation. Construction began on the first two SCECS early childhood services, and relationships were established with CatholicCare, Notre Dame University, Macquarie University, Early Childhood Australia and Community Early Learning Australia.
By 2021, the OSHC portfolio had grown to 25, an accelerated early childhood growth plan was approved to expand the Catholic long day care portfolio across the Archdiocese, and SCECS Head Office increased to 18 staff members to support organisational growth.
Where are SCECS services currently located?
There are currently 43 OSHC services in the network, and five early childhood services. These are located throughout Sydney, New South Wales. Staffing levels are now over 500 employees. SCECS proposes to build another seven ECEC services over the next three years
What is SCECS’ vision and approach to early learning?
The SCECS vision is to enable every family access to high-quality education and care from birth through primary school. SCECS promotes the pastoral outreach of parish and school communities by supporting the needs of families with young children.
Are there any unique aspects to the SCECS offer?
SCECS is a not-for-profit registered charity, offering fee relief to families experiencing hardship. Surplus funds are reinvested back into services to provide exceptional education and care environments.
What is SCECS’ approach to educators and their professional development?
To ensure SCECS services operate at the highest level, leadership and staff professional growth are key. SCECS offers a mix of face-to-face and online professional development. Conversations between managers, service directors and coordinators maintain focus on the topics of child safety, educational programs informed by critical reflections and inclusion. Staff awareness, understanding and application in these areas contributed to successful ratings achieved through the Department of Education’s assessment and rating process.
“The quality service delivered to the children and their families is a result of the hard work of the operations and pedagogy and practice teams,” a statement from SCECS notes.
SCECS educators and teachers are committed to providing an education rich and child-led recreational program. The educators are supported to deliver best practice according to the National Quality Standards and National Law and Regulations.
To learn more about SCECS, visit the website.
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