Supervision and development: grade 2 students Katelyn and Cooper play in the Canadian Lead library, set to be an OSHC program quiet space. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Out of school care in Canadian

April 8, 2021 BY

CANADIAN Lead Primary School students are currently being bussed to-and-from Ballarat west if they need to access out of school hours care.

But with the help of a $75,000 injection from the State Government’s 2020-2021 budget, the school will soon be able to fund their own OSHC club for Canadian Lead kids in need of care before their school day begins, or after 3.30pm.

Principal Sue Knight said a demand for a structured OSHC support system has been increasing in recent years, but it was challenging for many parents – although keen – to commit to permanent weekly places.

“We’ve really needed this grant to help us make the service viable for the first four years to get our own out of school hours care up and established,” she said.

“With a library, canteen and gymnasium, toilets just next door and a lovely outdoor space, our school is perfect for kids to stay after school. We need two staff to run the program, so organising staffing is what the grant will help us do.

“It will help us cover the costs to have children every single night, and we’re really confident it will build. Our numbers are growing, and with the program on site, more parents will feel more comfortable, and confident to apply for jobs or go back to study because they know they’ll have care.”

At OSHC, children participate in physical activities and quiet time, have healthy snacks, and enjoy important developmental social interaction.

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle said increasing access to before and after school care will strengthen the workforce, and support the state’s COVID economic recovery.

“This investment will go a long way to making the daily juggle of work, school and kinder just that little bit easier,” she said.

“This benefits all of regional Victoria. We’re seeing an increase in the provision of out of hours school care of 20 percent in the Central Highlands.”