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Outside school care urged to join trial

Minister for early childhood and child care Kate Ellis is encouraging  organisations that provide Outside School Hours Care (OSCH) to submit EOIs for a trial project.

The trial project funded by the government will include firms that will be providing OSCH for the first time and organisations that want to expand their OSCH services. It will also include groups that have ideas on how to establish new services using existing infrastructure.

Over $5.5 million is invested by the government for the trial of flexible child care models that sustain the current needs of families, including families who cannot pick up their children immediately after school.

“It’s all about improving accessibility and making OSCH more responsive to the needs of modern Australian families,” Ellis said.

The minister for early childhood and child care emphasised that the project will deliver more after school hours care for Australian families. The trial will last for 12 months and 60 child service providers will receive financial support from the government to develop and implement projects that aspire to advance OSHC services in communities.

The new government initiative will also enable service providers to expand their hours of care or provide new programs that can enhance children’s growth and development while they are at the centre.

Ellis said that the new project is a response to parents who have contacted her and told her that they are having a hard time to pick up their kids at 3pm. Outside school hours, she said, is an essential move to provide parents with flexibility they need so that they can keep their jobs.

The government will be providing support for 12 community coordinators who will be in charge of collaborating with centres, school parent associations and other community groups that can address out-of-school hours child care requirements.

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