Providing OSHC to preschool children
There’s much to consider when including preschool-age children in out of school hours care (OSHC).
Suitable facilities, appropriate supervision and educator-to-child ratios are just the start. It is also important to use an educational program that it suitable for their age and ensure safety, particularly at transition times.
Approved providers should conduct risk assessments when preschool-age children attend the service. Younger children are often more vulnerable and, in an environment for older children, the likelihood of potential harm is greater.
We have heard of children as young as 36 months attending OSHC. There are more appropriate services for children of this age. If they are attending OSHC, even more thought needs to be given to the points below.
Also do we know that your service is providing OSHC to preschool-age children? If not, please let us know. This is done through a Notification of change to information about an approved service form (SA12).
Some things to consider are:
Do toilets provide older children with adequate privacy? Are there suitably sized toilets for younger children? How will toileting accidents be managed supportively and respectfully? Is the fencing adequate for younger children?
Are you using the relevant curriculum for preschool-age children: Belonging, being & becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia?
Does the service have access to appropriate resources and equipment for the additional age group of children (including tables and chairs of suitable height)?
Have you considered educator-to-child ratios for the age group of children you are providing education and care for? Do you have any educators who have a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care? Having educators with different qualifications (early childhood and school-age education) means all children’s needs can be appropriately supported and promoted.
It’s important to include this type of detail on your notification. This is so we are clear what age groups you are providing education and care for. If your service approval is for OSHC, mainly school-aged children should be attending.
Please call us on (08) 8226 0077 or email: educationstandardsboard [at] sa.gov.au if you have any questions about this this type of notification.