Your school’s OSHC provides a valuable service to your school community. More often than not it runs along without your input, and this is a good thing. However, you still need to make sure you regularly review your before, after and vacation care service provider to ensure they are always doing a top-quality job.
If you haven’t done it for a while, now’s the time to think about the health of your school’s OSHC. Think about your recent experiences with your service, visit them and find out how healthy it is.
Consider these aspects
Are the staff at the service warm and engaging to everyone they meet? You want to make sure families and school staff feel safe and welcomed into the service – and that includes you too! Are you acknowledged, greeted warmly, and shown around the service?
If you don’t already know, ask about staff turnover and qualifications. Think also about how the staff communicate regularly with the school and with parents. Do you think this is adequate?
You might not know much about the OSHC program if you haven’t asked about it or visited the service lately. Ask to see copies of the recent programs and assess the activities on offer. Is there a broad range of activities offered to suit the needs of the children who attend?
Do you think it would be appealing to school-aged children? You’ll also be able to see if the children are happy and engaged in activities as soon as you walk into the OSHC.
The program is what attracts children to the service and keeps them coming back for more, even if they don’t need to be there.
FINANCES AND SUPPORT
Do you know if your parents are receiving good value for money with their OSHC fees? Is the school being paid market rates by the service provider? You can do your research here to find out.
Do you know how easy or difficult it is for parents to make fee payments or query their accounts? Find out what the process is and if it’s working well.
As a principal, you’ve probably heard some feedback about the OSHC service in an informal capacity. Has this feedback been positive? Ask some of the children who attend how they feel about the service, as well as any teachers or other school staff who deal with the OSHC service regularly.
How well is the venue resourced? Is there a variety of equipment to meet the needs of the children who attend? Is it tidy, safe, and clean? You can look around the service and view the resources and how they are presented. The room should look inviting and fresh – like somewhere kids would be happy to stay. You can tell a lot about the service just by simply looking around.
Finally, think about how your OSHC engages with the school for events outside of before, after and vacation care. Do they contribute to school fundraising or community events? If not, why not? Your OSHC service should help to elevate your school’s brand. Would you recommend your OSHC provider to another school? If the answer isn’t a resounding YES, you need to ask yourself why not?
You can perform a full health check on your OSHC by using our OSHC Health Check form. It’s important to do this regularly and assess if your OSHC provider is meeting the needs of your school community.