2 Year Extensions to Licences

Network is pleased to bring you an update regarding the 2 year licence extensions for OOSH providers on public school sites whose licences commenced prior to 1 August 2022.

Network has met with representatives from School Infrastructure. As part of this meeting we secured clarity for OOSHs operating on public school sites with regards to extensions to licenses.

OOSHs will be aware that on the afternoon of 12 August an email was sent from Claire Beattie Executive Director, Asset Activations, announcing that:

“…the Department is pleased to announce that we may offer a two-year licence extension to Out of School Hours Care providers.

This extension is at the Department’s discretion and will be informed in consultation with schools and school community.”

Network can now confirm that our members can feel optimistic about this announcement, and that the vast majority of Services will receive this 2 year extension.

Acting Executive Director, Asset Activations, Anthony Futia has assured Network that the intention of the announcement is to genuinely offer providers an extension of their licence, and that the majority of providers will receive the extension. 

This includes those Services who feel they are at imminent risk by virtue of the policy change to put parent-managed and NFP OOSHs to tender.

 

We’ve had a lot of bad news recently and I’m cautious – are you sure we’ll get 2 more years?

Acting Exectuive Director, Asset Activations, Anthony Futia has assured Network that the intention of the announcement is to genuinely offer providers an extension of their licence, and that the majority of providers will receive the extension. 

Network wants to take this opportunity to thank Anthony Futia and his team for exercising their power to extend licenses for all OOSH Services, particularly after a period of prolonged stress on the Sector. 

 

What does “may offer” mean? Are we likely to receive a licence extension?

While the announcement does read that Services “may” receive a licence extension, we want to assure providers that the Department is going to roll this measure out en masse. Where there are ongoing, documented issues such as a serious breach of a licence agreement, the Department may consult with Principals and Community and determine not to grant the additional 2 years. If you have any concerns we encourage you to contact Network sooner rather than later on support@networkofcommunityactivities.org.au.

 

Who does this extension apply to?

This 2 year licence extension applies to providers on public schools whose licence:

  •  commenced prior to 1 August 2022; and
  • did not end prior to 1 August 2022.

This is regardless of provider type (Category A, B or C).

If your licence ended prior to 1 August 2022 then you will not benefit from this announcement.

 

What about ‘option’ periods?

The 2 year extension will be in addition to your option period. Whether you are presently in your initial licence period or option period you will receive 2 years on top of your option period.*

*note, if your option period has expired and you are in a ‘hold over’ or ‘month to month’ agreement see below.

 

I’m on a ‘month to month’ arrangement, in ‘holding over’, or my licence expired some time ago. What does this mean for me?

If you are in a holding over period you are still able to receive an additional 2 years extension to your licence. If your licence ended prior to 1 August 2020 and you have been in holding over for more than 2 years, that additional 2 year extension has already been ‘used up’. 

For example:

 

How will this work in practice?
The Department will issue a Deed of Variation (DoV) to your licence, confirming the new end date 2 years from the end of your licence. Think of this as a written update to your licence – it forms part of your contract with the Department. 

A representative of School Infrastructure will be in contact with you regarding this licence extension. We understand many of you are nervous, and looking for confirmation of your individual licence extension in writing. We are assured by the School Infrastructure team that the vast majority of Services can expect the extension. If you have concerns about your individual circumstances we welcome your queries on support@networkofcommunityactivities.org.au or (02) 9212 3244.

 

What about Category A – Parent-Managed OOSH Services? How long do I have to move to ‘P&C ownership or control’?

“Parent-run Providers who wish to move the OSHC service to operate under P&C Association ownership and control need to do so before the expiry of their current licence (which may now include the 2-year extension).”

If you are on a holding over period that expired before 1 August 2022, we are assured by School Infrastructure that you will still have until 30 June 2025 to successfully move to P&C ownership and control. If you or the P&C indicate to the Department that you will not be moving to P&C ownership or control, your OOSH will be put to tender at the conclusion of your licence agreement (i.e. at the end of the 2 year extension).  If you aren’t sure, reach out to us on support@networkofcommunityactivties.org.au.

 

Does the extension apply only to OOSHs?

Eagle-eyed members noticed that the example in the Department’s FAQs on this issue mentioned a school canteen. Canteens and other relevant third parties under the Community Use of School Facilities policy may also receive the 2 year licence extension.

 

What do I do now?

There’s nothing for you to do at this stage. If you are concerned about your individual circumstances, for example, if your relationship with your school Principal is strained or you have concerns about your compliance with your licence agreement, please reach out to Network. We are advocating for a number of individual Services based on the unique circumstances of their cases, and we can do the same for you.

 

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