OOSH (Out of School Hours) covers services for school-age children before and after school and during the school vacations. The acronym OOSH has been used in NSW since the early 1980s. The official name for the government’s program is Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) or Vacation Care (VC). Service providers will run either one or a combination of service types including Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care. Service fees and operating times will vary between services across NSW.
Apart from financial assistance with the establishment of services and support for some services in disadvantaged areas, OOSH services do not receive direct funding. The majority of services are approved for Child Care Benefit (CCB) and are able to subsidise parents’ fees.
Since January 1, 2012 OOSH Services in NSW have been included in the National Education and Care Services Regulation. All OOSH services are required to implement a program based on “My Time Our Place” – the Framework for School Age Care“.
There are approximately 1100 OOSH services in NSW.
Vacation care services aim to provide safe, caring environments for school age children during school holiday periods, which meets the needs of working and non-working parents. Vacation Care services provide supervised care and recreation programs based on the interests, abilities and development of the children attending the service.
These services are run by a variety of sponsors including:
- Parent committees
- Local councils
- Neighbourhood centres
- Statewide organisations such as YMCAs and YWCAs and Police Citizens’s Youth Club
- Church organisations
- Private providers