Clarifications from NSW Department of Education about BASC/OSHC/school hours trials at 9 schools

Services will recall the NSW Government's announcement on 10 May 2022 to trial new/complementary before-and-after-school-care across 8 (now 9) public schools alongside existing out-of-school-hours-care services.


ACA NSW has since had discussions with the NSW Department of Education regarding our concerns, including 27 questions. 


The NSW Department of Education has provided their responses to at least the following questions (summarised as follows):


Q1: Will the new BASC/OSHC poviders be subject to the same educators:children ratios as existing BASC/OSHC providers?

A1: In effect, all new BASC/OSHC providers will have similar educators:children ratios to existing providers.


Q2: Will the NSW Department of Education’s Authorised Officers conduct their breaches and non-compliance visits on these new BASC/OSHC providers during this trial?

A2: The new providers are not subject to the compliance and breach monitoring process under the National Quality Framework. The NSW Department of Education has developed a robust system to monitor compliance in relation to child safety and wellbeing as well as incident management protocols.


Q3: Will the NSW Department of Education’s Authorised Officers simulate quality rating assessments on these new BASC/OSHC providers during this trial?

A3: No quality rating assessments will be undertaken. Any type of quality rating assessment will be undertaken and will seek feedback from parents, students, school principals about their experiences of programs and partners. 


Q4: At the end of this trial, how will the NSW Department of Education assess these new BASC/OSHC providers’ outcomes against the My Time Our Place Learning Framework?

A4: As this is a research pilot, the outcomes will be assessed against the evaluation strategy and objectives of the Expanding School Hours Program.


Q5: Will there be any financial differences experienced by parents who must choose between the existing BASC/OSHC providers versus the new BASC/OSHC providers?

A5: Parents will have the option to sign their child(ren) up to participating in the extracurricular activities. This may be in addition to their existing enrolment in the onsite BASC/OSHC service. (NOTE: ACA NSW is interpreting that as being it may be free with the new providers, but not free for the existing providers during the 6 month trial.)


Q6: What are the range of compensations that will be provided to existing BASC/OSHC providers should children who normally are enrolled in their services now switch to the new BASC/OSHC providers during this trial

A6: Effectively, existing BASC/OSHC services that may be negatively impacted by these trials are encouraged to contact the NSW Department of Education's Leasing and Licensing team within School Infrastructure NSW to discuss the matter and a suitable alternative arrangement.


Q7: Outside of the National Quality Framework, how will the NSW Department of Education measure the benefits of those children who participated in the trials? Will there be academic and non-academic measures of progress/success emanating from this trial on a child-level as well as a cohort-level?

A7: The research pilot is not long enough, at this stage, to correlate academic attainment and wellbeing outcomes with participation in the research pilot but efforts will be made (that are suitable and defensible) to gauge student outcomes through surveys and focus groups.


Q8: How will the NSW Department of Education assess workplace participation improvements of parents?

A8: The Department will explore this through surveys and focus groups of parents who have volunteered to participate in the research pilot. 


Q8: Other than the NSW Department of Education's Before-and-After-School-Care (BASC) Council, how transparent will the results of the trial be to the broader early childhood education and care sector?

A8: The Department is planning to publish case studies from the pilot. This will be available to the sector. (NOTE: ACA NSW will pursue for and intends to share more details with the sector in addition to the planned case studies. Those other details collected were alluded to by the NSW Department of Education above.)


This BASC/OSHC/school hours "changes" trial commenced on 18 July 2022 and will be conducted during Term 3 and Term 4 of 2022.


Should members need further information/clarification, please contact the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.


PUBLISHED: 21 JULY 2022

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