There are many great after school care facilities on the Gold coast where students who are eligible can attend, both before and after school. Some after school facilities are run by schools, while others are organised and run by Parents and Teachers Associations, Parents and Citizens Associations, local nonprofit, church and community groups as well as government and private commercial providers.
The easiest way to find out about all the different local groups your children may be able to join is to contact your local schools, teachers, the education department or search on the internet.
After school on the Gold Coast is a time when many students have a lot of free time with school finishing around 3 pm, there is often a gap of several hours before most working parents get home and are able to supervise their children. This is where after school care can be very useful and convenient.
After school care on the Gold Coast is a vital element in ensuring that students are gainfully occupied. Whether doing sports or other leisure activities, homework or extra studies this time if well utilized can be of great benefit to children’s overall development.
Conversely, if this time is not well structured and supervised it can lead to young people getting involved in activities that could be detrimental to their health and general wellbeing. It can also place extra strains and worries on working parents.
Well supervised and structured
After school care should be a pleasant and fun experience to encourage students to attend and participate. It needs to be designed so individuals can feel they are part of a group with fully supervised activities for all levels and age groups.
After School Care on The Gold Coast
Before and after school care helps to provide an important development opportunity where children can learn experiment and learn as well as play and relax in a safe supervised environment.
They usually operate:
· For school-aged children aged 4 onwards who are already in prep school, primary and secondary school students and homeschoolers looking for social interaction
· They’re generally available both before school and after school
· The normal operating hours are generally 6.30 am to 9 am and then 3 pm until 6.30 pm
· During school holidays and the weekends, after school care services on the Gold Coast are often open from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm. But individual services will have their own hours and conditions, so it pays to check
· They can often be found in locations such as schools, church groups, community centers and youth groups or clubs
· When after school care centers are located in government-run schools they are operated separately and independently from the school
· They are able to determine which individuals are to be given priority for their services or a place when there is a high demand. Just because a student is enrolled in a school does not mean they are eligible to go to a particular after school center
· All enrolment eligibility and criteria, including fees and conditions are determined by the individual services
· The after school services must meet the national quality rating system
· Their quality and standards are rated under the national ratings, this is designed to assess the quality of the available services so you can make an informed decision on which is the best for your children and your individual circumstances
· They must meet the requirements for an educator to child ratios, educator qualifications and learning frameworks
· Staff must have first aid qualifications and abilities
· There must be adequate indoor and outdoor space for the number of children. The minimum amount of outdoor space required is 7 square meters of unencumbered space or area and an indoor area of not less than 3.25 square meters of unencumbered area per child. These areas cannot be shared with others
· The regulations also state that any afterschool the facility cannot share any areas with any other facility, community group or entities. This includes such areas as libraries, cafeterias, toilets, changing rooms, swimming pools, tennis courts or other sporting areas at the same time or during the services hours of operation
· The regulations also state that any child while attending an (OSHC) outside school hours care facility if held in any state school premises shall not be permitted to leave the area that is approved. They are not permitted to leave even if they are being accompanied or supervised by a staff member unless they are undertaking an excursion between or being transported between approved areas
· All after school care services on the Gold Coast must also provide proper toilet and sanitation facilities
The majority of after school services on the Gold Coast in order to operate need to be approved by the Australian government and Child Safety.
By being approved, it allows most eligible parents to make a claim for the appropriate childcare subsidies that are available. This will help to reduce the fees and cost that may be incurred while using these services.
Before you decide on the right after school care facility it’s important to discuss with them some practical matters including:
· What you will need to provide your children with each day. Items such as a change of clothing, swimsuits, towels, protective equipment. It’s also important to know which items are prohibited such as cell phones, sharp objects and such
· You need to know the level of first aid they are equipped to administer and to advise them of any medical conditions, requirements or problems your children may have
· You also need to know about bringing food and drinks, some centers are able to provide meals and refreshments, others require to provide your own
After school care on the Gold Coast is now very popular and helps to provide flexibility and opportunities for many parents who would otherwise, be subjected to restricted working hours. It’s also an important part of children’s physical and mental development, allowing them more time to mingle and play with their peer groups.
Flourish Education provides professional tuition to individuals and small groups before, during and after school hours in the Gold Coast. For more details, contact us on 0434 594 764