Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$2.54 million for Outside School Hours Care Services to boost quality assurance

Over 2900 Outside School Hours Care Services are eligible for a share in $2.54 million funding from the Howard Government to help ensure they are providing quality care.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said today the additional funding would help over 2900 Outside School Hours Care Services participate in a new Quality Assurance system (QA).

“This new funding for Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance, includes a one-off grant of $500 per service component (for before school, after school and vacation care),” Senator Patterson said.

“These grants will assist with the costs associated with implementing QA, which may include QA training, minor repairs or the purchase of equipment to assist services to meet QA standards.

“The Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance (OSHCQA) Support Project, which began in late 2003, has provided vital assistance for OSHC services to implement the QA system nationally. It has helped services to provide quality outcomes for children and their families by fostering improvements and by raising the professional standing of the OSHC sector.

“The OSHCQA Support Project, which will be extended to November 2006, assists services to gain a thorough understanding of the QA accreditation process by providing more tailored and practical support.

“The Government’s investment in OSHCQA is another example of our commitment and enhanced support for Australian children and their families.

“Parents deserve the peace of mind that their children are attending safe, high quality childcare.

“Unfortunately Victoria and NSW are not fulfilling their role in ensuring quality child care. They do not have any regulations in place for Outside School Hours Care. On behalf of parents I call on these states to immediately put these vital regulations in place,” Senator Patterson said.