Bringing Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) Educators, together.
I’m proud to be an OSHC Educator and professional. I wanted to provide an opportunity for OSHC Educators to come together to meet in a relaxed environment and share our thoughts, ask questions and network with others.
Often in OSHC, we are tangled under the early childcare umbrella with most of the focus going to the 0-5 years age range. How many events do you go to wanting to hear just an acknowledgement that there may be OSHC educators in the room? It’s often forgotten about with most just having in mind there are only early childcare educators in the room.
I wanted to provide something that was 100% for OSHC and OSHC only, with the whole focus on what we do in our unique environments.
This led me to hold an OSHC Educator Open Day two weeks ago.
We opened our centre and put an invitation out to all OSHC Educators and waited to see what happened. Although I thought people would be interested, I was not expecting 80 OSHC Educators to register. This was in one week! Although I was not expecting it, I was proud – I was proud of our profession and how many wanted to come and network. We had educators come from more than 2 hours away, that’s how important it was to them to have something that was OSHC only.
Along with OSHC Educators, I opened the invitation to other professionals. We had many interested without question, again, showing how important they all view OSHC as a profession. Others that attended:
- Department of Education, Early Childhood Education Directorate – Regulatory Authority.
- Department of Education, BASC Reform team.
- KU Inclusion Support professionals.
- Adam from Koori Kinnections.
- Saurubh from We Belong Education.
All 5 of the above groups value OSHC and wanted to support and network with OSHC Educators as well. Each group had a different side they could offer OSHC Educators.
The Regulatory Authority representatives happily spoke to everyone, answered questions and provided any guidance they could. It was an easy platform for Educators to connect with The Regulatory Authority, in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Often our only dealings are in high stress environments, such as with Assessment & Rating, which I wanted to help change.
The BASC Reform team are looking after the $120 million Before and After School Care fund. It was great to have them present to learn more about this new funding that services can access. They were also interested in learning about OSHC and what we wanted as a sector.
KU Inclusion Support professionals talked with Educators about their options when it comes to looking for support in our services for children of all types of backgrounds. They shared not only advice on funding, but other resources the service also offers we may not all be aware of.
Adam from Koori Kinnections connected with many Educators, so much so – we had to print him more flyers as he ran out quickly with everyone interested. This I believe is important. As one of the 6 guiding principles of the NQF, one of them is ‘Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued’, it was great to see services embracing this area and genuinely interested in learning more and how Koori Kinnections could help their services with embedding indigenous practices.
Saurubh from We Belong Education, I’ve already written an separate article on him and his services, but felt it was important to share what he does with other OSHC Educators. I knew I had learnt so much from him, that others would find it valuable too.
In the end, we had just under 100 attend the event. What I thought was just a networking opportunity, had definitely turned into an event. An event for OSHC and OSHC only. It was great to so many different conversations happening, all informal and honest, amongst eachother. Lots of sharing was had and questions asked.
Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen – Pete Carroll
Since the event, there has been nonstop positive feedback and the best feedback is hearing how other teams were inspired from talking to others or visiting, that they then went on leaving motivated to make positive changes in their own services.
Everyone took something different from the day. Just a two-hour event is all it took. I encourage more of you to do the same – open up your centres, share, invite others in. None of us are judging, we are all just learning and we seem to thrive off learning off each other.
Next on the cards is a regional OSHC Educator Open Day that I’ve already started to organise. In Sydney, we take it for granted how close we all are to each other and resources / others, so I wanted to bring this type of event to our regional OSHC Educators.
Do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any feedback, requests or questions.
Looking forward to making more OSHC events happen!