Before and After School Care Regulations: What you Need to Know (Schools Perspective)

Josh Bobbermen News

As a school there are many regulations and requirements you need to adhere to on a daily basis. The same goes for Before and After School care services. Whether the service is based inside your school or at an external location, it’s important to know a little about the regulations for Before and After School Care.

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the important areas:

Staff to child ratio

While at school there may be one teacher for up to thirty children, at Before and After School care the requirements for staffing are quite different. Regulations require one staff member for every fifteen children at all times. These requirements increase for excursions. This is the minimum requirement and some service providers will employ more staff than this.

Space requirements

B&A providers must ensure that, for each child being cared for, the premise has at least 3.25 square meters of unencumbered indoor space and 7 square metres of unencumbered outdoor space. That’s why it is important the Before and After School Care service always has access to all of its licensed spaces during the hours of operation. If the space is shared with other members of the school community it needs to always be available during Before and After School care sessions.

Staffing arrangements

The B&A provider must designate a suitably qualified and experienced coordinator to lead the development and implementation of educational programs in the service. In addition to this, at least 50 % of the educators must have, or be actively working towards, at least an approved diploma level education and care qualification. Having qualified staff on hand is important and again, these are just the minimum requirements.

First aid qualifications

The service provider must ensure that at all times there is at least one staff member in attendance who holds a current first aid qualification, anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training. Health information for each child must be kept with their enrolment information and management plans completed for any child with a specific illness or allergy.

Knowing about the regulations that OSHC services must adhere to is important, particularly if the service operates from within your school. While this is just a quick overview of some of the areas the regulations include, it is recommended you read all of the regulations if you can.