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Out of school hours care (OSHC) advisory committee

School governing councils operating an out of school hours care (OSHC) service on a DECD site must establish an OSHC advisory committee.

However, the school governing council as the approved provider holds ultimate responsibility for the employment of staff, management of the service and meeting accountability requirements.

Committee responsibilities

The OSHC advisory committee is responsible for:

  • assisting the school governing council to comply with the Education and Care Services National Regulations
  • supporting the school governing council, principal and OSHC director to ensure the quality of care being offered is in keeping with the values, principles and policies of the school, council, community and the department
  • ensuring that children, families and staff have a voice in the management of the OSHC service
  • supporting the OSHC director and staff on a day-to-day basis
  • making recommendations to the school governing council for its endorsement (ratification).

The advisory committee must not make decisions or act on behalf of the service without council approval

Membership

Membership of the OSHC advisory committee must include:

  • the principal or their nominee
  • a member of governing council (preferably a parent user of the service)
  • school finance officer with OSHC responsibilities
  • the OSHC director
  • parent users of the service
  • educator representation in larger services.

The OSHC advisory committee will elect a:

  • chairperson
  • secretary
  • treasurer.

For continuity of knowledge, the committee should establish a system to ensure only half of its members are up for re-election at one time.

Membership of the OSHC advisory committee is open to all parents using the service and they should be actively encouraged to join.

Advisory committee recommendations provided to the school governing council should note any formal objections by its members to a recommendation.

Training and development needs of members

To support the training and development needs of its members the OSHC advisory committee:

  • may invite professionals to attend committee meetings to discuss particular issues, or professionals may be given short-term membership for a particular period
  • will identify any areas where members need training or resources to enhance their skills and participation in committee tasks
  • may network with other services.

Management

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • parents and staff are kept informed about the committee’s membership, meetings and recommendations to council and have opportunities for input into the management of the service
  • committee members are clear about the extent of their responsibilities with the OSHC service, by referring to the instrument of authorisation to the principal about the principal’s role and establishing an instrument of authorisation to the OSHC advisory committee
  • committee meetings discuss, research, seek additional advice, analyse, and make recommendations in the best interests of the staff, children, families, the service and community to the governing council, for ratification by the school governing council
  • the committee reports at each school governing council meeting on matters relating to budgets, fees, monitoring processes and day-to-day operational matters
  • meetings are held regularly such as twice per term before school governing council meetings and recorded appropriately.

Staffing

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • a comprehensive induction package and process, for OSHC staff and volunteers is developed and maintained
  • the OSHC director and staff are actively supported to meet the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Regulations
  • staff are provided with consultation and feedback opportunities as part of decision-making processes of the service.

Communication

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • the service has a comprehensive orientation plan for new children and families that responds to the needs of the community
  • ongoing information and communication strategies are developed between the committee and the school governing council, staff and families – and these incorporate regular feedback and review.

Complaints and grievances

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • a complaint and grievance policy and procedure are developed and implemented
  • school governing council members are informed of the policy and procedures to follow should conflict arise  
    • if they cannot resolve an issue, they seek the involvement of the local education office and Early Childhood Services for assistance
  • matters are resolved within two months
  • there is a process of appeal for school governing council and advisory committee decisions and the appeal process is included in parent, staff, school governing council  and advisory committee handbooks
  • a committee member who discovers a possible conflict of interest in determining an outcome for the service announces this at the committee meeting and withdraws from further discussion or decision-making in relation to that issue
  • people at all levels understand the relevance of maintaining confidentiality.

Financial management

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • the OSHC budget includes anticipated income from all sources, proposed expenditure and details of any funds held for special purposes
  • the committee works collaboratively with the OSHC director to develop the OSHC budget, set fees and monitor the finances of the service
  • the OSHC budget and setting of fees is reviewed quarterly and ratified by the school governing council annually
  • financial reports showing income and expenditure against the budget are comprehensive enough to assess the financial viability of the service, are presented at each advisory committee meeting and forwarded to each school governing  council meeting
  • OSHC finances are audited annually.

Policies and procedures

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • operational policies and procedures are developed in accordance with departmental policies and Regulation 168 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations
  • there is a process of regular and timely review of policies and procedures which should be ratified by school governing council
  • the service’s philosophy statement is evaluated annually to ensure it reflects the needs and values of clients and the operation of the service is consistent with the philosophy statement

Records management

The advisory committee must ensure that:

  • the committee requests access to the service’s records only when necessary to fulfil their committee responsibilities
  • requests for access to records are made to the OSHC director
  • the committee supports the council in meeting their legal duty to keep adequate records about staff
  • the committee protects the privacy and confidentiality of individuals by ensuring that all records and information about individual children, families, staff and members of school governing council and committee are stored in a secure place and are accessed by or disclosed only to those people who need the information to fulfil their responsibilities or have a legal right to know
  • members are aware schools, must manage, store and dispose financial records, certificates of insurance and other operational information is in line with the DECD records management policy.

Contact

Out of school hours care unit

Phone: 8226 6427
Emaildecd.oshc [at] sa.gov.au