Out of School Hours (OOSH) care is supervised care for school aged children before and after school, on teacher's only days and during school holidays.
OOSH care is aimed at primary school aged children and the services are usually run by community and private organisations. For more information on what you can expect from OOSH care check out ‘An overview of out of school hours (OOSH) and vacation care'.
Children in OOSH care tend to be older than children in other forms of care however, problems can still arise and it is worth knowing how to deal with an issue before one arises.
OOSH care providers are obliged to operate with a complaints management policy, ask to see a copy of the policy when you first take your child along to meet the carers. Familiarise yourself with how the policy works and ask questions about anything which is unclear.
The Network of Community Activities, a group which coordinates and runs OOSH care programmes, offers the following procedure for parents to follow in the case of problems:
If you feel your rights are not being respected, or if you have any other complaint or concerns about the centre please:
- Talk to the OOSH Coordinator in person or phone.
- Talk with the OOSH management Committee Chairperson.
- Talk to the Sponsor Body/Organisation Supervisor.
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome of these discussions, or felt your rights were not respected, then contact a member of the Sponsor Body/Organisation Manager/Management Committee or place your complaint in writing and send it to any of the above people.
- If you are still not satisfied, after following the steps outlined above, contact the Ombudsman in your state or territory.
Remember the best way to deal with an issue is to tackle it straight away, so always talk to your child's carer or their manager before you do anything else. No matter how angry or upset you are, try and take a positive problem-solving approach to the conversation as this is more likely to help you get the outcome you are hoping for.