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South Australia introduces innovative OSHC qualification to bolster education sector

April 09, 2024

Original Article:

South Australia is set to offer a new qualification aimed at enhancing the skills of individuals working in the education sector, particularly in supporting children’s wellbeing and development outside of regular school hours. This initiative marks the first time the Certificate III in Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) will be available in the state, reflecting a significant step forward in educational and childcare services.

This pioneering qualification is part of the collaborative effort between the Malinauskas and Albanese Labor Governments under the Fee Free TAFE initiative. It is specifically designed for those currently working or aspiring to work with school-aged children in OSHC and vacation care programs. The course’s development is a direct response to the findings of the Gillard Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care, highlighting the need for specialised training in this area.

Scheduled to commence from Semester 1, 2024, the course will span 18 months and will be delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face workshops. This flexible approach is tailored to accommodate those already employed in the industry, allowing them to participate in the training without disrupting their current professional commitments.

The Malinauskas Government has emphasized the importance of improving access to high-quality, affordable OSHC services, making it a key term of reference for the Gillard Royal Commission. The Commission’s Final Report underscored the OSHC sector’s challenges in attracting and retaining staff with the necessary qualifications. It recommended urgent changes to qualification requirements, including the recognition of an OSHC-specific qualification, to address these workforce challenges.

This new course is introduced at a time when TAFE SA is experiencing a remarkable 65% increase in enrolments compared to two years ago.

Blair Boyer MP, Minister for Education, Training and Skills, reflected on the new course, stating, “We want every South Australian family to have access to high quality out of school care, and this new course will mean we have more carers equipped to support children’s wellbeing and development outside of school hours.” He also emphasized the vital role of out-of-school care for working families and the government’s action on the Gillard Royal Commission’s recommendations to modernize OSHC qualifications.

TAFE SA Chief Executive David Coltman highlighted the collaborative effort in making this course available, saying, “It’s a great example of the way we work with industry to ensure the training we are delivering is relevant and addresses in-demand skills.” He also stressed the importance of vocational education in developing a skilled workforce and the high-quality, engaging training provided by TAFE SA.

Alicia Flowers, OSHC SA and Director of Torrensville Primary School OSHC, expressed her enthusiasm: “It’s fantastic to see an OSHC specific qualification being delivered in South Australia for the first time.” She acknowledged the role of OSHC SA in advocating for this qualification and welcomed the government’s commitment to enhancing OSHC programs in public schools.

This initiative marks a significant advancement in South Australia’s education sector, promising to elevate the quality of care and support available to children outside of traditional school hours.


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