Out of School Hours Care

Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services are approved to operate under the Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010, the Education and Care Services National Regulations and the National Quality Framework (NQF). OSHC services offer an educational program and practice delivered in accordance with My Time Our Place, the framework for school age care in Australia.

Regulations and Programs Team
02 9299 2845

ACECQA, the National Quality Framework and the NSW Regulator

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) oversees the national implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF), which is the application of the National Law and Regulations covering OSHC services (along with other approved ECEC services). The NQF includes the following areas:

  1. Approval for providers of education and care services
  2. Assessment and rating systems
  3. Offences, obligations and compliance
  4. Review processes
  5. Roles of regulatory authorities
  6. Records & privacy
  7. Transitional arrangements.

In NSW, the regulator for OSHC services is the Department of Education's Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate (ECECD). In order to operate an OSHC service approved under the NQF, several regulatory approvals are required, including Provider Approval and Service Approval. The ECECD only accepts online applications for approvals and notifications which are submitted through ACECQA’s National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS).

All OSHC services should ensure they are up to date with recent changes to NQF, which came into effect on 1 October 2017. These include a new educator to child ratio for OSHC services…with a ratio of 1:15 applying to OSHC services in NSW providing education and care to children over preschool age. However there will be a 12 month transitional period to allow time for services to prepare. The changes have also removed the requirement to document individual learning programs for children. OSHC services will now be required to maintain evidence about the development of the learning program rather than documenting evaluations of individual children’s wellbeing, learning and development.

National Quality Standard

As a requirement of the NQF, all approved OSHC services are assessed against the National Quality Standard and given a rating against seven quality areas, plus an overall rating. Ratings are published to provide parents and the community more information about individual services.

The seven areas for assessment are:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children's health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements (including the number of staff looking after children)
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Leadership and service management

It is important for OSHC providers to refer to information from the NSW regulator for requirements for these areas, available through the ECECD Outside School Hours Care website.

Relevant Documents

Relevant Links