The Joys and Challenges of OSHC

It could be argued that keeping up with planning and documentation in an OSHC setting is one of the most challenging tasks an educator will ever encounter. The OSHC setting has a unique set of circumstances that certainly keep educators on their toes: the children being in the service for short sessions, children attending irregularly, dealing with different groups of children each day, dealing with large numbers of children, dealing with high staff turnover…

However, working with school age children has its advantages too: children being able to easily share their program ideas; being able to involve children in critical reflection; getting to know children in a relaxed, social, and fun setting; and the satisfaction of planning and delivering a program that will be remembered by children many years after they leave our service…

EarlyWorks supports educators in both overcoming the challenges and making the most of the joys of the OSHC setting.

Let’s begin with the challenges…

How can we track planning and documentation for children who are only in our service for a quick bus ride from school, a healthy snack, and the start of an activity? Or for children whose attendance is very irregular? Using EarlyWorks, educators can use the Child Alerts to easily track the documentation of every child in the service, regardless of their attendance pattern.  On a single screen, educators can see the dates of all documentation created for every child.  And, using the alerts system, can set a timeframe in which all children have documentation created. If this timeframe is getting close, or has passed, the dates will be highlighted in orange or red (1.2, 1.3.1).

How can we keep on top of how children are travelling against the MTOP outcomes? EarlyWorks makes this super easy! A profile is generated for every child, recording the number of times each outcome has been planned for and/or observed each quarter. EarlyWorks also generates a summative assessment for every child, in the form of a Learning Journey. This is based on the outcome comments added for any child within any date range 1.3, 1.3.1).

Now for making the most of the joys…

Using EarlyWorks, educators can hand the devices over to the children so that they can record their own observations, program ideas, reflections, photos directly into observation and journal narratives. Children could also be invited to share their ideas for activities into the narratives of next experiences. A brilliant way of ensuring children’s interests, ideas and points of view are integral to the program (1.1.2, 1.2.3, 5.1, 5.1.1).

By encouraging children to actively take part in documentation in EarlyWorks, educators are also providing opportunities for children to work towards the five MTOP outcomes. Handing ownership of journals to children provides authentic opportunities for children to become effective communicators (outcome 5). Involving children in planning of next experiences in EarlyWorks opens up opportunities for children to be connected and actively contributing to their world (outcome 2), as well as confident and involved learners (outcome 4).

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