A Long History in the Windsor Community
Windsor School Age Care Centre (WSACC) is a not-for-profit organisation with a community focus and has been serving the local Community with School Age Care Services for over 40 years.
WSACC provides Outside of School Hours Care (OSHC) for students from Prep to Year 7.
Whist collocated with St Mary of the Cross School, WSACC has a unique situation of not being a dedicated service to any school and is open to children from across the community. This means that the Centre is able to provide an extremely high quality, diverse and child-focused alternative option for parents / caregivers.
Values and Beliefs
WSACC believes that:
- The children’s physical, emotional and social needs must be met in a safe, caring and supportive environment; and
- The best interests of the child are our paramount concern.
The Centre provides care in a way that:
- Protects the child from harm;
- Respects the child’s dignity and privacy;
- Promotes the child’s wellbeing and growth; and
- Provides positive experiences to the child.
WSACC believes in:
- Respect for others and self;
- Respect for other’s cultures; and
- Respect for individual needs.
The Centre recognises and respects parents / caregivers as primarily responsible for the upbringing, protection and development of their children.
Children, parents / caregivers, staff and relevant community members are treated with respect and their views in relation to the proper operation of the Centre are considered and valued.
The Centre provides meaningful programs, which incorporate elements of play with elements of real-life experiences, incorporating recognition of the need for:
- Freedom of choice in experiences, balanced with age-appropriate programming and opportunities for child-initiated planning.
- A consistent, quality approach to child care is essential while at the same time acknowledging the individual uniqueness and interests of all children whenever possible in the day to day running of the Centre.
- Both affordable and accessible child care.
The Centre aims to support parents / caregivers in that role, to the greatest extent reasonably possible without prejudice. The Centre encourages and welcomes open discussion on all issues relevant to the Centre’s operation.
- For each individual child to develop an understanding of themselves and others.
- For each child to develop emotionally, socially, physically, culturally and cognitively.
- For each child to grow in independence, confidence and responsibilities.
- For each child to participate in independent learning through self-selecting activities, enabling them to develop skills and knowledge appropriate to developmental age and stage.
- For each child to feel as though they are participating and part of a team which is WSACC and the broader school community.
- For each child to develop an active and positive approach to life, encouraging them to reach achievable goals in a safe and secure environment.
- For staff, children and families to develop a relationship based on trust, respect and open communication.
- To reflect a diverse multicultural perspective and show acceptance of all people as equal.
- To provide a program which responds to individual as well as group needs and interests.
- To provide a wide variety of relaxing, stimulating and enjoyable activities for children.
- To provide an environment where families have the opportunity to contribute in the decisions and operations of the Centre.
- To provide opportunities for information, advice and support for families, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.
- To regularly reflect on and re-evaluate all issues relevant to the operation of WSACC, by way of open discussion with all stakeholders, in order to ensure a continuing standard of high quality care.
We Pride Ourselves in...
WSACC is proud to provide their services with a staff-to-child ratio of not more than 1:10; one third less than the legislated 1:15 model that most other OSHC services provide. This means higher levels of interaction with children, higher levels of safety, higher levels of education and enjoyment outcomes and – critically – higher levels of personal knowledge and care.
WSACC understands what it means to people to receive excellent care, not just to deliver a service.
WSACC’s Centre Manager has worked in the School Age Care sector for over 25 years. Its Assistant Coordinator has been employed by WSACC for over 15 years.
Around a third of WSACC’s employees have been past recipients of our care services and have elected to pursue their careers as community-based carers with WSACC as an employer of choice.
This achievement has delivered WSACC the ability to operate with an “end-user” perspective: we organically know what it’s like to receive the best care, not just deliver it. This is what makes us unique.
Outcomes in External Audits and Assessment
An Absolute Commitment to Best Practice Health and Safety.
WSACC has, and will continue to maintain a remarkable Health and Safety track record. In over three decades of operations, WSACC has had no adverse findings related to child welfare, health or safety.
Commitment to Governance and Excellent Management Practices.
The management and committee of WSACC have an ongoing commitment to ensuring the service complies with and exceeds its health and safety and risk management requirements. This is achieved through the implementation of a continuous improvement plan under the current assessment and ratings system administered through the NQF.
Comprehensive orientation procedures for new educators and ongoing professional development for all staff is provided to ensure that the educators engaged to care for children have a clear understanding of their responsibilities around safety including mandatory reporting guidelines, child protection, risk assessment and risk management, workplace health and safety, first aid, asthma management and anaphylaxis management.
WSACC has policies and procedures addressing issues around respect, relationships and communication with children.
Philosophies, Values, Beliefs and Goals Focused on the Child. WSACC implements its philosophies, values, beliefs and goals on a daily basis through all aspects of its service provision. WSACC offers a child focused program that aims to provide children with a warm, friendly, safe, caring and enjoyable environment.
Stimulating the Desire to Learn.
The quality of WSACC’s environment and its ability to engage and stimulate children’s learning is evident on observation of centre facilities and from family feedback received. WSACC has a fantastic reputation amongst its peers in relation to its environments and educational program.
WSACC’s core program has 12 specific program or project areas, each providing unique, fun and stimulating learning environments in which educators implement each Childs’ program. In addition, WSACC supports extracurricular activities through specialist facilitators engaged by WSACC.
- Home Corner.
- Sustainability Project.
- Art and Craft Program.
- Games and Drawing Area.
- Food Service Program.
- Computer Lab – Documentation of learning, Newsletter project and the Bloggers project.
- Facilitated Active Play.
- Homework and the Reading Buddy Program.
- Special Projects / Child Led Programing
WSACC supports its children to engage in external extracurricular activities by providing an educator who ensures children are either escorted or released to attend each activity and to provide the appropriate level of assistance required for children to begin their activities such as dressing for swimming or lacing up soccer shoes.
Stimulating Discovery and Exploration.
WSACC and its staff strive to create a learning environment deliberately designed to allow exploration and discovery so that children may enhance basic life skills while promoting their right to grow with a confident self-image.
WSACC provides a diverse range of activities for children involving structured and unstructured, and child led learning opportunities. These are indoor and outdoor, creative and expressive external extracurricular activities .
Stimulating a Sense of Community.
WSACC’s environment reflects a sense of ownership and belonging for children. Environments are deliberately designed to allow children to maintain ongoing games, investigations and projects, and it encourages children to plan and make choices.
The way the WSACC environment is designed intentionally reflects the input and creativity of the children and is determined by the way they engage with our resources.
Stimulating the Wider Community.
WSACC has developed its physical, procedural and experiential environments to a superior level in terms of its ability to meet the needs of its care receivers, their families and the School.
It is held in high regard within the sector for its stimulating environment and quality learning opportunities. For example in 2010, WSACC was selected as the only outside school care service showcased for a bus tour of child care professionals conducted by the Professional Support Coordination Queensland (PSCQ) of the Workforce Council (Peak body for training of Queensland child care sector) focusing on environments.
Health Nutrition and Wellbeing
WSACC follows the Australian Government Guide to Healthy Eating Dietary Guidelines as referenced in PANOSH publication Physical Activity and Nutrition Policy.
Promoting Healthy Eating at Every Opportunity
WSACC promotes balanced and healthy eating through a documented nutrition policy providing for a healthy and nutritious diet, and in particular by providing positive learning experiences during meal / snack times where good nutritional food habits are reinforced in a happy, social environment. WSACC encourages parents / caregivers to participate in this approach to nutrition for their children.
Engaging the Whole Family in Healthy Eating
WSACC values the input of staff and families taking into account children’s individual needs in preparing meals.
Sensitive to Cultural and Dietary Needs. The service fully supports the food requirements specified by families according to culture, religious, special dietary needs.
Nutritious, Varied and Attractive Menus
WSACC appreciates the importance of ensuring menus vary so that the children find nutritional choices attractive.
In terms of the Smart Choices food and drink supply strategy, these menu offerings provide:
- a wide representation of varied and nutritious foods;
- low fat varieties of milk, yoghurt, and cheese;
- low fat protein choices (e.g. eggs);
- plenty of vegetables, legumes (e.g. chilli con carne) and fruits;
- a variety of cereals (including a variety of breads); and
- water or low fat milk as the drinks of choice.
In particular, WSACC menus limit saturated fat intake, are low in sodium and only provide moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars.
Green foods are encouraged and promoted.
Amber foods are carefully selected and offered only as an adjunct to green foods (e.g. ham, spreads) and red foods are rarely, if ever, on offer to children at WSACC.
Compliance, Quality and Continual Improvement in Nutritional Operations
WSACC’s food services are operated in accordance with PANOSH food safety guidelines both on premises and off site as required. WSACC food and nutrition program is also independently audited by an accredited Practising Dietician every five years.
This food safety audit assesses staff knowledge of accreditation guidelines, centre food safety policies, staff food safety training and practices in food preparation facilities, personal hygiene, safe food storage and preparation, meeting family’s needs and relevant information provision and cleaning procedures.
Investing In Our Community
As WSACC is a not-for-profit organisation all surplus funds are reinvested in the local community and the centre. To date our investments have been:
- Funding the Windsor State School meeting plaza.
- Funding soft-fall beneath the Windsor State School climbing web.
- Funding some of the covered walk-ways within Windsor State School infants area.
- Past funding of Windsor State School playgrounds.
- Establishing substantial Centre resources.
- Installation of a professional grade, industrial kitchen for catering and educational purposes at Windsor State School.
- Funding for specialist carers for special needs children.
- Funding for specialist carers for homework supervision.
- Contributing to the Windsor State School Fair.
- Loans of equipment to the school.
- Plus much, much more.