As NSW families scramble to manage the return to face-to-face school next week, Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services have provided a lifeline for many essential workers and their children.
The Y NSW is the largest not-for-profit OSHC provider in NSW and is proud to be open at more than 50 locations across the state, giving children the opportunity to socialise and learn in a supported environment while their parents keep our communities running.
Registered Nurse and Aged Care Deputy Manager Chantel would be stuck without the Y to care for her son Lachlan. Her husband also works in Disability and Aged Care and the couple rely on the Y to allow them to protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
“The nurturing care that all the Y staff have provided to Excelsior’s children during the pandemic is above exceptional, the communication and tailored care has given both my husband and I the reassurance that our son is safe and well cared for when we are at work,” she said.
“Being one of the few children attending school for the past few months has been difficult for Lachlan in the sense that he misses his friends and regular class teacher…but he has been lucky enough to have two of his friends attend the Y which has supported him with social interaction,” she said.
The Y NSW West Pennant Hills OSHC parents Jason and Kim work in food manufacturing. With sales volumes up 50 per cent and lines running 24/7 to try and meet consumer demand, homeschooling their 6-year-old son Jake is not an option.
“We really don’t have anyone we can call on to look after him. With the workload we’re both under – I don’t know what we’d do without OSHC,” Jason said.
CEO of the Y NSW Susannah Le Bron said it’s been a bitter-sweet situation for the Y NSW in terms of the impacts to their business and their people.
“The Y NSW, like many organisations, has had a tumultuous 6-weeks with the closure of all of our gyms, pools and disruption to our youth programs. But as an organisation we look to find the positive in everything and we are so proud to still be offering care to families in need and employing 364 educators, more than 60 per cent of whom are under the age of 30.
“Our incredible Y staff continue to come into work with smiles on their faces, regardless of the issues facing our communities due to the pandemic. For essential workers’ kids OSHC is a familiar and fun place allowing them to connect with other students while school is disrupted.
“Parents are telling us OSHC has been essential in maintaining a sense of routine and giving kids something to look forward through while coming to terms with so many other big changes to their lives.”
About the Y
The Y in Australia is 175 years old and has been there for young people through two World Wars, the great depression and now a pandemic. We are still here and will continue to support young people through this by listening to them, helping them understand and providing a safe, fun and familiar environment to learn and grow throughout this period of change and uncertainty.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Madeleine Clarke on 0400 974 816 or Kate Hancock on 0439 427 522