Council would like to clear up misconceptions that may result from a report in the Bayside Bulletin (Tuesday 16 October 2012) relating to the transition out of school-age care.
Council is not “axing” school-age care.
It is transitioning out of school-age care to allow other specialist providers – who can deliver the services more efficiently and flexibly – to do so.
It is important to know that Education Queensland’s approval for Council to deliver the services in state schools is due to expire.
With Education Queensland embarking on a new competitive tender process, rather than just leaving it to Council to run these services, Council would have had to compete with other more agile organisations – and it is unlikely that Council would be successful in that tender process.
Other organisations, including not-for-profits such as P&Cs, can run school-age care services very efficiently and with less red tape than Council.
Because the process will now be a competitive one, it is likely that schools will benefit, with their P&C Associations running the school-age care service or being offered financial incentives by the new provider.
It is also important to know that most school-age care services around the state are provided by community based not-for-profit organisations, not councils.
In fact, no other Council in south-east Queensland delivers school-age care because it is not the core business of Council.
Council originally got involved in school-age care because there were no other providers. Our own reviews over the years have shown that Council should move out of school-age care once the market matures and there are a sufficient number of providers who can deliver these services. That time has well and truly come.
There will be no disruption to services at the 19 schools that currently have Council-operated school-age care.
To allow a community service to be run by the most efficient organisation is good for the community and allows Council to focus on its core business.
It is up to schools to determine who they want to run their school-age care service.