For working parents, Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) is all kinds of convenient, not to mention it gives children a great start to the school day and is a good way to learn, develop and have fun with friends after school.
What you may not realise is that it also provides a whole lot of convenience for another group: the OSHC educators themselves.
Like for Matisse McNair (pictured above), who works at the Communities at Work Palmerston OSHC service. She started studying for a double degree in nursing and paramedicine at university three years ago and was looking for a role that would fit around her uni timetable. She was surprised to discover just how flexible a role as an OSHC educator was.
“I wanted to become a paediatric nurse, working with children. So, working at Communities at Work has really allowed me to develop and progress my career path, while the hours accommodate my uni study,” she says.
“The timings of OSHC work out really well with my timetable. I’m able to go to uni in the middle part of the day and then work in the morning or the afternoon, either side of uni.”
Kayley Stewart, who works as an educator at Communities at Work’s Charles Weston OSHC, was similarly attracted to the convenience of working hours around her existing commitments. She initially wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for work, but her mother, who works in children’s services for Communities at Work, recognised how great she was with children, and knowing about the flexibility it offered around study, suggested Kayley apply. Five years later, Kayley absolutely loves what she does, and has her eyes set on continuing her career with the organisation.
“I started out as an educator at the end of year 12. Since then, I’ve progressed to a 2IC, then a program coordinator, and now I’m a senior program coordinator. So, Communities at Work has really given me the opportunity to grow, both within my role and position at the organisation, and just as a person,” Kayley says.
“Starting out fresh out of high school, I was a bit shy and nervous to be working in a new job. I had worked in retail before that, so it’s very different. But now after five years working for the organisation, I’m full of confidence.”
Communities at Work operates multiple OSHC services across Canberra, providing Before and After School Care and School Holiday Programs. To work as a casual OSHC educator with Communities at Work, you need to be in Year 12 (17 years old at minimum) and above, with no formal qualification requirements. You will be supported by experienced qualified Program Coordinators in delivering educational and engaging experiences for primary-school-aged children.
Educators get to enjoy a flexible role that can fit around study or other commitments, and join a friendly, supportive dynamic team of people. The role also offers plenty of opportunities to learn and enhance your skills. Communities at Work provides a wide range of career progression and professional development for employees, including through their very own registered training organisation, The Center of Professional Learning and Education (CPLE).
And that’s all on top of the personal satisfaction of knowing you’re making a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of children.
“The role is all about helping others be the best versions of themselves. And it’s so rewarding when the kids are so excited to see you every single day, and they look forward to it and they’re upset when you’re not there. It’s so rewarding knowing that you’re making such a difference in their little lives,” says Matisse.
Kayley wholeheartedly agrees.
“My favorite thing is watching the children grow and develop over time and knowing that you played a part in that is super rewarding. When I recently moved services, hearing the things some of the children said to me when I said goodbye, really opened my eyes to how much, as an educator, you’re genuinely helping these children and shaping them to be good people for the rest of their lives,” she says.
And as a huge bonus, all educators get a 95 per cent discount on their childcare fees through Communities at Work to reward them for their loyalty and to make coming to work more affordable for young families too.
Communities at Work is currently looking for casual educators to work in their OSHC programs for children aged pre-school to year 6.
Looking for work that works for you? Find out more about the role by visiting commsatwork.org/careers/ (see the “Casual Out of School Hours Care Educator” role).
Want to have a chat about your options? Contact the OSHC Recruitment team using the ‘Get in Touch’ form on the Communities at Work website and someone will get back to you.