Not just Childcare – The Gap OSHC Program

July 28, 2021

The Gap Youth and Community Centre has been providing Outside School Hours Care for over 20 years. The program is designed for primary school aged children delivering after school care during school terms and vacation care in every holiday period. The My Time Our Place educational framework guides the way we develop our program and ensure that we are meeting the educational and emotional needs of the children attending.

The 5 areas addressed through the framework are:

  • Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
  • Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of well-being
  • Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
  • Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

Our educators are committed to knowing the children, their interests and that’s what guide the programs developed to engage them in learning through recreational and leisure activities.  Our educators provide a range of activities at any given time and children are given the opportunity to use their agency through being able to make choices and decisions, to influence events and to have an impact on their own world. Learning is not just about literacy and numeracy, it is about decision making and choices, giving children the understanding that choices have consequences both good and bad.  Education is about giving children experiences that will impact them for a lifetime.

We deliver a broad range of activities children can choose from at the centre.  We have a weekly cooking program, a range of sporting and physical activities, arts and crafts, group art projects, computer skills, gardening, and movies to name a few.

Did you know our program has more excursions than any other program delivered in Alice Springs?  

Connecting children to the world around them is important and it provides them with an understanding of social interaction and their community.  Some of the places the children frequent as regular excursions in our program include: The Telegraph Station, the town pool, the bowling alley, and the cinema. We also include excursions to our natural environment to places like Simpson Gap, Jessie Gap, and Emily Gap.  Exploring the world is an important part of development and a great way to enjoy the wonderful landscape of our community. We promote recycling giving children an understanding of the impact humans have on the environment and how we can help reduce the destruction of our environment. Many of our arts activities involve using recycled materials, and items donated.  We accept donations of almost anything; we then use donations to develop programs or to give away to members of the community who are in need.

The children regularly help with cleaning up and re-organising their environment at the centre. Nutrition and food preparation is an important life skill that we encourage the children to be involved through developing their menu and picking new and different meals to try.  We encourage all the children to participate in the cooking program giving them life skills that will be with them forever.  The children love to help doing in dishes and cleaning up after cooking. Occasionally some of the children go home and cook for their families and we have received some great feedback from families. We are conscious of different dietary requirements and the impact of sugar, and artificial colours and flavours have on children’s behaviours.

So if you though Outside School Hours Care was just child minding you now have a greater understanding appreciation of the work and planning that goes into creating a positive learning and development environment for the children attending the program.    

If you would like further information or would like to enrol your children, please contact the program coordinator LJ – or give her a call 8952 3927.