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Children’s Voices in Australian School Age Care: What do They Think About Afterschool Care?

Kym Simoncini, Jennifer Cartmel, Amy Young

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Participation in after school care in Australia has more than doubled since the 1980s with hundreds of thousands of children attending every day. Historically this form of care has been regarded as a service for parents rather than an opportunity for children. There is a paucity of Australian research for school age care (SAC). This study investigated children’s perceptions and experiences of afterschool care. 164 children in Prep/kindergarten to Year 7 across 14 services in Canberra and Logan participated in the research. Five questions were used to survey the children. Their responses supported the notion that SAC settings are important contexts of childhood and development. Afterschool care affords children opportunities to develop skills and competencies, make new friends as well as promoting and protecting play. Areas of health and safety, staffing, relationships with children were revealed as ways afterschool care could improve.

Keywords: school age care, afterschool care, out of school hours care, children’s voices


Bibliography: Simoncini, Kym/Cartmel, Jennifer/Young, Amy: Children’s Voices in Australian School Age Care, IJREE, Vol. 3, Issue 1-2015, pp. 114-131.