Concerned St Joseph's parents 0

Support for KCA at St Joseph's Merewether

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We are parents and guardians of students who attend KidsConnect Australia (KCA) before-school, after-school and vacation care at St Joseph's Merewether.

We learned of the news on Monday 25 November 2019 that KCA's contract will not be renewed by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Many of us are upset and frustrated by this decision for a variety of reasons:

- our children enjoy attending KCA and the team does a great job. The diocese's decision is not supported by parents who use the service and even parents who don't as they recognise it's a great asset for the school

- a local, small business operator will be put out of business just weeks before Christmas and we feel this decision goes against the values of our school community

- there hasn't been any consultation provided or even a genuine transition period offered between providers. The first that we heard of this was via a 27 October 2019 Newcastle Herald article. We feel this is an example of poor communication and disregard for parents

- the aforementioned article quotes Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle CEO Sean Scanlon as saying, "Several factors influence the rollout of a St Nicholas OOSH across the diocese, including problems or complaints in relation to an OOSH provider; an existing OOSH provider indicating they are planning to discontinue the service," Mr Scanlon said, as well as a school's wish to establish a service and other "practical" considerations. We would like to know, which of these instances applies to the service at St Joesph's Merewether? We are unaware of any complaints or of KCA willing to discontinue its service or of the school looking to establish its own service.

- the establishment of KCA at St Joesph's Merewether was driven by the school's P&F, therefore for any change to occur, consultation with the P&F needs to happen

- we have our children enrolled for care for 2020 on our selected days and have scheduled our work commitments accordingly

- there doesn't appear to be a guarantee of January vacation care, which is troubling for working parents

- there hasn't been any details offered around St Nicholas's fees and after some of us looked into the price of St Nicholas's daycare services, we discovered they are much higher than other local providers so we're concerned

For the reasons stated above, we are seeking a reversal of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle's decision and for KCA to be re-instated as the provider of before-school, after-school and vacation care services at St Joseph's Merewether.


The parents and guardians of students at St Joseph's Merewether

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