Written on the 31 August 2017 by Kevin Conolly


Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly MP visited St Joseph's Primary School at Schofields this week to personally congratulate the school principal, Lesley Studans, and Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta on being successful in obtaining a $30,000 NSW Government grant under the $20 million Before and After School Care Fund, and to see where the grant funding would be utilised.

The school will use the $30,000 grant to help pay for equipment and resources to meet the school's growing demand for Before and After School Care places including from special needs students. The school is now licensed to operate 116 student places, up from 60 last year, pressing the need for additional furniture and learning material to be acquired to support the increasing demand for student care.

"I am delighted to share the great news with our community that there's more support for working parents and more care available for school students," said Mr Conolly.

Mr Conolly was taken on a tour of the facility by Trisha Rylance, COSHC Coordinator at St Joseph's Primary School and accompanied by Palmira Sweeney, COSHC Operations Coordinator from the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, who provides administrative support for Before and After School Care in Catholic schools in the region. 

"I am impressed with the work and attention that the school has already put into its current Out of School Hours facilities and I can see how useful the NSW Government grant will be to support the rising need for the before and after school child care for working families in our community," said Mr Conolly.

The Before and After School facility at St Joseph's Primary School opens at 6:45am and closes at 6:30pm, catering well to a range of family needs.

"We are very grateful for receiving this Government grant. The centre is growing rapidly as is our special needs requirements, and this financial support will go a long way to ensuring we provide the children the best educational experience we can give them during their stay at the centre," said Ms Sweeney.

"We work hard to ensure that every child feels included while at the centre. We focus on engaging them so that they have a sense of belonging and feel safe and secure. We emphasize they receive a strong educational experience while they are in the centre as well. The benefits that this funding will provide for the centre will be to ensure that every child will continue to be well supported, in particular those with special needs," said Ms Rylance. 

Mr Conolly said the Before and After School Care Fund delivers on a key 2015 election commitment to help families by relieving some of the pressures they face when trying to enrol their children in before and after school care. Under this initiative, primary schools may apply for one-off grants to help with the cost of establishing a new or expanding an existing out of school hours care service.

"There is further funding available under the Before and After School Care Fund so I encourage other schools and parent groups to see if there may be other opportunities to meet the community's needs for these services," said Mr Conolly.

For more information on the grants process go to:


Author: Kevin Conolly


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