Recent International policy and research briefing for members February 2019


Irish Government 2017. Action Plan on School Age Childcare. A model for school age childcare in Ireland

A full report and action plan by the Irish Government on school age childcare.

SOSCN met with the working group who laid the first set of recommendations for this plan way back in 2005.

Department of Justice, Equality, and Law Reform (2005) Developing School Age Childcare: Report of a Working Group of the National Childcare Co-Ordinating Commitee. Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality. Available at:


Out-of-school childcare: Exploring availability and quality in EU member states

Janneke Plantenga and Chantal Remery

Journal of European Social Policy 2017, Vol. 27(1) 25 –39

This article is an interesting overview of out of school childcare across Europe. This updates the authors previous work in this area.

Plantenga, J., & Remery, C. (2013). Childcare Services for School Age Children: A Comparative Review of 33 European Countries. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

A point to note, however, is that country data for the UK is based on England here, so for example, the appendix table on qualifications and quality requirements do not reflect the much higher level of qualifications and more stringent health and social care standards in Scotland.

The article is useful for those looking to broaden the knowledge of how our field compares with other countries in the European Union.


“While a large number of studies focus on childcare facilities for preschool children, attention for out-ofschool facilities is limited. The implicit assumption seems to be that facilities to combine work and care activities are less relevant once children reach the schoolgoing age. Yet, in most countries school hours are only part-time and not compatible with a full-time working week. This study adds to the literature by providing the first overview of the availability and quality of out-of-school childcare in 27 European Union (EU) member states. The results show that only a few EU countries have a well-developed infrastructure of out-of-school care services. In addition, the (structural) quality of out-of-school care varies across the member states. Given the importance of a supportive infrastructure, a further investment in comprehensive out-of-school care system remains important, both from the perspective of the (female) participation rate and the well-being of children”

Corresponding author: Chantal Remery, Utrecht University School of Economics, Kriekenpitplein 21, 3584 EC Utrecht, The Netherlands. Email:


Dr Jennifer Cartmel has presented a few times in SOSCN events over the years.

Before and After School: Literature Review about Australian School Age Child Care

Children Australia Volume 41, Special Issue 3 (CARING FOR CHILDREN OUTSIDE THE HOME - FROM INSTITUTIONS TO NATIONS) September 2016 , pp. 201-207

Jennifer Cartmel and Amy Hayes

Published online: 17 August 2016


“One in three Australian children attend school-age childcare. School Age Care (SAC) services have increased to meet the growing demand for children to have somewhere safe to go before and after school while their parents work. SAC services have continued to grow in size, but are still considered a “care” rather than “education” service. This literature review highlights some current features of Australian SAC childcare sector. Key features detailed include the growth in service usage and the particular organisation types that characterise the sector. Other themes identified relate to parent expectations, venues, workforce needs and children's wellbeing. This literature review advocates for more research about the SAC sector.”

See also

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). (2012). The national quality standard. Retrieved from

Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). (2011). My time, our place: Framework for school age care in Australia. Retrieved from

Jennifer Cartmel, School of Human Services and Social Work, Menzies Institute of Health Queensland, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Queensland, Australia. E-mail:


National Institute of Out of School Time (NOIST) image for niost logo blue 40

Some longer term members of SOSCN might recall the then Director of the National Out of School Time Institute Ellen Gannet speaking at an international SOSCN conference more than 17 years ago. Irene was invited to present at a “brown bag lunch” with them the renowned Wellesley Centre for Women, which hosts NOIST, the following year, when meeting up to look at international collaboration. Quite an experience.

They have a great deal of interesting academic and policy information on out of school care and activities, including youth activities, in the USA. There is work on the effects of physical activity programmes and quality development process, as just a couple of examples.

After School Alliance image for logo gr

Again a wealth of articles and useful information on policy and practice development in the after school care and activities field in the US

last updated: 28/02/2019