Co-location is where Education and Care (E&C) services run on Department of Education (DoE) sites. Sites such as schools or Child and Family Learning Centres (CFLCs).
Two examples of co-location are:
- A Long Day Care (LDC) centre in a building leased on a school site.
- Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) using shared facilities, like a school hall.
Co-location is key to many partnerships between DoE and E&C services in Tasmania. The provisional Co-location Policy and Process and Strong Partnerships Framework support these relationships. As these documents are new, we will test and review them. Feedback from the E&C sector and DoE schools and services will be sort during this review.
DoE schools and services will start and establish new co-location arrangements. To do this they use a transparent expression of interest (EOI) process. The Tasmanian Government Tenders website advertises all co-location opportunities. Media such as newspaper and school newsletters may also advertise new co-location opportunities.
E&C services can register with the Tenders website. Here they can: download documents and lodge EOI submissions online. E&C services are also able to sign up to receive email alerts when new EOI opportunities open. Successful applicant services receive leases or licences for facilities on DoE sites.
There is time for transitioning to the new arrangements outlined in the Provisional Co-location Policy. A review of all current co-located E&C services will be undertaken with DoE schools and services. Offering of new leases or licences will happen on the new terms, pending the outcome of these reviews. Often longer tenure terms may occur. This review process will often not begin before the end of existing leases or licences.
Strong communication and cooperation between E&C and DoE services underpins successful co-location. The Strong Partnerships Framework supports these relationships. The provisional Co-location Policy, requires DoE to meet with co-located E&C services. These meetings must be between decision makers from both sectors. DoE Principals or School Business Managers and E&C Directors/Managers must attend. These meetings are opportunities to organise shared activities and discuss challenges. They also assist in the planning of transitions for children between the E&C and DoE settings.
The required meeting cycle is:
- Meeting three times per year with Outside School Hours Care, Family Day Care, Occasional Care
- Meeting two times per year with Long Day Care services.
The provisional Co-location Policy outlines meeting requirements. Supporting documents for meetings are below.
Education and Care (E&C) services are not charged a rent for the use of Department of Education (DoE) buildings and lands, but do pay a cost recovery charge, which recognises the costs incurred by the DoE in providing these spaces. Costs to DoE reflected in the cost charge include:
- municipal rates
- water charges
- cleaning costs
- energy charges
- statutory and capital maintenance
- waste removal
- security monitoring costs.
The cost recovery approach, which is consolidated into a per square metre rate of leased or licenced area, is described in Appendix 3 of the provisional Co-location Policy. In recognition of the individual circumstances of E&C services, various adjustments to therate are available.
Tools for Collaboration
To facilitate information sharing, and the keeping of agreed records of meetings, Department of Education (DoE) schools and services can use Microsoft Teams.
After opening the app, select ‘Join or create a team’ -> ‘Create a team’ -> ‘Anyone’. From this screen, DoE principals, service managers, and/or school business managers can invite Education and Care (E&C) service managers via their email. E&C service managers must accept the invitation and create an account, or sign into their account if their professional email is associated with a Microsoft account. They may then view the shared Microsoft Teams through the website interface or by installing the app on their own device.
Microsoft Teams is an appropriate tool to upload and share records of meetings, notes, and resources. The platform can also be used to send messages, but email is recommended for this purpose, noting that not everyone is likely to check Microsoft Teams daily.
Microsoft Teams should not be used to upload and share any documentation of a confidential or sensitive nature. Both DoE and E&C representatives must ensure that login information to the shared platform is kept secure, including the choice of a secure password.
A guide to working with Microsoft Teams is available within the ‘Help’ section of the app.
Department of Education (DoE) schools and services, and Education and Care (E&C) services should discuss their questions with each other in the first instance.
Where additional information or support is required, the overview of roles and responsibilities outlines responsible business units within the Department of Education, including contact details.
Alongside the provisional Co-location Policy, a set of supporting documents has been developed to support co-location arrangements at each stage, from Expressions of Interest through to the check-in meetings mandated under the Policy. Instructions on when to use these documents can be found in the provisional Co-location Policy.
- Provisional Policy and process to guide co-location of Education and Care and Department of Education services
- Template – Review of Existing Arrangements – Co-location of DOE and E&C services
- General Guidance on completing an EOI for E&C services
- General Guidance on assessing EOI applications
- Information Sheet on Check-in Meeting process
- Template – Check-in meeting between E&C service and DoE service
- Self-assessment Template for Out-of-Scope of NQF services
- Registration of interest survey
- Co-location Policy and Process – overview of roles and responsibilities