A DECISION by Orange City Council to discontinue Out Of School Hours (OOSH) care services at Kenna Hall and March Street and move the service to Calare Public School will force families to abandon the service.
Jenelle Price’s sons Aidan and Evan will no longer use the service when it is relocated after the Easter school holidays.
“It won’t be viable with the new bus schedule,” she said.
“They won’t get on the bus until 3.45 and they wouldn’t get to Calare Public School until 4.27.
“By the time my husband picks them up they’ll only be there for seven or eight minutes.”
Council decided to roll the two services into one in a bid to cut costs and meet new federal government regulations, with Kenna Hall no longer providing enough outdoor space.
Under the existing system the St Mary’s Primary School students arrived at Kenna Hall at 3.:55.
Ms Price said she was one of the lucky ones with the boys’ grandparents able to change their plans to look after the children.
“It’s not ideal but there’s not much of an alternative,” she said.
“I understand why they’re making the change and I appreciate the service is losing money... but at the end of the day I personally would have appreciated it if I’d been notified at the start of the year.”
Council is discussing possible timetable changes with the bus company, spokesperson Nick Redmond said, as the proposed schedule would see St Mary’s students, and those from other schools in Orange’s east, arrive at after-school care 20 to 30 minutes later than before.
“They’re might be potential for us to lose some users but they’re might also be the potential to pick up some users,” he said.
Currently there are 30 users at Kenna Hall and 20 at March Street.
The new service will only cater for 45 initially, Mr Redmond said, but could be expanded up to 90 spaces if the council can secure more indoor space.