Supporting families and children of primary school age

We are committed to supporting children of primary school age who attend Out of School Hours programs. Our focus is on developing and implementing effective strategies that support healthy environments where children live, learn and play. We collaborate closely with providers in the Out of School Hours sector to ensure that all children have access to high-quality care and support beyond the school day.

Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living in Out of School Hours Care (OSHC)  

  • Anthony Okely (Supervisor)
  • Megan Hammersley (Supervisor)
  • Rebecca Stanley (Supervisor)
  • Yasmine Probst (Supervisor)
  • Ruth Crowe (PhD Completion)
  • Linda Patel (PhD Candidate)
  • Andrew Woods (PhD Candidate)
  • Sarah Ryan
  • PhD Candidate to be recruited for 2024 commencement
  • Jenny Norman – Research Coordinator based in ISLHD (Honorary position UOW School of Health and Society) (Supervisor)
  • South Western Sydney Local Health District (Supervisor)
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (Supervisor)

Since the first round of funding commenced in 2017, the ENHANCE research group as part of Dr Ruth Crowe’s PhD thesis, conducted an observational and policy audit of the Healthy Eating and Active Living environments of the after-school period in the Out of School Hours sector. In addition to this, Andrew Woods has conducted audits in the before-school sector and conducted stakeholder consultations to develop an intervention for both before and after-school care. Linda Patel conducted an evaluation of an existing resource in the sector, The Eat Smart Play Smart Manual, and proceeded to develop and pilot test the Eat Smart Play Smart App. This primarily focused on services located within the Illawarra Shoalhaven and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts.

In partnership with CPH, ISLHD and SWSLHD, we will conduct a pilot RCT to test the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of an Out of School Hours intervention on healthy eating and physical activity policies, staff practices and staff and child behaviours. Our proposed activities for this round of funding will include further refinement of the before school and after school intervention based on the findings from the pilot RCT. We will then conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of the intervention. For this stage of the project, we will integrate findings from the pilot RCT of the Eat Smart, Play Smart App in the after-school hours care environment , including an economic evaluation.