Our story began in 1973, when a small group of community-minded parents came together to create a safe place where children could play after school. This small group grew and by March 1975 became registered as the Out of School Child Care Association (OSCCA). OSCCA delivered after school care across Perth. In these early days, OSCCA was the main Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) provider, operating eight OSHC services and six vacation care programs.
In 1989 OSCCA was awarded a major tender to provide a Resource and Advisory Service to all Commonwealth funded childcare services in Western Australia (WA). This was a major achievement, which expanded our involvement with communities in Perth and across rural and remote WA. Our name changed to the Children’s Services Support Unit Incorporated (CSSU). Further funding was granted in 1996 for the support and set-up of approximately 38 Aboriginal crèches. During this time, we supported 3,583 Aboriginal Australians to find employment.
In 2001 CSSU developed a model of management for delivering childcare in the Pilbara. This drew upon years of research, social impact studies, steering groups, forums and planning initiatives. As a result of this study, we were approached to take on the management responsibilities of four long daycare services in the Pilbara. Other services soon followed.
Over the years we have developed cultural competence working with Aboriginal Australians. We successfully supported a number of Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS). This included delivering the Jobs Education and Training Child Care Resource Worker Program (JET/CCRW) for Aboriginal Australians and providing culturally appropriate early education and care services for Aboriginal families.
Karri Hillier commenced as CEO in 2008 and began the journey of diversifying into other service areas and locations. The same year our Spirit, Code of Ethics and Philosophy Statement were created.
In 2010 we won our first community services project in the Northern Territory with the Wadeye Children and Family Centre. We also launched our Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The RTO offered training in a Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
In 2011, we began to work with individuals, families and children from vulnerable communities. The Wadeye Safe House was launched and by the following year in 2012, we were awarded the National Homeless Award for our innovative approach. That same year we developed a sponsorship program for the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage in Bali.
In 2013 the RTO pioneered school-based traineeships in Karratha for the Certificate lll in Early Childhood Education and Care. The first nationally. This program has grown and is now delivered in multiple high schools in WA and the NT.
Our organisation continued to diversify and underwent a number of transformations, not only in name but also in the types of services we provided. By 2013, we were offering National Quality Standards (NQS) products and services. The same year we launched our Family Information Support and Help (FISH) program.
We were awarded the contract to deliver parenting advice and support to the inmates at West Kimberley Regional Prison in Derby in 2014.
CSSU rebranded and blossomed into One Tree Community Services in 2015. We used the symbol of the tree to represent our organisation, branching out to assist the many diverse communities, whilst valuing the importance of their historical roots as well as our own.
In 2016 One Tree branched out into Victoria operating two long daycare services.
We designed a new, high quality and innovative approach to Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) called c-Verse in 2018. This program provides services and educators with the tools and resources to create an imaginative, fun environment for children to explore their interests. Our c-Verse program builds on game concepts and creativity, giving children opportunities to enter into quests and explore different worlds.
At the end of 2019 One Tree were awarded the contract for the Australian Defence Childcare Program. In January 2020 we began operating 19 early education and care services across six states and territories. The program provides Defence families with suitable childcare.
Our newest venture has been becoming an Early Year’s Management (EYM) organisation with 10 new kindergartens.
Our collective impact
We have strong relationships and partnerships with local communities, councils and businesses. Between 2015 and 2021 we partnered with Helping Minds Family Mental Health Support Service to deliver mental health services to young people in the Kimberley (WA). We also partnered with Communicare and Wanslea Early Learning and Development to deliver the Inclusion Support Program across WA.
Over the past 14 years we have grown from a small Western Australian-based organisation to a large national provider.