Schools are out for approximately 13 weeks per year leaving parents with a big shortfall in paid leave available to cover time off looking after children. Even in two parent households where some leave may be taken at different times, outside help supervising the children is still needed.
Holiday programmes which cater especially for the needs of children and families when school is out are an essential service – no child under the age of 14 years may be left alone by a parent or caregiver for a time, or under conditions which are unreasonable, without adequate supervision and care.
The main carer of a dependent child
A wide variety of options are available to cater for all children’s needs, interests and abilities. As many programmes are popular, it is advisable to book in advance. (See also Specialised Holiday Programmes).
If cost is an issue, OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation) subsidies may be available for up to 50 hours per week for OSCAR approved programmes.
To qualify for an OSCAR Subsidy you must be:
- Without a partner who can provide childcare (e.g. they are also working)
- A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- Earning less than the maximum current rates set by Work and Income.
- The child or young person must be:
- Aged five to 13 years old (or up to 18 years if you get a Child Disability Allowance for them)
- Attending an approved OSCAR programme for three or more hours a week.
- Normally living in New Zealand.