Holiday & out of school care

School is out! Now what?Canstock Images/Schools out(copy).jpg

Before / After School Care

Unfortunately the working hours of parents and caregivers don’t revolve around school timetables.

Often parents need to be at work before school starts and well after school lets out. However, many schools will only accept responsibility for your child’s care between 8:30 am and 3:15 pm. (Times may vary between schools so check with your child’s school).

It is illegal for a parent or caregiver to leave any child under the age of 14 years alone for an unreasonable time or under conditions which are unreasonable, without adequate supervision and care. What is ‘reasonable’ will depend on many factors.

For many households before and after-school care is a necessity.

All before and after school service providers on this site are responsible for taking your child to school (if the service is not on school grounds) and/or collecting your child from school. Hours of availability vary between services.

If cost is an issue, a subsidy may be available for OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation) approved programmes.

To qualify for an OSCAR Subsidy you must be:

  • the main carer of a dependant child
  • 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.

Your child 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.

Holiday Care

During the course of the school year, parents and caregivers with a minimum leave entitlement can expect four weeks paid annual leave and up to 11 days off as statutory holidays.

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.

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.

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:

  • the main carer of a dependant child
  • 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.