After school care
There are lots of options for before and after school care as well as great programmes for during the holidays.
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In New Zealand, children under the age of 14 can’t be left alone without “reasonable care and supervision”. Which means parents can’t drop children off at school before it officially opens, usually at 8:30am, or leave them there after school.
Before school care (7:30 am - 8.30 am) and after school care (3:00 pm to 5 pm) is available from various private and community childcare providers. They usually also offer holiday programmes run during business hours to cover the school holidays.
Ask your school about the options that may be available.
The Child Youth and Family (CYF) unit of the Ministry of Social Development is able to certify programmes as safe. You should check with the provider to see if they’re certified.
There are fees for before and after school care programmes and you need to check with the provider.
Providers who are involved with the government’s OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation) scheme receive funding that can subsidise the costs.
Parents who are New Zealand residents or citizens can also get help with the costs of before- and after-school care through the OSCAR scheme. The government’s Work and Income site has more information.