Starting up an OSCAR service
Are you thinking of starting an after school care or school holiday programme? Are you new to the OSCAR sector? This page outlines the basic steps for establishment of an OSCAR service and where you can get more advice and guidance. (What is OSCAR?)
Starting a children's programme or an OSCAR programme?
If you have decided to look into setting up an after school care or school holiday programme, first think about why?
Any of these could be a good reason to set up a programme for children in your community.
OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation) is one possible model for making your vision into a reality. The OSCAR model involves meeting minimum standards and can put you in a position to apply for government funding. (Read more about this here.)
Being an "OSCAR service", usually means becoming "OSCAR approved" under the Ministry of Social Development's OSCAR Standards. You can however run children's activities outside of school hours without becoming an OSCAR service. While the OSCAR Standards are not mandatory they do provide a very useful and practical framework for anyone wishing to run any sort of children's programme.
Whether or not you decide to go down the OSCAR pathway, we encourage to follow the initial step outlined below and use the OSCAR Standards as a benchmark. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Artilcle 31, states:
"That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts."
When children have access to good quality out of school activities, the whole of society benefits.
What are my first steps?
There are several steps that you should undertake. They might not happen in the order you see them here; in fact they are likely to be all happening at once. We recommend that you complete all these stages before heading further with actually getting your service up and operating.
What kind of programme and why?
Out of school services for children can come in all shapes and sizes:
In these key areas your service will largely take shape according to the needs that you identify. It will be helpful to get feedback from families that might use your service. Important local networks to be working with will include your schools, early childhood facilities and other local groups such as churches and parent groups.
If you decide to enter the OSCAR sector and apply for funding, some of apsects of your programme will have to meet certain criteria (read more here) e.g. to receive OSCAR funding your service must operate 5 days per week.
Assess the feasibility of your proposed service
As you start to get a better picture of the needs in your community, you can make some assessment of feasibility. This will include
You will find a useful sheet outlining this process further here.
On this page
Are you starting up an after school or schoool holiday programme?
We explain some basic steps and help you to answer some important questions:
What is the need?
Is the OSCAR model
Will my programme
What standards and