Vocational & Transitional Care
Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) Subsidy
Do I need a referral from an agency to enrol my son/daughter?
No, just pick up the phone and call us on 09 576 5229
How do I apply for Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) Subsidy?
Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) Subsidy is a payment which helps families with the costs of before- and after-school programmes, and school holiday programmes. It helps with the costs of before- and after-school programmes for up to 20 hours a week, and school holiday programmes of up to 50 hours a week.
IMPORTANT; In order to receive your OSCAR subsidy from the day your child starts the programme, you need to submit your application to us before your child’s first day. This is especially important at School Holidays. Masada will not enrol a child until confirmation of approved subsidy is received.
Who can get it?
You may get an OSCAR Subsidy if you:
- are the main carer of a dependent child
- don’t have a partner who can provide childcare
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
It also depends on how much you and your spouse or partner earn.
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.
- The child should also normally live in New Zealand.
This information is a guide only. Contact us to talk about your individual circumstances.
How much you can get?
This depends on your circumstances.
There are two income cut-out points (thresholds) that apply to Childcare Subsidy. The different thresholds apply to:
clients who had not received assistance in the 12 months prior to 27 September 2010
clients who had received assistance in the 12 months prior to 27 September 2010 - these clients qualify for earlier thresholds
You can estimate the amount of OSCAR Subsidy you may be entitled to by using the calculator on the Working for Families website
View our maximum current rates.
What are the benefits of choosing an OSCAR approved programme?
The OSCAR Standards provide reassurance to parents and caregivers that a programme is properly run and takes place in a safe environment for children. In addition, parents and caregivers may qualify for an OSCAR Subsidy. Parents of children attending unapproved programmes cannot receive an OSCAR Subsidy.
For more information
If you'd like more information read:
Help with childcare costs
A guide for parents and caregivers
Childcare Assistance Factsheet (MSD website)
OSCAR programmes and OSCAR Subsidy
OSCAR programmes and OSCAR Subsidy (Māori text)
For more detail go to our:
Manuals and procedures
View the list of approved programmes
Are you eligible?
Find out if you might get this benefit, and what other financial assistance may be available to you.
If you don’t want to complete the form online you can print out and complete the appropriate
for more information call the Working for Families contact centre on 0800 774 004.
How do you get a Carer Support Subsidy?
You access Carer Support Subsidy in different ways depending on the needs of the person you care for. If you are caring for a person who requires 24-hour care because of an on-going health condition or terminal illness, contact your doctor.
If the person you are caring for has a disability, contact your local Needs Assessment Service. See below for details, or ask your doctor to refer you.
If the person you are caring for has an on-going mental health condition, your Community Mental Health Key Worker will assess.
How it works
You telephone the appropriate assessor – see below.
You and your family/whanau have a Needs Assessment.
You are given a number of days per year, starting from the day of assessment, when you can have a break.
You can now plan your ‘time out’.
The assessor sends your information to Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health sends you a letter explaining how payment is made. Terms they use are ‘full time carer,’ that’s you, and the person who provides short-term care is the ‘support carer’
If you lose your Carer Support form, phone Ministry of Health 0800 281 222 for a replacement. They can also tell you how many days you have left.
If you feel you need more Carer Support days during the year, ask for another assessment.
Any days not used within a year of assessment are cancelled. You will need another assessment to get a new allocation of days.
How many Carer Support days do you get?
If you are looking after someone who is terminally ill, has an ongoing chronic health condition or has an on-going mental health problem, the GP or mental health worker can allocate up to 28 days per year.
If the person you care for has a disability, the number of days depends on the assessment - you are not automatically entitled to any specific number of days.
How can you use Carer Support?
You can choose how to spend your subsidy, as long as it goes to someone who cares for the person you usually look after.
Carer Support is intended to give full-time carers a break; it cannot be used while the carer is at work.
You can decide when you want to use your Carer Support days and how much to use at a time. The minimum claim time is a half-day (4 to 8 hours), with whole-day claims up to 24 hours. Periods of care less than 4 hours can be combined to make up a claim, which must be submitted within 90 days from the last day of care.
There are several choices. You might decide to pay for:
- Day Care
- Someone to take over from you at home
- Care in someone else’s home
- Respite Care -Short-term residential care, e.g. rest home
Cost is something you may need to think about; you will have to meet any shortfall between Carer Support subsidy and the full cost of care.
Payment – Who is paid and how much?
There are two subsidy rates paid by Ministry of Health for a 24-hour day - formal and informal.
Formal Rate = $76.00 (GST excl) per 24 hour day
This applies to relief services provided by a person or agency that is GST registered.
Payment levels may vary depending on your location and age.
Usually Ministry of Health pay direct to the person or service that provided care within 90 days of care being delivered. Some agencies providing formal care prefer payment in advance. If you choose one of these agencies, you will need to pay them yourself and then claim the money back from Ministry of Health.
Residential Care in Rest Homes
If you decide on short-term care in a rest home, you will find it difficult to book in advance. If you wait till closer to the time, there are usually a number of homes with vacancies you can choose from.
There is now a large gap between Carer Support rate and the District Health Board contract rate. The shortfall can be over $300 per week and there is no additional funding to meet this cost. In short-term care you usually provide your own medicines, incontinence products and pay for your own GP.
If you have to consider moving into care permanently, ask for a reassessment from your Needs Assessor. Your Carer Support funding cannot be used to pay for long-term care, even if you have some days left unused.
NASC AGENCIES - Who to contact
If the older person you are caring for has a disability, you can arrange a Needs Assessment by phoning the assessment Service, or your GP can refer you.
NASC Auckland phone numbers:
Auckland 631 1234
North Shore & Rodney 442 7171
Waitakere 442 7171
Counties Manukau 276 0040
NASC Northland phone numbers:
Whangarei 430 4131 or 0800 888 890
Dargaville 430 4131 or 0800 888 890
Kaitaia 430 4131 or 0800 888 890
Bay of Islands 404 2858 or 0800 888 890