FAQ

What are our fees?

Our fees vary across our centres depending on their service environment, so please contact the centre you wish your child to attend for this information.

What are our staff to children ratios?

When we are at the centre our ratios are 1 adult to 10 children. However we always have at least 2 adults working even if we have less than 10 children enrolled.

For offsite trips we have 1 adult for every 8 children, and if we are doing a water based activity the ratio is 1 adult for 6 children.

What are our hours of operation?

Our centre’s operating hours differ a little to suit the needs of the parents in each community.  Please refer to the locations page, and find the centre you are looking at enrolling in.  Each centre’s hours are specified on their individual web page on this site.

Can parents access WINZ OSCAR Subsidies?

All of our School’s Out centres are approved by the Ministry of Social Development allowing eligible families to utilise the OSCAR Subsidy through WINZ.  To see if your family is eligible click on this link https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/oscar-subsidy.html.  It is the parent or caregivers responsibility to ensure all application/renewal and change of circumstances paperwork is completed and submitted to Work and Income prior to your child’s attendance at any of our programmes.  It is also your responsibility to pay in advance any portion of fees not covered by the WINZ subsidy.

How do I enrol my child?

You can print off an enrolment form from this website.  Just go to the location/centre’s page that you wish your child to attend and you will find a red button saying “Download an Enrolment Form”.  We feel it is important for our Programme Manager to meet you (and hopefully your child) before your child is to attend so ideally we would like you to physically take the enrolment form into the centre, however if this isn’t possible you can e-mail the enrolment form to the centre e-mail address which you will find on the centre’s webpage.  One week’s fees (non-refundable) are to be paid in advance upon enrolment.

Why do I need to put two emergency contacts on the enrolment form?

In the event of an emergency or an unexplained absence it is important that we are able to contact you quickly.  It is a Ministry of Social Development requirement (and part of their audit process of our operation) that all enrolment forms include 2 emergency contacts as well as the main caregiver’s contact details.  Even if you don’t have anybody else that you want picking up your child from School’s Out, please include a friend, family member or workmate’s details who would know of your whereabouts in the unlikely event of an emergency, or how we would be able to contact you.

Will I be charged if my child is absent?

The normal fee will be charged if your child is absent unless we receive one weeks notice of your booking change.  This is due to our strict staff ratios, programme planning and transport logistics.

Why do I need to inform School’s Out prior to my child’s absence?

You may be charged an additional fee if you do not inform us of your child’s absence.  Your child is our responsibility if they are booked to attend School’s Out.  Our Programme Manager is required to contact you immediately if your child is not at the meeting place after school.  If they are unable to contact you they will try the emergency contacts stated on your child’s enrolment form and if this is unsuccessful then we are obliged to contact the police and report your child as missing.  The time and stress involved in this process takes the manager away from other children in our care and disrupts the operation of our programme, hence it is imperative that we receive notice of your child’s absence before 12pm on the day your child will be absent.

Why am I charged for public holidays that fall within the school term?

It is School’s Out’s policy to ‘spread’ the benefit of public holidays across the full year so that fees are kept relatively constant.  The administrative cost of changing fees for weeks with public holidays simply increases operating costs which would otherwise need to be recovered.  School’s Out chooses to save this cost and therefore any additional expense on families.

Do we do homework with the children?

The opportunity is available for all children to do their homework.  Staff will supervise or assist but not complete it for them.  If it is important to you that your child does their homework at School’s Out then please discuss this with your Programme Manager.  Please accept that if you arrive to pick up your child before 4pm then there may not have been time for your child to do homework, as the afternoon snack for all children takes priority.

Do we have booster seats in our vans?

All our vans have booster seats and “H harness” seat belts that meet NZTA specifications for children that require them.  If your child isn’t legally required to use a booster seat but you would like him/her to be in one then please discuss this with the Programme Manager.

What is our policy on computer and internet use?

Our centres differ in how much technology we offer and whether we have access to internet.  The centres that have electronic devices for children’s use limit the amount of time children can spend on them.  We have found through parent surveys that parents also differ greatly in their opinions on computer/tablet use, so if you feel that your child is getting too much screen time at School’s Out then please talk to the Programme Manager.  The internet is sometimes required for children to complete their homework so we do allow access to the web and do our best to supervise and ensure only appropriate sites are accessed.  If your child brings their own device to School’s Out it is difficult for us to monitor this and it is the parents responsibility to make sure parental control software is installed and operational.  We accept no responsibility for any damage or loss of electronic devices brought by children to School’s Out.

What is the easiest way to pay my account?

If your child attends School’s Out during both the school term and the school holidays, the amount you are charged will vary during the year.  It is easiest for parents to keep their account in order by paying upon receipt of their weekly invoice.  Internet banking or online credit card payments (see the link on our home page) are most convenient for parents.   Please ensure you quote the centre name (e.g. SO Tauranga), your child’s surname and the 9 digit customer number on your invoice so we can easily  identify your payment.  Our bank account number is on every invoice.

 Are School’s Out open for Teacher Only days?

We will survey parents and if there is enough demand for care and we are able find sufficient staff then we will provide a full or half day programme as required by the school’s closure.  Please let our Programme Manager know as soon as you are aware of your child’s school having a teacher only day, as school’s often forget to tell us and we need time to organise staffing outside of our normal operating hours.

Do School’s Out offer a sibling discount?

We endeavour to keep our fees as low as possible for all families so do not generally have special deals.  We do however have a discount that larger families who are not eligible for the WINZ subsidy can utilise – these families that have 3 or more children can get a 50% discount for the eldest children (i.e. in a family with 5 children the 1st, 2nd and 3rd eldest children would all receive a 50% discount on their fees).