Managing Complaints with Your Out of School Hours Care Provider

Published on Monday, 05 December 2016
Last updated on Friday, 04 January 2019

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Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) is supervised care for school aged children before and after school, on teacher only days and during school holidays.

OSCAR is aimed at primary school aged children and the services are usually run by community and private organisations. For more information on what you can expect from OSCAR read our overview article on  Out of school care and recreation (OSCAR) and vacation care.

Children in OSCAR tend to be older than children in other forms of care however, problems can still arise and it is worth knowing how to deal with an issue before one arises.

OSCAR providers are obliged to operate with a complaints management policy, ask to see a copy of the policy when you first take your child along to meet the carers.  Familiarise yourself with how the policy works and ask questions about anything which is unclear.

The complaints procedure should be available to parents when they ask to see it and must include: 

  • The first point of contact for parents in the case of a complaint, problem or concern
  • The service’s process for resolving the complaint and who will be involved
  • Who will make the final decision regarding the complaint and who will communicate the  outcomes to the involved parties  
  • The timeframe for investigating and resolving complaints

If a parent feels as though their complaint has not been resolved adequately with the service, they can take their concerns to the Ministry of Social Development OSCAR approvals team if the service is an approved provider. 

Remember, the best way to deal with an issue is to tackle it straight away, so always talk to your child's carer or their manager before you do anything else. No matter how angry or upset you are, try and take a positive problem-solving approach to the conversation as this is more likely to help you get the outcome you are hoping for.

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