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Creative Therapy Adelaide

Out-of-School and Vacation Care Options: A Guide for Families in Adelaide Metro

Each year at Creative Therapy Adelaide, we receive inquiries from families with children who  have additional needs, seeking information about available care options during the school holidays. We know that parents and carers are looking for those stand-out care providers who are able to adapt, support and include their young person to have a positive and successful experience of vacation care. We too want to lift up those superstar providers and recognise the awesome work they do, so all kids can have a great time over the school holidays.

For working parents, securing reliable out-of-school hours care (OSHC) and vacation care for their children or finding respite during holiday periods can make all the difference for a break that is fun and functional for their family. Many families are  searching for suitable out-of-school and vacation care alternatives, especially if these services aren’t offered by the child’s school. As the school holidays approach each year, we frequently get asked what we know about this topic, prompting us to explore available resources and share what we have found.

After-Hours School Care

When it comes to after-hours school care, one strategic approach is to contact schools that have a special unit on their premises. These units are designed to cater to children with disabilities, with staff members trained to provide support based on their strengths. Hendon Primary is one such example, and historically, Kilkenny and Woodville Primary have had similar offerings. It’s important to note that OSHC is sometimes run separately from the hosting school, with OSHC staff leasing the premises.

Special Ed Vacation Care Options

For families seeking vacation care tailored to children with disabilities, options are available. Minda runs programs at St. Patrick’s (Mansfield Park) and occasionally at Our Lady of La Vang (Flinders Park). Additionally, Novita provides specialist Recreation Programs that cover both after-school and vacation care. These programs may be more geared towards children with higher-needs.

Navigating Limited Options

While the options mentioned may lean towards higher needs, a proactive approach involves reaching out to OSHC providers directly. Call around, explain your child’s unique abilities, and inquire about the provider’s capacity to facilitate extra assistance. Another avenue worth exploring is securing a support worker for community after-school activities, providing one-on-one assistance tailored to your child’s strengths.

The Potential for Fun

For families seeking comprehensive day care, Project Potential offers options centred around exciting excursions and activities. More details about their offerings can be found on their website: Project Potential.

Tailored Vacation Care with YMCA Adelaide North OSHC

YMCA Adelaide North OSHC stands out for providing vacation care tailored for children aged 5 to 17 years with intellectual disabilities. The programme offers a range of supervised, fun-filled activities on-site, along with excursions and incursions, operating between 8 am and 6 pm during school holidays. Further information is available on the YMCA Adelaide North OSHC website.

Novita's Specialist Recreation Programs

Novita offers specialist Recreation Programs designed for school-aged kids and teens living with disabilities. These programs cover both after-school and vacation care, providing opportunities for every child. Families can register online by completing the form available on Novita’s website.

The Role of Support Coordinators

For families in need of additional support during this challenging time, a support coordinator can be an invaluable resource. Support coordinators are skilled professionals who can assist in various ways:

  • Assessing what the child needs: Recognising and highlighting the child’s unique abilities and strengths.
  • Researching Options: Identifying available OSHC and vacation care options that align with the child’s interests and creative pursuits.
  • Advocacy: Liaising with OSHC providers and specialised care programmes to ensure the child receives the support they need.
  • Exploring Alternatives: Seeking alternative solutions, such as support worker services.
  • Connecting with Programs: Establishing connections with programs and supporting the family to choose the best option for their child and family circumstances.

Have your say: what are some other options we might have missed?

If you have other ideas, or have had success with a vacation care or OSHC program – please reach out so we can share the information with our community. 

Finding suitable out-of-school and vacation care for children with disabilities in Adelaide involves exploration, advocacy, and community. As we continue to find and share these resources, we hope to help families in Adelaide metro with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions that celebrate and build upon their children’s strengths and nurture their creativity!

Natalie Oliveri, Director at Creative Therapy Adelaide

Natalie Oliveri, Director at Creative Therapy Adelaide

Natalie, the singing superhero, uses her magical music powers as a Registered Music Therapist to create harmonious homes and confident kiddos while fighting the evil forces of monotony!

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