4 May 2012

After-school programme foundation to close

8:49 pm on 4 May 2012

The foundation that oversees out-of-school programmes is to close as its funding has been cancelled.

About 60% of out of school programmes belong to the Out of School Care and Recreation Sector (OSCAR), which provides support for the programmes and keeps track of how they are run.

The organisation's funding was cut from $1.3 million to $850,000 last year.

Chief executive Murray Upton says he received a text message from the Ministry of Social Development on Thursday saying the funding will be cut altogether.

Mr Upton says the Ministry of Social Development will pay for programmes directly and is choosing quantity over quality.

He says the move means anyone will be able to run an out-of-school programme, and that the Government is looking at funding babysitting clubs.

Mr Upton says 16 staff will lose their jobs as a result of the funding cut.

No choice - minister

Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett says she had no choice but to withdraw funding from the foundation after a review found it was in financial trouble.

She says an independent inquiry into the foundation showed that it was deeply insolvent and it would have been irresponsible of her to put more taxpayer money into it.