Vacation Care Program

Vacation Care




Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School (YRSDS) Vacation Care Program provides out-of-school-hours care to individuals with a disability who reside in the Outer Eastern Metropolitan region.  The program incorporates support services provided at the school and within the wider community.

The school’s Vacation Care services aim to support the carers of individuals with a disability with a break from their caring responsibilities during school holiday periods.  YRSDS has been providing quality school holiday programs for children since 2001 with the support of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  Over this period the Vacation Care Program has grown and developed and now operates during all school term holiday periods, providing a total of 5 weeks of service provision per annum.

On average, fifty participants attend each program and are involved in a variety of fun and age-appropriate facility-based and community-based activities.  The program caters for school aged children and is divided into three age groups, one for children aged between   6-10 years, one for ages 10-16 years and the other age group is for teenagers aged between 15-18 years.

YRSDS Vacation Care Program’s mission is to:
Offer a safe, friendly and supportive environment for all participants.
Promote opportunity for social and recreational experiences through facility and community based activities.
Provide quality programs and activities that are:
•    Affordable
•    Recognise priorities and diversity of need
•    Culturally sensitive
•    Of benefit to the participants and their families

The program operates from the Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School.  The school is located in Morrison Reserve, which is shared with Yarra Hills Secondary College and Fernhill Pre-School.  The school is situated on 3.2 hectares of land with purpose-designed buildings, a hydrotherapy pool, fitness areas, attractive outdoor spaces and recreation areas.  The Vacation Care Program usually occupies the Junior and Senior sections of the school which are located adjacent to the schools administration office.  Entry is via the car park on Burdap Drive, Mt Evelyn.  Set in a delightful location, with views of distant hills, Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School is a vibrant environment in which your child can explore, grow and have fun.

Program Details
The target group for the YRSDS Vacation Care Program is school aged children in the Outer Eastern Metropolitan area with a disability who reside at home with their parents or caregivers.  The YRSDS is used as a base from which excursions depart, and is also utilised for incursions.  It provides a safe and secure environment and play areas for the younger children.
*    Only operates during school holiday periods
*    Approximately 30 participants attend daily (divided between the three age groups)
*    Staffing ratio of 3:1 during incursions and 2:1 during excursions
*    Staffing ratio of 1:1 is available in special circumstances and is offered dependent upon participant’s needs and funding availability.
*    Operates weekdays between the hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm
*    Operates for a total of approximately 5 days during a 10-day holiday period
*    Operates for a total of approximately 10 days during the January holiday period
*    Does not operate on public holidays
*    Does not operate on days of declared Extreme or Code Red fire danger
*    Parents or caregivers are responsible for drop-off and pick-up of participants to and from the Program.  Please contact the Program Co-ordinator to request a copy of the Arrival and Departure Policy.

The Program staff aim to support and encourage the participants to actively participate in facility and community-based activities.

In house programs are planned day by day to ensure activities such as games, craft, art, cooking, bike riding and more are available to all participants according to their individual interests and needs.  The aim is to give all participants the opportunity for choice making and to develop the skills to help them decide what they would like to do for their recreational activities.

Excursions offer the opportunity for participants to build on social and recreational skills whilst engaging in everyday activities in the wider community.  Independence and friendships are encouraged and supported in a fun and safe environment.

Throughout in-house activities and excursions participants are actively supported to address or progress toward identified personal goals.

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