Children under the age of 14 are not legally allowed to be at home without a parent or guardian (which can be an older sibling). However what to do with the kids after school is not a problem in Auckland. The city is packed with a wide range of after-school activities for children of all ages covering every possible area of interest your child might have.
The best place to start looking for something for your child to do after school is at school. Many schools offer different types of after school programs, particularly in the areas of sports, which often practice and play on school days, and specific clubs. If you’re concerned about options, call your child’s school (or potential school) and ask. Often, there is also this information on their website.
Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (http://www.scouts.org.nz/), Girl Guides (http://www.girlguidingnz.org.nz/) and Sea Scouts (http://www.seascouts.org.nz/auckland.html) are all popular in Auckland and usually meet after school, sometimes at school.
Children who love art are well served in the Auckland area. The Fine Young Artists Programme offers art classes to children at their school, after school. For information about the classes offered and the schools participating, go to http://www.fineyoungartists.co.nz. Artstation, located in Ponsonby, offers a wide range of after-school programs coinciding with the school term for children and teenagers. On the North Shore, the Mairangi Arts Centre offers after-school and weekend classes for children. They can be found at http://www.mairangiarts.co.nz.
Since Auckland is surrounded by water, most parents consider learning to swim an essential skill for their children to master – and after school time is often set aside for lessons. You can find a good swim school in your area.
Martial arts classes and dance classes are also very popular after school options. There are a multitude of classes in every neighbourhood – too many to list – but a good place to start is at http://www.karateauckland.co.nz for martial arts and http://www.Citydance.co.nz for dance.
For a more structured after-school care program, Kids New Zealand provides links to a wide range of accredited programs located in all areas of Auckland. These programs are fairly inexpensive – ranging from 8-15 dollars per day – and usually include transportation from school, afternoon tea (the Kiwi equivalent of an after school snack), homework help and a variety of outdoor and indoor recreational activities. The programs are designed to be fun and educational and usually very well-supervised, with a low adult-child ratio. They are usually held in community centres that include park areas, although some are held on church grounds.