Community day services help disabled adults who can’t find work to take part in their community. They provide access to regular meaningful social contact and stimulating activities. Find out what they cover and how to access them.

Types of activities

Community day services include a range of activities depending on the provider and what you’re interested in and able to do.

Activities may include:

  • daily living skills
  • education and learning activities
  • social activities
  • recreation and leisure activities.

You can go to day services and get other funded support services from Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People.

Who can use community day programmes

Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People can help fund day services for:

  • people who were deinstitutionalised under formal deinstitutionalisation plans
  • people with high and complex needs and an intellectual disability (whether or not they’re receiving care under the Intellectual Disability Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation Act 2003.)

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) funds community participation programmes for other disabled adults. These are part of their vocational services. They’re available to working-age people with disabilities that are likely to continue for at least six months, and who aren’t receiving compensation through ACC. You can find a list of these programmes in the Health and Disability external URL section of the MSD website.

Getting into a community day programme

To get into a community day programme, you'll need to be assessed by a needs assessment service (NASC).

Your local NASC will work with you to decide how many sessions (half days) per week you can attend, with the maximum being ten half days per week. Allocated sessions are reassessed annually and in consultation with you.

Finding a community day service provider

When you talk to your NASC, they’ll tell you about the programmes in your area, and if there are any vacancies with MSD-funded providers.

Where there is more than one provider of MSD-funded services that has vacancies, you may be able to choose the provider you would like to use. You may also swap providers if others offer a more suitable service for you.

What a community day service provider does

A day service provider offers a range of activities for people to take part in. They will work with you and your family, whānau, āiga or welfare guardian to develop an Individual Day Programme Service Plan. This plan can take up to four weeks to prepare and describes the activities you need and what you want to achieve. It will be completed in agreement with you and will be reviewed and updated once a year.

Your service provider will also make sure you have any equipment that’s needed for you to participate in any activities. If the activity takes place somewhere different (for example at a community facility), your provider will arrange transport from and back to the usual meeting place.

If there’s an admission cost for a particular activity, like a trip to the swimming pool, you’ll have to pay the extra cost.