Community Day Services

Community day services help disabled adults who can’t find work to take part in their community and improve their personal skills by providing access to regular meaningful social contact and stimulating activities.

The services will 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 as well as getting other Ministry-funded support services.

Who can use community day programmes

The Ministry of Health funds 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 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.

Getting into a community day programme

To get into a community day programme, you’ll need to be assessed by a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination organisation (NASC). The NASC works out with you how many sessions (half days) you can use each week. The maximum is 10 half days per week.

This is reassessed annually, though it’s unusual that more sessions would be allocated.

Find a 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 have vacancies you may be able to choose the provider you would like to use.

You may swap providers if others offer a more suitable service for you.

Service providers and what they do

A day service provider offers a range of activities for people to take part in. They will develop an individual plan for you. This plan describes the activities you need and what you want to achieve. The provider will provide any equipment that’s needed.

Providers are encouraged to use community facilities as much as possible. If the activity takes place somewhere different from usual, they’ll arrange transport from and back to the usual meeting place.

If there’s an admission cost for a particular activity (eg, swimming pools), you’ll have to pay the extra cost.

Individual Day Programme Service Plan

Once you’re referred to a provider, they have four weeks to prepare your individual plan. They’ll work with you and your family, whānau, aiga or welfare guardian to develop the plan. It will be reviewed and updated once a year.


Find out more from the Ministry

View the Service specifications for Community Day Service providers.

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