There’s lots of government support available to ease financial stress on families. You can check what benefits you may be eligible for by clicking the link.
Paid parental leave
Paid parental leave aims to reduce financial stress on working families with newborns and young children.
If you’re an employee of a business, or you’re self-employed, you may be able to get 22 weeks of paid parental leave (26 weeks after 1 July 2020). This leave is paid by the government through Inland Revenue, not by your employer, and weekly payments range from $177-$586 per week.
There are different entitlements available to parents depending on how long you’ve been employed or self-employed.
Apply for paid parental leave
Working for Families
Working for Families provides extra money through tax credits for low- and middle-income families with children under 18. It also provides help with housing and childcare costs.
Working for Families payments depends on your family income and how many children are in your care.
Can I get Working for Families?
Best Start is part of working for families, but the first year of Best Start is not income-tested. That means any family that meets the criteria can get the payment.
In your child's first year you get up to $60 per week regardless of your income.
In your child's second and third years you can get Best Start if you earn less than $93,858 per year. The amount you get depends on your income.
Read more about Best Start
ECE (Early Childhood Education) subsidy
Every child in New Zealand is entitled to 20 hours free early childhood education each week.
If your child is three, four or five and goes to an early learning service like a kindergarten or kōhanga reo that offers ECE, the cost is subsidised for up to six hours a day and up to 20 hours a week.
Your child’s early learning service or kōhanga reo might have requirements for a minimum number of hours or days of enrolment.
Ask your early learning centre if they offer 20 hours free ECE – they can give you the application form.
Childcare Subsidy is a payment that helps families with the cost of pre-school childcare. Whether you’re eligible, and the amount, depends on your income, and how many hours your child is in care.
It’s normally paid for up to nine hours of childcare a week if you’re not working, training, or studying, but you may be able to get up to 50 hours a week if you’re:
- working, studying or on an approved training course
- involved in an activity that Work and Income has asked you to do
- a shift worker who works nights
- seriously ill or disabled
- caring for a child in hospital or for a child you get the Disability Allowance for.
In most cases you can't get the Childcare Subsidy for more than nine hours a week if the child's other parent or caregiver can care for them.
Families getting 20 hours Early Childhood Education (ECE) can't get the Childcare Subsidy for the same hours.
Find out more about the childcare subsidy
Child support is money paid by parents who don’t live with their children or who share care with someone else. The money is to help with the cost of raising a child.
There are three different ways to set up child support in New Zealand:
- IRD decides the amount and arranges the payments - formula assessment
- you decide the amount and IRD arranges the payments - voluntary agreement
- you decide the amount and arrange payments without IRD - private agreement.
How child support works
Sole parent support
Sole Parent Support is a weekly payment that helps single parents find part-time work or get ready for future work.
If you get Sole Parent Support and are studying at tertiary level four or above, you may also be able to get help with your study costs.
Find out more about sole parent support
The Accommodation Supplement is a weekly payment that helps people with their rent, board or the cost of owning a home.
Whether you qualify depends on how much you and your partner earn and the assets you have.
Read more about the accommodation supplement
Child Disability Allowance
Child Disability Allowance is a fortnightly payment made to the main carer of a child or young person with a serious disability. It is paid in recognition of the extra care and attention needed for that child.
Find out about the child disability allowance
If your child has a disability or a medical condition then you may be entitled to a Disability Allowance. This is a weekly payment to help with regular, ongoing costs because of a disability, things like visits to the doctor or hospital, medicines, extra clothing or travel.
Read more about the disability allowance
Temporary Additional Support
Temporary Additional Support is a weekly payment that helps you when you don't have enough money to cover your essential living costs. How much you get depends on your situation, and it can be paid for up to 13 weeks.
Find out about temporary additional support