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childcare centres

Child Care Subsidy

This page provides an overview about the Child Care Subsidy available from Working for Families. Please note that the Child care subsidy and the 20 Hours Free scheme are different subsidies. Read our other articles to find out specific information on the 20 Hours Free ECE Scheme

A childcare subsidy may be available to you if you and your child meet certain criteria. Firstly you must be a NZ citizen or permanent resident and you must be the main carer of the child. Your partner must be unable to provide childcare.

The child must be under 5 years of age (or under 6 years if claiming a child disability allowance). The child must also be attending an early childhood program at least 3 hours a week.

Child Care Subsidy Requirements

- If you are NOT in work or study, the subsidy is available for up to 9 hours childcare per week.

- If you ARE working or studying, then you may be able to claim up to 50 hours per week.

- The child care subsidy is income tested.

Parents usually cannot claim under both schemes, although in some circumstances this is possible. However you cannot claim the general childcare subsidy for the same hours claimed under the 20 Hours Free Scheme.

The childcare subsidy can be used at any teacher-led early childhood education centre that accepts the scheme, such as Kindercare centres, even Montessori centres. This includes New Zealand day care centres, and kohanga reo.

More information on the child care subsidy can be found on the Working for Families website