New Zealand Multiple Birth Association

Help with Childcare Costs (WINZ and the MOE)

Ministry of Education funding and WINZ payments can help make quality childcare more affordable for multiple families, who need extra help to work or prepare for a working future, through study. This is provided through the Early Childhood Education (20 Hours ECE), and the Childcare and OSCAR Subsidies. These payments depend on the size of your family, your income, and how many hours a week your child goes to the service provider. The subsidies are paid directly to the service provider.

  • Early Childhood Education (20 Hours ECE)—where the Government funds up to 20 hours a week of ECE for children aged 3-5 years attending an Early Childhood Education service. You can choose between receiving 20 Hours ECE, the Childcare Subsidy or a combination of both payments, but not both payments for the same hours. Early childhood education services include kindergartens, childcare centres, Te Kohanga Reo and in-home childcare providers.
  • Childcare Subsidy—paid for pre-school children aged under 5 years and attending an early childhood programme for 3 or more hours a week, (or under 6 years if you get the Child Disability Allowance for them). You could get help with up to 9 hours of childcare a week and, in some cases, you could get up to 50 hours a week if you are working, studying, involved in a WINZ activity or are a night-shift, seriously ill or disabled, or caring for a child in hospital or a child you get the Child Disability Allowance for.
  • OSCAR Subsidy—or Out of School Care and Recreation Subsidy, is for children aged 5-13 years (or up to 18 years if they receive the Child Disability Allowance),and helps towards the costs of before and after school care of up to 20 hours a week, and school holiday programmes of up to 50 hours a week. The same criteria for work, study, illness and disability apply as for the Childcare Subsidy. The service providing the care must be approved by the Ministry of Social Development

To download a factsheet on help with childcare costs from WINZ, click here.