Childcare assistance available from Work and Income comprises:
The Childcare Subsidy programme helps with the costs of childcare faced by:
People can receive a Childcare Subsidy for up to 50 hours a week if:
Other people can receive a Childcare Subsidy for up to nine hours a week.
The Childcare Subsidy:
A Childcare Subsidy cannot be paid for the hours covered by the free early childhood education hours introduced from July 2007. From 1 July 2007, all children aged 3–5 were entitled to 20 hours’ free early childhood education a week (a maximum of 6 hours a day).
A Childcare Subsidy can, however, be used:
The combined total of hours covered by the free early childhood education hours and the Childcare Subsidy must not exceed the client’s maximum entitlement to subsidised hours.
A Childcare Subsidy is available for children aged:
The Childcare Subsidy is income tested. The income limits below which families could be eligible for a Childcare Subsidy were raised in October 2004 and in October 2005 under the Working for Families package. These income limits were raised again in September 2010, with the introduction of the Future Focus package.
These statistics may differ from other published information giving the number of clients receiving or granted a Childcare Subsidy for one or more children.
The number of children for whom a Childcare Subsidy was paid decreased between 2010 and 2012
This decrease (see table CC.1) largely reflected the ongoing slow economic recovery and its impact on work opportunities and on the incomes of working families.
table CC.1: Numbers of children assisted by a Childcare Subsidy
|Children assisted by a Childcare Subsidy1|
|Total children assisted||34,880||37,920||40,686||38,648||37,237|
This decrease largely reflected reduced grants of Childcare Subsidy
Grants of Childcare Subsidy reduced between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 (see table CC.2). This reflected a combination of reduced numbers of children in the under 5 age group and the slow easing of economic conditions which reduced new demand for financial assistance with costs of childcare.
table CC.2: Numbers of children granted a Childcare Subsidy
|Children granted a Childcare Subsidy1|
|Total subsidies granted||54,037||51,323||52,519||50,505||49,399|
Around one in eight children under 5 years were assisted by a Childcare Subsidy
In 2012, an estimated 11.9% of children aged under 5 were assisted by a Childcare Subsidy, down from 13.0% in 2010. Between 2008 and 2010, this proportion increased from 11.6% to 13.0%.
Two in three of the children for whom a Childcare Subsidy was paid were cared for by working families
Between 2008 and 2012, around 69% of the children for whom the Childcare Subsidy was paid had caregivers in working families (see table CC.3). Another 28% of these children had caregivers who were receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit.
table CC.3: Financial assistance paid to caregivers of children assisted by a Childcare Subsidy
|Financial assistance paid to caregiver at the end of June||Children assisted by a Childcare Subsidy1|
|Domestic Purposes Benefits||9,377||10,691||11,306||10,812||10,567|
|Other main benefits2||180||187||158||148||145|
|New Zealand Superannuation or |
|None of the above assistance3||24,346||25,683||27,783||26,444||25,385|
Nearly three in four of the children for whom a subsidy was granted had caregivers in employment, education or training
Between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012, 39% of children for whom subsidies were granted had caregivers in employment (see table CC.4). Another 34% of these children had caregivers in education or training.
table CC.4: Reasons for granting a Childcare Subsidy
|Reason Childcare Subsidy granted||Children for whom a Childcare Subsidy was granted1|
|Parent in employment||23,416||21,161||20,575||19,720||19,045|
|Child receiving Child Disability Allowance||2,232||2,228||2,085||1,722||1,551|
|Sibling receiving Child Disability Allowance||1,592||1,777||1,498||1,524||1,596|
|Sibling in hospital||18||8||12||14||12|
|Illness or injury||194||179||176||137||130|
|Parent in training or education||18,083||16,890||18,175||17,654||16,955|
Three in five of the children for whom a Childcare Subsidy was granted were cared for by working families
Between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012, 61% of the children for whom a Childcare Subsidy was granted were in working families. Around 34% had caregivers receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit.
An OSCAR Subsidy pays for out-of-school care for children aged 5–13. The subsidy was introduced to help with the costs of approved out-of-school care and holiday programmes faced by:
The subsidy is paid directly to the provider of the childcare.
Children aged 14 or over may be legally left at home without full-time care and supervision.
In some circumstances, people can receive an OSCAR Subsidy for:
To receive this level of subsidy:
The subsidy was introduced in February 1999.
Income, asset and residency tests apply.
This information may differ from other published information showing the number of clients receiving or granted an OSCAR Subsidy for one or more children.
The number of children for whom an OSCAR Subsidy was paid increased between 2011 and 2012
This increase (see table CC.5) reflected a combination of:
table CC.5: Numbers of children assisted by an OSCAR Subsidy
|Children assisted by an OSCAR Subsidy1|
|Total children assisted||9,466||10,992||11,890||11,804||13,015|
The number of grants of OSCAR Subsidy increased between 2010/2011 and 2011/2012
This increase (see table CC.6) was driven by increased use of the subsidy by working families. This may reflect in part the increase over this period in the population of children aged 5–13, and the gradual nature of the economic recovery. The gradual recovery may mean more of the people entering work still met the income criteria for the subsidy.
table CC.6: Numbers of children granted an OSCAR Subsidy
|Children granted an OSCAR Subsidy1|
|Total subsidies granted||36,563||42,103||41,179||31,700||34,579|
A relatively small number of children aged 5–13 were assisted by an OSCAR Subsidy
In 2012, an estimated 2.5% of children aged 5–13 were covered by an OSCAR Subsidy, up from 1.8% in 2008. Over this period, children aged 5–9 were more likely than 10–13 year olds to be assisted by an OSCAR Subsidy.
Four in five of the children for whom the subsidy was paid were in working families
Between 2008 and 2012, 83% of the children for whom an OSCAR Subsidy was paid had caregivers in working families (see table CC.7). Another 15% had caregivers receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit.
table CC.7: Financial assistance paid to caregivers of children assisted by an OSCAR Subsidy
|Financial assistance paid to caregiver at the end of June||Children assisted by an OSCAR Subsidy1|
|Domestic Purposes Benefits||1,531||1,827||1,780||1,714||1,983|
|Other main benefits2||26||32||23||29||37|
|New Zealand Superannuation |
or Veteran’s Pension
|None of the above assistance3||7,817||8,994||9,952||9,907||10,846|
|Total children assisted||9,466||10,992||11,890||11,804||13,015|
Four in five of the children for whom an OSCAR Subsidy was granted had caregivers in employment…
Eighty-one percent of the children for whom an OSCAR Subsidy was granted between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 had caregivers in employment (see table CC.8).
table CC.8: Reasons for granting an OSCAR Subsidy
|Reason OSCAR Subsidy granted||Children for whom an OSCAR Subsidy was granted1|
|Caregiver in employment||31,208||35,342||33,788||25,627||27,852|
|Caregiver in training or education||5,355||6,761||7,391||6,073||6,727|
…and a similar proportion were cared for by working families
Between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012, 79% of the children for whom an OSCAR Subsidy was granted were in working families.