Childcare absences

When your child is away for a short period and an absence fee is charged, we'll continue to pay the childcare provider so your child keeps their place. We can do this for up to 3 weeks at a time but we may need to review your payments if your child is away a lot.

Absences of fewer than 3 weeks

If your child is going to be away for a short period you don't need to do anything. We'll pay the childcare provider while your child is absent.

If the childcare provider is not going to charge an absence fee while your child is away, you need to let them know the dates your child will be absent.

Absences of more than 3 weeks

If your child is going to be away for longer than 3 weeks, they must have a medical reason. You'll need to let your childcare provider know and you'll need to get a medical certificate. We can keep paying for your child's place at the programme for up to 6 weeks when a medical certificate is provided. You can drop the medical certificate off at your nearest service centre.

If you get Child Disability Allowance or Group Special Education Funding you don't need a medical certificate.

  • Absence from New Zealand

    We may be able to continue to pay for childcare for up to 28 days if you're going overseas. But this is only possible if you let us know before you go. Call us on 0800 559 009 and talk to us about your situation, we'll assess it on a case by case basis.

    If you don't tell us you're going overseas, your childcare payments may stop and you might have to pay back some of your childcare payments for the time you were overseas. This applies whether you're on a benefit or not.

  • Before you leave

    Call us on 0800 559 009 and tell us:

    • the date you're leaving
    • when you're returning
    • reason for travel
    • whether your child is travelling with you or staying in New Zealand.
  • If your provider doesn't charge for absences

    You need to let us know when your child is not going to be at childcare so we can adjust the payments to your provider.