Flexible Childcare Assistance

If you're a sole parent and you're working during times when childcare programmes are closed, eg weekends or nights, we may be able to help with childcare costs during these times.

If you get Flexible Childcare Assistance, you can still apply for OSCAR or Childcare subsidy to help with childcare costs during the times when childcare programmes are open.

  • Who can get it

    You may be able to get Flexible Childcare Assistance if you're:

    • a sole parent
    • getting either:
      • Sole Parent Support
      • Jobseeker Support
    • cancelling your benefit because you're either:
      • starting a job that will continue for at least 13 weeks
      • increasing your work hours which will continue for at least 13 weeks
    • working at least 3 hours a week during times when childcare programmes are closed.

    Your child must also be under the age of 17.

  • What you can get

    You can get:

    • $50 a week for one child
    • $25 a week for each additional child.

    The maximum amount you can get is $150 a week.

    You can get the payment for up to 26 weeks from when your benefit is first cancelled. It can help to pay for the costs of childcare, eg:

    • the person who's caring for your child, which could be a:
      • family member
      • trusted friend
      • neighbour
      • child-minder
    • food
    • activities
    • travel.
  • How to apply

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009

    We'll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help. We'll let you know what information you need to provide and how to get this to us.

  • Organising childcare

    You're responsible for choosing and organising appropriate care for your children.

    When you're looking at options for childcare, there are a number of things you may like to consider or do, so that you know your children will be safe and well cared for. These could include:

    • asking the person for references, then contacting their referees and talking to them
    • asking to see a copy of the person's criminal record
      • they can get this from the Ministry of Justice
    • thinking about where your children will be cared for, eg:
      • is it a safe environment
      • who else will be there
    • checking if the child will be travelling in the person's car, eg:
      • is it safe
      • do they need car seats
    • talking to the person about how you want your child looked after, eg:
      • types of food and activities
      • behaviour expectations.