If you get the Child Disability Allowance through WINZ, check if you can also claim the Childcare Subsidy until your child reaches six years of age. The usual requirement for both parents to be working is waived. You may be able to receive a deduction in costs for up to 50 hours of childcare a week through the subsidy if you get the Child Disability Allowance. Click here for details of the amounts of the WINZ childcare subsidy and phone Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to discuss further.
Free access to specialist help and support workers
Should your child have a need that cannot be met within a regular early childhood education setting, home or family, without extra support then you may be able to access some professional support to help your child. The need may be a physical disability, a sensory impairment, a learning or communication delay, a social, emotional or behavioural difficulty, or a combination of these.
If you are worried about how your child will cope in an ECE service or that the teachers may struggle to provide the higher level of care your child needs, then ask the ECE service to look into getting an Education Support Worker through the Ministry of Education’s Learning Support Service.
Education Support Workers are employed by the Ministry or agencies contracted to the Ministry. They are additional to the ECE service’s teaching staff and they are not intended to replace the role of teachers or provide full-time one‑to‑one support for children. The maximum funded hours for an Education Support Worker are 15 hours per week.
Education Support Workers are not funded during the school holidays. They work under the guidance of an early intervention specialist, and as part of a team of parents, whānau, specialist education practitioners, educators, and health professionals. This team works together to develop an ‘Individual Plan’ to support the inclusion of the child in the ECE service.
There are also other early intervention specialists and support staff available to work with you and your child if your child has a moderate to severe special education need:
- Speech-language therapists (for example if your child is stuttering)
- Early intervention teachers
- Advisers on deaf children
- Resource Teachers: Vision
- Kaitakawaenga (Māori liaison advisers).
This support can be provided at your home, at an ECE service, and as your child starts school.
To find out more and discuss your child’s needs contact the local Ministry of Education, Learning Support office in your area, or phone the Learning Support Information Line 0800 622 222.