Childcare Subsidy Assistance

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The WINZ Childcare subsidy is the main form of financial assistance available to help New Zealand families pay the cost of childcare.  

Families getting the Early Learning Payment because their child is enrolled in a Family Start or Early Start programme and aged 18 months to 3 years, can’t get the Childcare Subsidy for the same hours.

From 1 April 2023 the maximum hourly rate for the Early Learning Payment per child is $9.09. The maximum weekly payment (20 hours) for each child aged 18 months to 36 months $181.80.

Childcare Subsidy Eligibility 

Parents/ caregivers may be eligible for a WINZ Childcare Subsidy for up to 9 hours a week if they are not in paid employment, studying or training.  

Parents/ caregivers may be eligible for the subsidy for up to 50 hours a week if they are in paid employment, in training, are seriously ill or disabled, caring for a child in hospital, or caring for a child for whom they get a disability allowance for.  

The WINZ subsidy is only available to families for children under 5 years of age.

But it may be extended beyond the 5th birthday if the school has advised that it will not allow the child to start until the beginning of the term straight after the fifth birthday.  

The subsidy is only available for children who attend a licensed early childhood service for 3 or more hours a week.

Children who receive a Child Disability Allowance can continue receiving the WINZ Childcare Subsidy until 6 years if staying in early childhood education beyond the fifth birthday.

If the ECE service receives 20 Hours ECE funding scheme for the child, then the child’s parents/caregivers cannot get the Childcare Subsidy for the first 20 hours.

Parents/ caregivers can choose to ask their ECE service not to claim the 20 Hours subsidy so that they can instead claim the WINZ subsidy.

Don’t Leave it Until the Childcare Subsidy is Needed Before Applying

It is recommended that parents/ caregivers apply for the subsidy at least 3 weeks before needed.  Allow time for the ECE service manager or owner to complete a section of the application form.  


The Ministry of Social Development operates an online application process. This may be an issue for families without reliable internet connection, literacy skills, or with English as a second language. If you know a family in this situation offer support and suggest they request the assistance of their ECE service to undertake the application process.

Download and print a copy of the Application form.  

Change of Circumstances

Should a parent (including partner) have a change of circumstances that may affect payment, change of hours of childcare, etc.  then notify the Ministry of Social Development of the change of circumstance.  

Download and print a copy of the Change of Circumstances form


Parents/ Caregivers

Phone 0800 559 009

ECE Service Owners and Managers

Use the following number or email address for queries about subsidies or payments, or to let MSD know about changes for the service (e.g., closures) or for a child

Phone 0800 776 843

Email [email protected]

WINZ phone/office opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm


WINZ stops the payments when the ECE service closes for Christmas holidays.

WINZ Childcare Subsidy Rates

Each year there is a small adjustment to the childcare subsidy per hour/ per week rates.

These are the latest rates, from 1 April 2023

Payment RateNumber of children Gross weekly total household income before tax  Amount per hour non-taxable Amount per week maximum up to 50 hours non-taxable 
Rate 0OneLess than $1,009$6.10$305
Rate 1One$1,009 to $1,836.99$4.86$243
Rate 2One$1,837 to $1,989.99$3.40$170
Rate 3One$1,990 to $2,143.99$1.90$95
NilOne$2,144 or moreNilNil
Rate 0TwoLess than $1,160$6.10$305
Rate 1Two$1,160 to $2,112.99$4.86$243
Rate 2Two$2,113 to $2,280.99$3.40$170
Rate 3Two$2,281 to $2,449.99$1.90$95
NilTwo$2,450 or moreNilNil
Rate 0Three or moreLess than $1,299$6.10$305
Rate 1Three or more$1,299 to $2,357.99$4.86$243
Rate 2Three or more$2,358 to $2,556.99$3.40$170
Rate 3Three or more$2,557 to $2,755.99$1.90$95
NilThree or more$2,756.00 or moreNilNil

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