The Government is investing $80 million over the next four years to ensure the children of young parents on a benefit can access Early Childhood Education (ECE) while parents are meeting their obligations to be in education, training or work-based learning. This funding includes:
- $36.1 million for a new Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment (GCAP)
- $43.9 million will be paid to ECE providers to pay for the attendance of the under two year old children of the parents affected by these changes. These children are not eligible for the 20 hours ECE because they are under 3.
From 30 July 2012, the new GCAP will provide financial support to ensure the young children of parents aged under 19 are safely cared for while their parent continues their education or training. The GCAP will assist these parents with the fees charged for their child’s attendance at ECE services.
The payment will replace the Young Parent Childcare Payment and will also be available to young parents who are completing their secondary education, are not receiving a benefit and have a child aged under 5 years.
GCAP will provide up to $6.00 per hour for up to 50 hours a week for up to 52 weeks a year for a child to attend an approved ECE service.
An approved (licensed or chartered) early childcare service includes:
- an early childhood centre licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998
- a care programme approved by the Minister of Education
- a Kohanga Reo chartered by the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust
- a fee charging kindergarten licensed by the Ministry of Education and affiliated to either the New Zealand Free Kindergarten Association Inc or the Kindergarten Federation or
- a fee charging playcentre licensed by the Ministry of Education and affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation.