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Minister reminds parents that help is available

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Education

19 January 2006 Media Statement

Minister reminds parents that help is available

Education Minister Steve Maharey today reminded parents struggling to balance work and family responsibilities that holiday support was available.

"The government has childcare support available for parents through the Childcare Subsidy and OSCAR programmes," Steve Maharey said. "These are both part of this government's Working for Families package and I encourage parents to make the most of what is available in the run-up to the start of the school term."

The Childcare Subsidy assists low and middle-income families with children under the age of five to access childcare services. Parents who are in work or training can get up to 50 hours a week Childcare Subsidy. Other parents can get up to nine hours a week so their children can attend quality early childhood education.

"A couple on $43,000 a year, with two children in after school care for 20 hours a week, is eligible for an additional $492 a year towards the cost of childcare. Their total subsidy will be $128.40 per week, or $5264.40 per annum.

"A single mother on $33,800 a year, with one child in care for 45 hours a week will be eligible for $675 a year. Her total subsidy will be $144.45 a week, or $7222.50 per annum.

The OSCAR Subsidy helps low and middle income families to pay for before and after school programmes (Up to 20 hours a week) and school holiday programmes (up to 50 hours a week) for children aged 5 to 13 years.

The OSCAR Subsidy is paid directly to approved OSCAR providers. The rate of OSCAR Subsidy payment depends on the number of children and the level of client income. The table below shows the OSCAR Subsidy income abatement thresholds and maximum rates as at 3 October 2005.

Number of children // Gross weekly income // OSCAR Subsidy (per hour) // OSCAR Subsidy (per week)
// // // Term time (for 20 hours) / Holidays
(for 50 hours)
1 // Less than $770.00 // $3.21 // $64.20 / $160.50
// $770.00 to $849.99 // $2.23 // $44.60 / $111.50
// $850.00 to $929.99 // $1.24 // $24.80 / $62.00
// $930.00 or more // nil // nil / nil
2 // Less than $950.00 // $3.21 // $64.20 / $160.50
// $950.00 to $1,039.99 // $2.23 // $44.60 / $111.50
// $1,040 to $1,129.99 // $1.24 // $24.80 / $62.00
// $1,130.00 or more // nil // nil / nil
3 or more // Less than $1,110.00 // $3.21 // $64.20 / $160.50
// $1,110.00 to $1,219.99 // $2.23 // $44.60 / $111.50
// $1,220.00 to $1,329.99 // $1.24 // $24.80 / $62.00
// $1,330.00 or more // nil // nil / nil

"These subsidies have been increasing over time and will be further complimented by Labour's 20 free hours ECE commitment being introduced in 2007."

OSCAR programmes are held in schools and EC centres around the country. Parents wanting further information could go to www.workingforfamilies.govt.nz , call 0800 774 004 or contact their local school or EC centre.


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