From 1 July 2018 the Government started weekly payments of $60 per child, known as Best Start, until the child reaches the age of one.
To qualify, a baby had to be due on or after this date. Therefore, if it was born a little early, it could still qualify. Best Start can be extended to three years for families with a household income of less than $79,000.
Anyone eligible will be able to apply through the Department of Internal Affairs SmartStart website when they register their baby’s birth.
The paid parental leave has been extended to a maximum of 22 weeks from the same date and subject to the same condition about the baby being expected by that date. There is an increase in the number of “keeping in touch” hours from 40 to 52. These hours allow an employee on parental leave to stay connected with their employer and perform work from time to time.