Pursuant to section 124 (1) (d) of the Social Security Act 1964, the Minister for Social Development and Employment establishes and approves the following programme for special assistance.
Dated at Wellington this 12th day of September 2005.
STEVE MAHAREY, Minister for Social Development and Employment.
P r o g r a m m e
1. Title—This programme is the Family Start and Early Start (Childcare Assistance) Programme.
2. Commencement—This programme comes into effect on 1 December 2005.
3. Purpose—The purpose of this programme is to provide childcare assistance to families who are enrolled in selected Family Start or Early Start programmes.
4. Interpretation—(1) In this programme, unless the context otherwise requires:
Act means the Social Security Act 1964
applicant means a person who applies for assistance or
a person on whose behalf an application for assistance
assistance means Family Start and Early Start childcare assistance, being the special assistance under this programme
eligible child means a child who is a dependent child of an applicant and who:
(a) is not less than 18 months and not more than
36 months of age; and
(b) is from a Family Start or Early Start family; and
(c) is enrolled in an approved early-childhood programme
Family Start or Early Start family means a family who is enrolled in a programme for the time being recognised by the chief executive as a Family Start programme or an Early Start programme (as the case may be) and selected by the chief executive for the purposes of this programme
Family Start or Early Start worker means the family/whanau worker allocated to a Family Start or Early Start family and who provides services relating
to the Family Start programme or Early Start programme
Regulations means the Social Security (Childcare Assistance) Regulations 20041
working day means working day as defined by the
Act together with any day the approved early-childhood programme is operating from 25 December in any year to 15 January the following year.
(2) Terms otherwise defined in the Act or the Regulations have the same meanings in this programme.
5. Application of Social Security Act—(1) Sections 12, 62, 74 (1) (a), 74A, 80 (1), 80A, 80BD (1), 81, 84, 84A and 86J of the Act apply to this programme and to any applicant as if the special assistance under it were a benefit and the applicant were a beneficiary.
(2) Nothing in subclause (1) limits or affects the application of any other provision of the Act.
6. Family Start or Early Start childcare assistance: Eligibility—The chief executive may grant assistance in respect of the attendance of each eligible child of the applicant at an approved early-childhood programme up to
a maximum of:
(a) 20 hours per week for an eligible child under
30 months of age; or
(b) 15 hours per week for an eligible child 30 months
of age or older.
7. Applications and evidence—(1) No person can be granted assistance unless he or she:
(a) has applied for it in writing on a form required by the chief executive; and
(b) has given the chief executive the evidence the chief executive requires to satisfy the chief executive that the person is eligible for the assistance.
8. Rate of assistance—(1) The amount of assistance payable in respect of any week is:
a – b but not more than c
(2) No assistance is payable in respect of any week in
which b is greater than a.
(3) In this clause:
a is the weekly cost:
(a) of the eligible child’s attendance at the approved early childhood programme based on:
(i) the actual hourly fee payable; or
(ii) if a periodic flat fee is payable, the average hourly fee payable obtained by dividing the periodic flat fee by the number of hours during the period concerned for which the child is enrolled to participate in the programme; or
(b) where clause 9 (a) applies, for keeping open the eligible child’s place in that programme;
b is any payment made by a person other than the applicant towards a calculated on a weekly basis;
c is $6.00 per hour multiplied by the number of hours
per week (not exceeding the appropriate number of
hours set out in clause 6) for which the child is enrolled to participate in the programme.
9. Payment during absences of eligible child—If an approved early-childhood programme charges a fee for holding open the places of eligible children who are absent from the programme when the programme is available:
(a) assistance may continue to be paid for an eligible child for any continuous period of not more than
30 working days when the child is absent from the programme because:
(i) the child or applicant is injured or ill; or
(ii) of a family bereavement; or
(iii) the child is on holiday; or
(iv) of other reasonable circumstances; and
(b) assistance may be ceased where an eligible child is absent from the programme for a continuous period of 15 working days or more and none of the circumstances in paragraph (a) (i) to (iv) exist.
10. Notification of absences of eligible child—(1) It is a condition of any grant of assistance under this programme that, within a reasonable time after an eligible child for whom assistance is payable is absent from the approved early-childhood programme concerned:
(a) the applicant must notify the approved early childhood service or early-childhood care arranger (as the case may be) of the child’s absence; and
(b) the approved early-childhood service or approved early-childhood care arranger in respect of the programme to whom any payment of assistance is made under clause 11 must notify an officer of the department and the appropriate Family Start or Early Start worker of the child’s absence.
(2) Nothing in subclause (1) (a) limits the applicant’s obligations under section 80A of the Act (as applied to
this programme by clause 5 (1)).
11. Assistance usually payable to approved early childhood service or early childhood care arranger—(1) Assistance must be paid for each eligible child (as the case may be) to:
(a) the approved early-childhood service providing the approved early-childhood programme; or
(b) the approved early-childhood care arranger that arranged the scheme under which the approved early-childhood programme is provided.
(2) Subclause (1) does not prevent the chief executive from paying a lump sum of assistance directly to an applicant if:
(a) the sum represents an underpayment of the amounts:
(i) that should have been paid to the approved early childhood service in respect of the eligible child’s participation in the approved early childhood programme it provides; or
(ii) that should have been paid to an approved early childhood care arranger in respect of the eligible child’s participation in an approved early-childhood programme provided under a scheme it arranged; and
(b) the applicant has already paid the amount of
the underpayment to the respective approved early childhood service or approved early-childhood care arranger.
12. Overpayments recoverable—If, because a child has ceased to be enrolled or has been absent from an approved early-childhood programme, assistance has been paid in excess of the amount the applicant was entitled to under this programme, the amount of the excess is recoverable from:
(a) the applicant; and
(b) to the extent it was paid to an approved early childhood service or early-childhood care arranger under this programme, from that service
This note is not part of the programme, but is intended to indicate its general effect.
This Ministerial welfare programme, which comes into effect on 1 December 2005, provides childcare assistance to enable the children of families who are enrolled in selected Family Start or Early Start programmes and who are not less than 18 months and not more than 36 months of age to attend approved early-childhood programmes.